TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Friday its selection of 16 individuals who will participate in an independent study on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), commonly referred to as UFOs.

While the government space agency says these strange observations that don’t match up to known aircraft or natural phenomena are categorized as UAPs, there’s no evidence to support the idea they are extraterrestrial in origin.

NASA says the nine-month-long independent study, which begins on Monday, Oct. 24, will “lay the groundwork for future study on the nature of UAPs for NASA and other organizations.”

In their study, the team will look at a collection of public data gathered by civilian government entities, commercial data, and data from other sources that can be analyzed to shed light on the unusual nature of UAPs.

In its conclusion, the team will recommend a roadmap for potential UAP data analysis by the agency moving forward. That report containing the team’s findings will be released to the public in mid-2023, NASA said.

“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Understanding the data we have surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies. Data is the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable, explainable.”

NASA said UAPs are of interest for both national security and air safety.

“NASA has brought together some of the world’s leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence practitioners, aerospace safety experts, all with a specific charge, which is to tell us how to apply the full focus of science and data to UAP,” Evans said. “The findings will be released to the public in conjunction with NASA’s principles of transparency, openness, and scientific integrity.”

The NASA official responsible for orchestrating the study is Daniel Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The independent study team will be chaired by David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation.

A list of the members of NASA’s independent study team on unidentified aerial phenomena can be found by clicking here.