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Town Hall Seattle: Science Series

Town Hall’s Science series is dedicated to understanding the world around us. Whether we’re hearing from a legendary physicist or a UW graduate student, the Science series explores math, biology, chemistry, the environment, and so much more.

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Feb 9, 2021

In late 2017, scientists at a Hawaiian observatory glimpsed an object soaring through our inner solar system, moving so quickly that it could only have come from another star. That begs the question: what exactly was that object?

Harvard’s top astronomer Avi Loeb joined us to share his theory: that the object was the first confirmed interstellar visitor to be spotted in our solar system. With insight from his book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, he explained all of the reasons the object couldn’t have been an asteroid, and why he believes it was a piece of advance technology created by a distant alien civilization. He further outlined his controversial theory, and explored the implications: for science, for religion, and for the future of our species and our planet. Join us as we aim for the stars with this thrilling discussion, where Loeb asks us to think big and to expect the unexpected.

Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University, 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. Author of four books and over 700 scientific papers, Loeb is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics.

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