Hunting for aliens with the Galileo Project: this is the goal of the new project led by astrophysicist Avi Loeb, of Harvard University and also known to the general public for his studies on the mysterious intruder of the Solar System Oumuamua, and for Breakthrough Initiatives which intends to launch probes towards the nearest exoplanets. The operation was born from free contributions and has raised almost 2 million dollars so far, but the announcement of the program has been met with some skepticism by some of the scientific community.
There are elements that offer interesting clues from various fronts and "we can no longer ignore the possible existence of extraterrestrial technological civilizations": this is in summary the concept that animates the new ambitious project promoted by Loeb. The clues referred to are in particular the enigmatic celestial object Oumuamua, an asteroid or comet with a strange cigar shape and with certainty the first object ever observed coming from outside the Solar System, but by Loeb considered a probable alien probe , and the recent report on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) published by the US government.
None of this is proof, the Galileo Project researchers make clear, but "we want to eliminate the mists through transparent and scientific analysis," said Frank Laukien, co-manager of the project and CEO of the Bruker company, who produces scientific instruments. The project thus aims to create a network of small telescopes around the planet to identify any alien probes: a rapid alert system to intercept any visitors such as Oumuamua, alongside an Artificial Intelligence system to monitor the anomalous movements of objects in orbit in the Solar system.
"We can no longer ignore the possible existence of extraterrestrial technological civilizations", explain on the Galileo Project website the researchers involved, a high-level scientific team, including professors from the universities of Cambridge, California, Chicago, Princeton and Caltech. There is no real evidence to indicate the existence of alien civilizations visiting our planet but considering the many exoplanets already identified and recent sightings such as that of Oumuamua, of clear extrasolar origin, and the inexplicable aircraft observed by the US military, the researchers say they are convinced of the need to create a structure capable of better understanding these phenomena.
"What we are proposing has nothing particularly complicated: it would be a network of telescopes, which today would cost about half a million dollars each, to create a civil network that recognizes any unidentified flying objects", he explained. ANSA Giancarlo Genta, Emeritus Professor of Machine Construction at the Turin Polytechnic. We also think of a network for aircrafts in the atmosphere, one to check any probes in Earth orbit and one to identify in time the arrival of objects from outside the Solar System ".
Genta also noted that "Loeb is still a very valuable scientist and in recent years he has dedicated himself to projects of great impact, for example with òa Breakthrough Initiatives". In recent years Genta himself has been involved in some of these projects and has written various articles on the topic of the search for alien life.
Meanwhile, the program is causing the scientific community to discuss, mostly wait-and-see, others like Adam Frank of the University of Rochester who explains in Science that with the new network we would be ready for a possible new Oumuamua, others still very critical, like Alan Fitzsimmons of the Queen's University of Belfast, which bluntly dubbed the project as 'nonsense'. "Personally I believe that it is unlikely that there will be any kind of results - concluded Genta - but of course ... you never know!"