Scientist Stephen Hawking is among the leading space experts today using top-of-the-range technology to scan a vast cigar-shaped object for signs of alien life.
Thought to be an interstellar asteroid the object is about a quarter of a mile long, 260ft wide and hurtling through our solar system at 196,000mph.
The team, lead by Hawking, is using high tech scanners to investigate the object dubbed “Oumuamua”.
The team, named Breakthrough Listen are using the world’s largest manoeuvrable radio telescope at Green Bank, West Virginia, to track the celestial object for ten hours.
The boffins are listening for electromagnetic signals which cannot be produced in nature.
If found that would be the biggest indication ever that extraterrestrial intelligence could be involved.
Hawking and his colleagues at Breakthrough Listen said: “Researchers working on long-distance space transportation have previously suggested that a cigar or needle shape is the most likely architecture for an interstellar spacecraft, since this would minimise friction and damage from interstellar gas and dust.”
Other anomalies from normal asteroids are its long slender shape and flight path.
Experts currently say that it is made of something dense, most likely rock but possibly metal.