Astronomers have introduced a brand new enterprise designed to advance humankind’s seek for artifacts from extraterrestrial technological civilizations (ETCs) — The Galileo Project. The venture goals to handle the query “are we the smartest kids on our cosmic block?” Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb, a co-founder of the initiative, stated in a information convention concerning the massive announcement in the present day (July 26).
Loeb co-founded the formidable venture along with Frank Laukien, the chairman, president and CEO of Bruker Corp., a Massachusetts-based firm that develops and manufactures science gear.
The worldwide group labored with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts to design the venture with one fundamental purpose in thoughts — “to bring the search for extraterrestrial technological signatures from accidental or anecdotal observations and legends to the mainstream of transparent, validates and systematic scientific research,” the researchers stated in a statement.
Over the previous two weeks, the venture has acquired donations totaling $1.755 million from donors, creating the muse for the Galileo Project, Loeb stated in in the present day’s information convention.
The Galileo Project helps the seek for not simply extraterrestrial life itself, however for proof of superior civilizations that would go away behind clues by the expertise they’ve created — breadcrumbs referred to as technosignatures.
“Given the recently discovered abundance of habitable-zone exoplanets, with potential for extraterrestrial life, the Galileo Project is dedicated to the proposition that humans can no longer ignore the possible existence of ETCs,” Loeb stated within the assertion. “Science should not reject potential extraterrestrial explanations because of social stigma or cultural preferences that are not conducive to the scientific method of unbiased, empirical inquiry. We now must ‘dare to look through new telescopes’, both literally and figuratively.”
Earth is not any stranger to extraterrestrial guests. According to a report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that was delivered to Congress on June 25, quite a lot of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) — their nature unknown — have been reported primarily by Navy personnel throughout a number of sensors together with radar, infrared, electro-optical, weapon seekers and visible remark.
One notably well-known cosmic voyeur to originate outdoors our solar system was the pancake-shaped object ‘Oumuamua, found tumbling by our neighborhood on Oct. 19, 2017. This unusual out-of-towner did not resemble any comet or asteroid noticed earlier than and sparked a debate throughout the astronomy group as regards to its true identification and origin. The Galileo Project goals to settle this debate by figuring out the true nature of UAP and ‘Oumuamua-like interstellar objects.
With such a doubtlessly far-reaching venture when it comes to scientific development and exploration of the universe, you will need to lay down some floor guidelines from the beginning, Laukien stated within the information convention. “It is very important that we keep in mind that the Galileo Project is not for everything, and it is not for everyone,” Laukien stated. “It has a defined scope, and it has limitations.”
The enterprise will solely entertain identified physics explanations and analyze knowledge collected as a part of the Galileo Project. It won’t try to invest on prior UAP, alleged observations or casual studies, the researchers stated within the assertion.
“We can infer the nature perhaps of these unidentified objects. It may well be some atmospheric phenomenon or some other origin that has a mundane explanation, but we want to figure it out”, Loeb stated within the information convention. “We want to clear the fog through a transparent and scientific analysis by assembling our own data, not data based on government-owned sensors, because most of that data is classified.”
The researchers hope to make clear extraterrestrial phenomena by following three main avenues of analysis: acquiring high-resolution photographs of UAP utilizing a number of detectors to find their nature, conducting in-depth analysis on ‘Oumuamua-like interstellar objects, and trying to find potential ETC satellites.
Having secured some funds, the group plans to hit the bottom working. “We have team meetings on a weekly basis and we are currently selecting the instruments that we plan to purchase,” stated Loeb within the press convention. “We are planning to get some interesting results in the coming year, hopefully.”
Currently, the venture is aiming to arrange tens of telescope methods world wide. Each telescope system will consist of roughly two 10-inch (25-centimeter) telescopes with a digicam appropriate to resolve objects of curiosity, related to a pc system that can filter out knowledge, in keeping with Loeb in in the present day’s information convention. The group will even work to develop software program that can analyze knowledge collected from the Vera Rubin Observatory that’s anticipated to come back on-line in 2023.
The Galileo Project has been boldly likened to the work of pioneering Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, whose groundbreaking discoveries altered humankind’s view of the universe.
“The importance of the potential discoveries of rigorously validated scientific evidence of extraterrestrial technology may be similar in impact on astronomy and our world view as Galileo’s pioneering use of telescopes for astronomical observations were in history,” Galileo Project officers reported on the project website. Therefore the venture is appropriately named in his honor.
The Galileo Project is funded by donations and pledges by numerous people and foundations. The analysis group and advisory boards are detailed on the Galileo Project web site. You can preserve updated with the venture on each Twitter and Instagram.
Full disclosure: Space.com senior author Mike Wall moderated the Galileo Project announcement and information convention on July 26.