Is there anybody out there? Alien company would be welcome during lockdown

Statistically speaking, it is more reasonable to assume that there is something else out there or, at least, there has been at some point, writes Katy Brand

<p>'Oumuamua passed through our solar system in 2017 and left a baffling mystery in its wake</p>

'Oumuamua passed through our solar system in 2017 and left a baffling mystery in its wake

Is there anybody out there? The eternal question. And I don’t just mean in my garden, though a bit of fresh company would be welcome at this point in the pandemic. I mean Out There, in space. Alien life.

And not just primordial microbes, as exciting and significant as that would be (I really will try to be excited about the discovery of primordial microbes on Mars, I promise). No, I mean actual civilisations. “Beings” we could communicate with. Or start a war with, knowing us.

It has been on my mind because firstly, lockdown is claustrophobic and contemplating the bigger picture feels like a relief sometimes. And secondly, because an esteemed professor of astronomy at Harvard University named Avi Loeb has been talking recently to various media outlets about the mysterious object known as ‘Oumuamua that passed through our solar system in 2017.

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