Are we the universe’s only children and our thoughts its only thoughts? Given that a quarter of all stars host a habitable Earth-size planet, it would be arrogant to think we are. Upcoming searches will look for intelligent life on planets outside the solar system through industrial pollution in their planetary atmospheres and space archaeology of debris from dead civilizations. Our own civilization is exploring interstellar travel. If successful, we might receive a signal from outer space stating: “welcome to the interstellar club!” Or we may receive a “message in a bottle,” implying that we should examine carefully any unusual object that arrives from outside the solar system, such as ‘Oumuamua.
Join superstar astronomer Avi Loeb to consider extraterrestrial life and how ‘Oumuamua might be a probe sent by an alien civilization.
All SubSpace programs are for audiences 18+.
Funding provided by the Reno Family Foundation Fund. This program is free thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.
Recommended for: Visitors 18 years of age and older
Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University. Loeb published 4 books and over 700 papers on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the future of the universe. He serves as chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy, founding director of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative, and director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He also chairs the advisory committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, serves as the Science Theory Director for all initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, as well as chair of the board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. In 2012, Time magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space.
© 1996-2019 Museum of Science, Boston – All rights reserved.