NASA said on Thursday that it will launch a study with an independent group of investigators to understand more about unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), also known as UFOs.

Unidentified objects have often been spotted but there has been limited official information about them.

“NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here also,” Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a press release.

“We have access to a broad range of observations of Earth from space – and that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry. We have the tools and team who can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That’s the very definition of what science is. That’s what we do,” Zurbuchen said.

The space agency said it plans on tasking the researchers with “identifying available data, how to best collect future data and how NASA can use that data to move the scientific understanding of UAPs forward."

NASA also noted that it has coordinated with other government groups and resources to understand the best way to start researching using the tools of science.

“Given the paucity of observations, our first task is simply to gather the most robust set of data that we can. We will be identifying what data – from civilians, government, non-profits, companies – exists, what else we should try to collect, and how to best analyze it,” David Spergel, the president of the Simons Foundation and an astrophysicist, said in the press release.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Pentagon's UAP Task Force said in a report last year they do not believe the UAP are extraterrestrial, but they could not fully explain their origin.