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A FAMED Harvard scientist has called for Nasa to send spacecraft to hunt for alien probes.
Astrophysicist Avi Loeb has said we shouldn't just be focusing on mysterious radio signals in the hunt for alien life but also looking for unusual space objects.
Loeb proposes in a new essay for Scientific American that there could be objects in our Solar System that are like a "message in a bottle" from alien life.
The scientist thinks space agencies should be launching space probes to “search for technological civilizations across interstellar distances”.
He also thinks we should use probes to observe objects that drift into our Solar System.
One such object is Oumuamua, an unusual space rock that Loeb has argued could be a probe sent by aliens.
Oumuamua took the world by storm in October 2017 when it was identified as the first known visitor from another star system.
It's a cigar-shaped asteroid that sped past Earth over three years ago.
There are other astronomers who disagree with Loeb and don't think Oumuamua has any alien connections.
Loeb's essay comes just after alien hunting astronomers revealed they are investigating a strange radio wave emission that seems to have come from a nearby star.
Scientists are still analysing the radio wave beam to try and workout what caused it.
Researchers working on the Breakthrough Listen Project, an initiative set up in 2016 to search for alien life, often notice strange blasts of radio waves.
However, all these outbursts so far have been attributed to natural sources or human interference.
Loeb thinks we should be focussing on sending our own probes to space as well as detecting radio signals on Earth.
He previously suggested that radio bursts in space could have an "artificial origin".
He's also suggested that life could be hiding under rocky surfaces like within the Moon or Mars.
We'll have to wait and see whether Nasa takes on any of his suggestions laid out in his recent paper.
Loeb concluded: "The data we gathered on `Oumuamua are incomplete. To learn more, we must continue to monitor the sky for similar objects.
"The realization that we are not alone will have dramatic implications for our goals on Earth and our aspirations for space."
What is Oumuamua?
- Oumuamua is a cigar-shaped asteroid that sped past Earth in 2017
- Some boffins think the space rock was an alien probe sent by a distant civilisation
- It was spotted by scientists in Hawaii, and its name means 'scout' in Hawaiian
- Researchers involved in SETI- the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence - used a powerful dish to scan Oumuamua
- They found no signs of radio signals, suggesting it wasn't an alien spaceship after all
- Recent research suggests that the object could have been ejected by a gas giant planet
- It's now moving away from Earth so fast that we're unlikely to ever find out
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