Have Chinese Astronomers Uncovered the Technosignatures of a Distant Alien Civilization? Unfortunately forthe answer is no, but numerous reports over the past 72 hours suggest that an anomalous radio signal from space could point to extraterrestrial technology.
As a science journalist who feels like researching all the time false claims (and is something of a party killer) let me explain in detail how we got here.
It all starts with a headline: “China says it may have detected signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.”
On June 14, Bloomberg perceptive picked up on a report by the Science and Technology Daily website, a state-backed Chinese media company. According to Bloomberg, the Chinese report quoted “Zhang Tonjie,” chief scientist of an extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University. It referred to unusual signals picked up by the “Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope,” or FAST, a giant circular dish cut into a Chinese mountaintop.
The judgment is very real and very powerful. It can focus on regions of the sky and “listen” for radio signals and is one of the most sensitive on Earth to specific electromagnetic frequencies. In fact, just last week Chinese researchers announced the use of the telescope, a short signal of a signal from space. This research is unrelated to the Science and Technology Daily report.
Bloomberg and many Miscellaneous publicationsNote that the original Chinese report has since been deleted, but the reasons for the deletion are unknown. This, of course, adds to the intrigue for some – the idea of governments covering up aliens is a fairly well-established conspiracy (think back to Area 51).
But to me, the deletion is a big red flag, suggesting that the original report should not have been released without a much more rigorous level of scrutiny and went much deeper into the original report.
One of the real problems when the media jumps straight at aliens every time we hear about scientists discovering an anomalous signal is that it undermines trust in science and scientific institutions. Such appears to be the case with Science and Technology Daily, where intriguing, unusual signals have been interpreted as possibly extraterrestrial – even before data was made available in peer-reviewed journals. This then got out of control internationally.
Critically, it can also harm the scientists at the center of the research. Other astronomers have told CNET that a scientific study related to the results is currently being peer-reviewed. If the “findings” leak out so early, it may jeopardize that those findings ever get into a journal, but it also prevents the proper process of checks and balances from taking place. Ie. Perhaps other researchers looking at the data would immediately see it as something other than extraterrestrial or unusual — and we wouldn’t end up here at all.
There is also another issue: who is the Zhang Tonjie referred to in the play, and is this just a different spelling or translation than Zhang Tong-Jie, a man being dubbed? “China’s Best Alien Hunter”? Zhang Tong-Jie is associated with FAST’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and is based at Beijing Normal University. according to the International Astronomical Union.
CNET reached out to this Zhang Tong-Jie to try and clarify the situation.
“These signals come from radio interference,” he told CNET via email. “All the signals discovered by SETI researchers so far are from our own civilization, not from another.”
Radio frequency interference, or RFI, can come from cell phones, TV stations, radar, satellites and even the device you’re reading this article on, although these are fairly weak signals, he added.
As our instruments for hearing and seeing the universe improve, we become a little more likely to encounter extraterrestrial civilizations. However, all of this new data poses a bit of a conundrum for scientists, as it will inevitably produce signals we have never seen before. Jonti Horner, an astrophysicist at the University of Southern Queensland, compares it to the videos you see when people hear something for the first time. When they put on the hearing aid, all sorts of new information comes in. Over time, they can filter them more effectively.
While it can be said that these unusual new signals are real… there is still much we don’t know about the cosmos. “You’re likely to find new astronomical and astrophysical phenomena that you never thought of,” says Horner.
Astronomers have been searching among the stars for extraterrestrial technosignatures for the past several years. Earlier this year, a team of researchers using Australia’s Murchison Widefield Array pointed this telescope at the galactic center, their search encompassed billions of stars – but they came up empty. Not.
December 2020, Zhang said Sixth Tone He believed that “China will probably find aliens first” because FAST can see things other telescopes can’t. So far, however, we’ve been found wanting.
No, China Has Not Detected Radio Signals From Alien Civilizations Source link No, China Has Not Detected Radio Signals From Alien Civilizations