According to a recently released and subsequently deleted report by Chinese scientists, China claims its giant “Sky Eye” telescope may have picked up trace signals from a distant extraterrestrial civilization.
Astronomers from Beijing Normal University have “detected multiple instances of possible technological traces and extraterrestrial civilizations from outside Earth,” corresponding a report released on Tuesday (June 14) in Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
The signals were picked up by China’s 500-metre-aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), nicknamed the “Sky Eye”, the world’s largest radio telescope. Sky Eye used to search space for radio signals that could indicate extraterrestrial life in 2019; Reviewing this data in 2020, the researchers said they spotted two suspicious narrow-band, possibly man-made, radio signals. Then, in 2022, a focused survey of known exoplanets found another strange narrow-band radio signal, bringing the number to three.
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Since the signals are narrow-band radio waves normally used only by human aircraft and satellites, they could have been generated by extraterrestrial technology. However, the scientists say their findings are preliminary and should be viewed with caution until the analysis is complete.
“These are multiple narrow-band electromagnetic signals that are different from the past, and the team is currently working on further investigations,” Zhang Tongjie, senior scientist at the China Extraterrestrial Civilization Research Group at Beijing Normal University, told Science and Technology Daily. “The possibility that the suspected signal is some form of radio interference is also very high and needs further confirmation and exclusion. This can be a long process.”
After its release, the report quickly went viral on the Chinese social media network Weibo and was picked up by a number of other state media outlets. The reasons for the sudden deletion are unclear.
The signals aren’t the first time scientists have been baffled radio waves from space. In August 1977, a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) search conducted by Ohio State University’s Big Ear telescope picked up an incredibly powerful, minute-long electromagnetic burst that flared up at a frequency scientists suspected was being used by extraterrestrial civilizations could become. When Jerry Ehman, the scientist working with the telescope that night, spotted the signal on a data printout, he hastily scrawled “Wow!” with a red pen on the side, which gives the recognition its famous name.
Subsequent searches in the same region of space have all returned empty-handed, and later investigations have suggested that the signal may have originated from a Sun-how Star in the constellation Sagittarius, Live Science previously reported. Despite this, the source of the signal is still a mystery.
Chinese astronomers are keen to rule out radio interference, which has been known to ambush alien-hunting scientists in the recent past. In 2019, astronomers discovered a signal coming from Proxima Centauri – the closest star system to our sun (around 2/4). light years away) and home to at least one potentially habitable planet.
The signal was a narrow-band radio wave typically associated with man-made objects, leading scientists to consider the exciting possibility that it originated from extraterrestrial technology. However, new studies published two years later suggested that the signal was most likely generated by a malfunction in human technology, Live Science previously reported. Similarly, another famous set of signals, once thought to be from extraterrestrials and discovered between 2011 and 2014, turned out to be actually generated by scientists microwaving their lunch.
Tonjie added that his team plans to repeatedly monitor the strange signals in order to definitively rule out radio interference and get as much information about them as possible.
“We’re looking forward to them [FAST telescope] to be the first to discover and confirm the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations,” Tongjie told Science and Technology Daily.
The discrepancy between the size and age of the universe and the apparent lack of intelligent life forms beyond Earth — known as the Fermi paradox — has long worried scientists. The paradox takes its name from the casual midday musings of Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi, who, after pondering the riddle, is said to have famously said, “Where is everyone?”
Originally published on Live Science.
https://www.livescience.com/china-says-it-may-have-received-signals-from-aliens China says it may have received signals from aliens