Has China discovered signs of alien civilizations? According to the country’s state-backed Science and Technology Daily, the detection of new possible artificial signals suggests this could be the case. But then it might also just be radio interference.
As per Bloomberg, the report, all traces of which appear to have now been deleted, revealed that narrow-band electromagnetic signals were detected by the five-hundred-meter-diameter (1,600 feet) Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), nicknamed Sky Eye—the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. Exactly why the original report was removed isn’t clear.
FAST, which is extremely sensitive to low-frequency radio waves, joined the Breakthrough Listen SETI project in October 2016 to search for intelligent extraterrestrial communications in the Universe. It has been looking for alien life since becoming fully operational in 2020, having been fitted out with back-end equipment designed for the task a couple of years earlier, writes Yicai Global.
The new signals differ from ones captured previously, and the team is investigating them, said Zhang Tonjie, chief scientist of the extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University, the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Zhang said that two sets of suspicious data were found in 2020 while processing data collected in 2019, and another in 2022 from observation data of exoplanet targets.
Before we start getting ready to welcome our new alien overlords, Zhang gave a very important caveat: “The suspicious signal may also be some kind of radio interference, which needs to be further confirmed or ruled out,” he said. “This may be a long process.”
Zhang previously said he doesn’t subscribe to the theory that we should be wary of looking for alien life that may want to take Earth’s resources. “Imagine if you are sailing a boat on a stormy dark sea and see a weak light from another sailing boat in the distance. Will you take out your gun to shoot him, or find him so you can help and depend on each other?” he said. “We may not be able to survive on Earth one day. We’ll need the help of alien civilizations.”