Before he started the alien spacecraft project last year, the chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University was known for his humble public speech.
Personally modest, Avi Leeb said he grew up on a farm.
Loeb calls it "cosmic modesty" - the idea that we are part of the universe, or even a particular species, is arrogant.
Today you can find a lecture poster in Loeb's office, although it's a bit lost in the mess: Loeb's photograph under Harvard's giant 19th century dome-
Century Telescope; thank-
Your notes come from elementary school students.
He received a framed interview with the New York Times in 2014.
His book on galaxy formation;
His face, time and again - a man wearing glasses in the middle of him-
Children in their fifties always keep a satisfied smile.
On the first morning of the spring course, Loeb stood at his desk in a wrinkled suit and nailed the syllabus for the afternoon class.
He pointed the visitors to this and that on the wall.
He mentioned that four television crews were in the office on the day his spaceship theory became popular in the fall, and that five studios were now interested in making a movie about his life.
There is a neatly written formula on the table next to the guest's chair.
"Oh, that's what I did last night," Loeb said.
He explained that it was a calculation that supported his theory that an alien spacecraft, or at least one of them, might be flying through Jupiter's orbit.
Since publishing his controversial paper, Loeb has been engaged in an almost uninterrupted media cycle, embracing what may be the most prominent E in academia. T.
The enthusiast of his time, Harvard's top astronomer, suspected that technology from another solar system had just appeared at our doorstep.
This in turn confused some of his peers, complaining that they thought it was a fragile theory, or wondering why Harvard's top astronomers would not shut up to aliens.
You can't say Leeb is a weirdo.
When Hawaiian astronomers stumbled upon the first known interstellar object in late 2017, a beam of light traveling through the sun at such a rapid rate, it probably came only from another star, Loeb, who had 30 years of Ivy League professorship and hundreds of astronomical publications about his R sum, mainly related to the nature of black holes, as well as early galaxies and other distances. The theme of He Xiaobao's shelf.
So when every astronomer on the planet tries to figure out the interstellar objects（
It is called "oumuamua" and the Hawaiian word is "scout".
To our distant galaxy, Leeb's self-confident suggestion that it might come from another civilization is not easy to ignore.
"Considering the artificial origin, one possibility is that'oumuamua'- pronounced as oh-mooah-
Mooah -- "is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as debris from advanced technological equipment," Loeb and his colleague Shmuel Bialy wrote in the November Astrophysical Journal Express, "exciting E. T.
Fanatics and those who disrupt the fragile orbit of space academia.
Paul Sutter, an astrophysicist at Ohio State University, tweeted shortly after the paper was published: "oumuamua is not an alien spaceship. The author of this paper insults honest scientific research and even makes such suggestions. "
"A shocking sensational example, I-
Motivation science, "wrote theoretical astrophysicist Isan Siegel in Forbes.
Katie Mack, an astrophysicist at North Carolina State University, hinted to Wifer that Leeb was working on a common practice in which one of the astrophysicists proposed a theory they might not believe.
"Sometimes you write an article about something you don't believe is real, just to publish it," she told the magazine.
Apart from Leeb, most scientists believe that'oumuamua'is a kind of rock, either an asteroid erupted from a star hundreds of millions of years ago or an ice comet wandering in interstellar space.
But for an inert rock, it moves too fast, Leeb points out, like something pushing it from behind, from the sun.
If this is a comet ejecting steam, astronomers'limited observations of it show no signs.
According to Loeb, "oumuamua's behavior means that it can't be a long potato-shaped rock as people usually imagine, but a very long object, not more than 1 mm thick, possibly like a kilometer. -
Long rectangular pancakes, or sails on ships, are light and thin, and sunlight pushes them out of our solar system.
Although he did not say that it was definitely an alien, he said that he could think of nothing but the aliens that fit the data.
All he said was international news.
"Many people think that once there's such publicity, I'll give up," Leeb said.
"If someone shows me evidence to the contrary, I will back down immediately.
Meanwhile, he is redoubling his efforts to host Eddit AMA on "How to Discover Alien Life in Space Will Change Our Life", and constantly emailing his "friends and colleagues" to update all the journalists he talks to.
A few months later, Loeb became a-
Human beings have replaced the horror of earth news.
He said, "It changes your view of reality, knowing that we are not alone. "
"We fight on borders and resources.
. . . This will make us feel that the earth is part of a civilization, not a single country voting to leave Europe.
"So now he's famous and he's shaping himself into a truth. -Cashier and risk-
In an era of over-conservative and taciturn scientists.
You can have some coffee in the morning and expect to find out later.
It's a stable way of life, but for me, it's more like a businessman's way of life than a scientist's way of life, "he said.
Loeb added: "The worst thing for me is that I will be relieved of my administrative duties, which will give me more time to focus on science. "
"I can call back all my titles.
In fact, I can go back to the farm.
Leeb grew up on a farm in Israel.
He said that he would sit on the mountain reading philosophical books and imagine a wider universe, which was a charm that attracted him to the academic world and to "oumuamua".
"In my academic mind, I don't have an elite class system," he said, when he led a journalist into the secret chamber of the great refractor, a huge 19th century. -
Sometimes he took pictures of the Century Telescope there.
"I see it as a continuation of childhood curiosity - trying to understand what the world is like.
He joined the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey. J.
He pointed out, "Where was Einstein in the past? "
Later, he got a junior position in the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University, where "no one has been promoted internally for 20 years. . . They offered me life-long service after three years. ”)
As he said, his life story sounds like a brain version of Forrest Gump's true story --- Leeb is always absorbed in his pursuit of science and interacts with giants in the field he often mentions. -drops.
Stephen Hawking had dinner at home.
Stephen Spielberg once asked him for film skills.
Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire, once walked into his office, sat on a sofa and asked him to help design man's first interstellar spaceship, which he was currently working on with a research budget of $100 million and was approved by Mark Zuckerberg and the late Hawking.
Leeb casually mentioned that when he was 24, he had a private audience with the famous physicist Freeman Dyson, and then paused under the age of 20. -
The foot of the great refractor laughs until he realizes that journalists don't know who Freeman Dyson is.
At noon, Leeb left his telescope and office and went to a bare white classroom to introduce the basics of astrophysics to a dozen new students.
If he had mastered the state news interview now, his speech would have been a bit stiff.
He looked down at the table as he spoke.
He asked the freshmen of the most prestigious university to sit around the table and list their hobbies.
Ten minutes later, Loeb left the play.
"Did anyone hear the name oumuamua? " he asked.
"What does that mean? " Almost everyone nodded, and Matt Jacobsen, a freshman from a farm town in Iowa, calmly said to himself, "Somebody's guessing it's from another civilization. "
"Who made that guess? " Leeb asked with a laugh.
There was an awkward silence in the room, and Jacobson called out, "Is that you, my God?
"The Professor laughed even more.