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Avi Loeb, a Harvard astrophysicist who doesn’t hesitate to swim in the shark-infested waters of controversy, is proposing a major effort to find aliens in our solar system, perhaps even in our airspace. He has raised $1.7 million in private funding to launch something he calls the Galileo Project, an initiative to bring the rigor of experimental science to ufology.

Loeb’s plan is to use a telescope now under construction, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, to study interstellar objects that come into our solar system. In addition, the project envisions building a network of small telescopes, in groups of two, that can photograph and determine the distance to anything they see in our atmosphere.

Is this project something to be lauded, or laughed at? Although academe may dismiss the Galileo Project as nothing more than pandering to a gullible public, such prejudice is unhelpful and myopic.

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