A Harvard scientist and a Pentagon official have authored a research article that suggests the possibility that there could be an alien mothership in our solar system, sending out probes to explore Earth and other planets.

The paper is titled “Physical constraints on unidentified aerial phenomena” and was released on March 7. It is not yet peer-reviewed and is also not an official document from the Pentagon. But according to Space.com, it was carried out in partnership with the US Department of Defense.

It was authored by Harvard scientist Avi Loeb, who is a Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University’s Department of Astronomy and Sean M. Kirkpatrick, who is the director of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) at the US Department of Defense.

Alien mothership and ‘dandelion seed’ probes

Loeb made headlines in 2019 when he suggested that the interstellar object Oumuama could have been part of an alien spaceship. Oumuama’s strange behaviour and acceleration have since been explained to have been completely natural phenomena.

But the orbital behaviour of Oumuama and another meteor (IM2) inspired Loeb and Kirkpatric to consider the possibility that an alien mothership could be in our solar system, and that it could be releasing many small probes to explore Earth and other planets. In the draft paper, the researchers say this could be similar to how NASA missions work.

The draft paper looks at how Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), which is a fancy term for UFOs used by the US government, could work based on the physics constraints that we understand.

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It proposes that an alien mothership in the solar system could send probes to our planet that could land just like “dandelion seeds,” where they “parachute” while entering our atmosphere to slow down so that they don’t burn up on entry. Such probes could use starlight to “charge their batteries” or even use liquid water as fuel.

But what would be the purpose of such probes? Just like how we are fascinated by rocky planets with an atmosphere, that could be the same for extraterrestrial species looking for other signs of life. So, a simple explanation is that they could be here for scientific exploration.

But if we take the analogy of the dandelion seeds further, they could be similar to biological seeds, containing extraterrestrial materials that could be used for self-replication.

If such spaceships and probes existed, wouldn’t we know?

Not necessarily.

According to the researchers, if such “mini-probes” are small enough, astronomers would not be able to notice them because they would not reflect enough sunlight to be detected by existing telescopes, including the James Webb Space Telescope.

It is estimated that for every interstellar near-Earth object (NEO), there are thousands of NEOs that are similar in size. Due to this, researchers conclude that looking for interstellar objects among the solar system’s objects is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Is there an actual alien spaceship in our solar system, sending probes to our planet?

The paper does not actually conclusively point towards the existence of such an alien mothership and mini-probes but rather, it points to the possibility of them existing so that future researchers can know what to look for.While it does bring up the possibility that such an alien ship and system could exist, that does not in any way point to the actual existence of one.

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