Last Wednesday (the 15th) Digital appearance reported that Chinese scientists believe that the giant ‘Eye of Heaven’ telescope may have detected signs of extraterrestrial beings. However, not everyone involved in the study agrees with this conclusion. One of the co-authors has a different explanation for what was captured – and it has nothing to do with extraterrestrial contact.
Let us first remember the story. According to the Science and Technology Gazette, the official journal of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the researchers found “several cases of technological properties and possible civilizations outside of Earth.”
Located in Guizhou, a mountainous province in the southwest of the country, the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), as it is formally known, is the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world, besides being the only giant flat telescope across of the planet.
The equipment, which is capable of detecting weak radio waves from pulsars and material in distant galaxies, cost $ 171 million (approximately 872 million reais, at current prices) and has been working since 2020 to search for traces of extraterrestrial life.
So far, researchers from Peking Normal University (BNU) in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, USA, have identified two sets of signals that were captured in 2019 and processed in 2020, in addition to an unusual catch this year.
Known as “China’s greatest alien hunter,” Zhang Tongjie, lead researcher for the Research Team on Extraterrestrial Civilization (SETI) at the BNU Department of Astronomy, said this time FAST has identified “several different narrowband electromagnetic signals from the past.”
“The possibility that the suspicious signal is a form of radio interference is also very high and should be confirmed or ruled out,” Tongjie said. “It can be a long process. »
For Dan Werthimer, a SETI researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, there is no doubt that the origin of the signals captured by the Eye of Heaven is radio frequency interference (RFI) on Earth itself.
“The signals we have found so far are all radio frequency interference, not aliens, terrestrial,” Werthimer said in an interview with Futurism, explaining that the previously reported conclusion is that of the pre-print version of the article, not that of The article. the comrades. investigated. , which is part of the first phases of a more comprehensive study, which he says will take at least another five years.
“RFI is a big problem when you look at these very weak signals. The problem is that when you look for these very weak signals from a distant civilization, you are overwhelmed by radio pollution on Earth, ”Werthimer said. “All of these televisions, cell phones, and satellites are making the situation worse, and it’s hard to understand what interference is and what could be from a distant civilization.”
Despite the somewhat “disappointing” conclusion, the astronomer is not skeptical of the possibility of intelligent life beyond Earth, and remains hopeful that we are not alone in the cosmos.
“I’m really optimistic about life in the universe,” he said. ‘It would be strange if we were the only ones. There are one trillion planets in the Milky Way galaxy, including small rocky Earth-like planets with liquid water. And this is our galaxy, ”he added. “There are 100 billion other galaxies, so I’m optimistic about intelligence.”
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