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Avi Loeb.jpg


He has held the Frank B. Baird Jr. Chair of Science since July 1, 2012.

at Harvard University . He has been the director of the Harvard Astronomy department since 2011; since 2016 he is Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Breakthrough Starshot project

(whose objective is to launch very light ships, shaped like a sail, towards the nearest stars using

a powerful laser to power them) and founder of the Harvard Black Hole Initiative

(the first interdisciplinary center in the world dedicated to the study of black holes). Since 2007

He is also director of the Institute for Theory and Computing (ITC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics .


Loeb is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , the American Physical Society , and the International Academy of Astronautics . In July 2018, he was appointed President of the Council of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies of the United States , the main forum within

of the Academies for matters related to the fields of Physics and Astronomy, in which

scientific objectives and missions are set for ten-year periods. In April 2020, Loeb was elected to the White House Council of Advisors to the President on Science and Technology (PCAST).


In December 2012, TIME magazine listed Loeb as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Space Science. In 2015, he was appointed Director of Theoretical Science for the Breakthrough Starshot project, which annually awards an eponymous award for outstanding contributions to Biology, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics. In 2018, Loeb caught the attention of the media by suggesting that an alien spacecraft could have visited our solar system, basing this claim

in the observation of unusual behavior of the interstellar object ʻOumuamua . In 2019, together with Amir Siraj, a Harvard student, published in Arxiv the a posteriori discovery of an asteroid

smaller than ʻOumuamua (0.45 m compared to 100 m), after investigating the abundance of these bodies and discovering the hyperbolic trajectory of a bolide detected and recorded in 2014

by the CNEOS (NASA-dependent center that catalogs objects near the Earth ), thus determining their origin outside the Solar System .


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