Sherlock Science: Did China’s Sky Eye Telescope Really Detect Signals from an Alien Civilization? | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

Science fiction films like Oblivion and Lightyear, inspired by the legendary Toy Story Buzz character, have always given us space for our imagination. Still, most people are completely certain that alien civilizations are just a work of fiction. Scientists, however, refuse to completely rule out the possibility of their existence.

Since time immemorial, even the slightest hint, such as radio signals, has encouraged space agencies to conduct research on extraterrestrial life. Now, as the US space agency NASA prepares to conduct a nine-month study on UFOs, China has claimed to be ahead of the curve.

The East Asian country claimed that its giant “Sky Eye” telescope probably picked up trace signals from a distant alien civilization! But to the dismay of alien investigators and Area 51 fanatics, this news could just be a hoax.

To better understand this problem, The Weather Channel’s Science Sherlock investigates!

China’s “encounters” with multiple strange signals

In addition to observing pulsars, stars and other natural space phenomena, China’s Sky Eye, the largest telescope in the world, also searches for radio signals in deep space that could indicate extraterrestrial life.

While processing the data in 2020, Sky Eye researchers said they spotted two suspicious narrowband and potentially man-made radio signals. Later, in 2022, a targeted investigation of known exoplanets found another strange similar signal, bringing the count to three.

On June 14, a report supported by Science and Technology Daily, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, referred to unusual signals detected by the “five-hundred-meter spherical radio telescope” (FAST).

“The possibility that the suspicious signal is some kind of radio interference is also very high and needs to be further confirmed and ruled out. This could be a lengthy process,” Zhang Tongjie, chief scientist of the China Extraterrestrial Civilization Research Group at Beijing Normal University, said. told Science and Technology Daily.

What’s mysterious is that, despite the news having spread like wildfire across the internet, the original report now ceases to exist on the internet, the reasons for which are unknown.

A source closer to home?

Contradicting China’s assumptions, astronomers around the world have argued that the radio frequency interference detected by Chinese researchers may have originated right here on Earth. They could come from cell phones, computers, satellites, or other electronic devices near the observatory, as all of these gadgets are known to produce weak radio transmissions.

An astrophysicist at Seoul National University in South Korea, who is not involved with FAST, also disputed the claim before the researchers’ final analysis. He also tweeted his skepticism about the possible discovery of the alien signal.

In the past, there have already been several cases where researchers have misinterpreted the nature and source of radio signals.

An electromagnetic explosion previously suspected in August 1977 later realized that it came from a Sun-like star located in the constellation Sagittarius. Similarly, in 2011 and 2014, what researchers initially thought were signals from aliens turned out to be radiation produced as scientists heated their lunches in the microwave!

China’s plans to ascertain the signals

Although the report no longer exists online, it doesn’t mean that Chinese scientists have given up hopes of extraterrestrial life.

In fact, the Science and Technology Daily press release specifically mentioned that Tonjie and her team plan to repeat the search for the strange signals to completely rule out the possibility of radio interference and delve deeper into the mystery.

Do you have more questions on fascinating topics in science? Feel free to bring them to Science Sherlock’s notice via The Weather Channel India’s Twitter and Instagram handles!

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