In 2017, the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii spotted an interstellar object passing by Earth for the first time. Shortly after, Harvard’s Prof Avi Loeb was met with a backlash from the scientific community for suggesting it could be of alien origin.

Now, several years on, he has written a book, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, outlining why we still can’t out rule the possibility, and why scientists should always keep an open mind.

We speak to Avi on this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast. He tells us why he believes the object, 'Oumuamua, was of alien origin, and what problems this reveals about the way modern physics is conducted.

Let us know what you think of the episode with a review or a comment wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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Jason Goodyer
Jason GoodyerCommissioning editor, BBC Science Focus

Jason is the commissioning editor for BBC Science Focus. He holds an MSc in physics and was named Section Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors in 2019. He has been reporting on science and technology for more than a decade. During this time, he's walked the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, watched Stephen Hawking deliver his Reith Lecture on Black Holes and reported on everything from simulation universes to dancing cockatoos. He looks after the magazine’s and website’s news sections and makes regular appearances on the Instant Genius Podcast.