The Internet is abuzz with the reported news that Chinese scientists have detected possible technological signals of extraterrestrials using the largest radio telescope in the world, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope, otherwise known as FAST.
Chinese media outlets, including state news outlet Global Times, Yicai Global, and Science and Technology Daily, have reported the announcement the China Extraterrestrial Civilization Research Group of Beijing Normal University has detected signals that they believed to be artificial in origin.
The signals are claimed to have first been observed in 2019 but only came to light when the data was processed in 2020. This was followed by another signal from a targeted exoplanet this year. However, the data has not been made public.
FAST, or "Sky Eye", is the world's most sensitive radio telescope and is designed to look deep into the universe. It has equipment designed to look for extraterrestrial signals, and began the official search in 2020. The main function is to screen out useful narrow-band candidate signals from the huge amount of electromagnetic signals of the telescope, excluding both celestial and human-made signals.
While some already have jumped on the alien bandwagon, the researchers themselves are the first to tone it down. There is a high chance that what they are seeing was interference from Earthly-bound radio waves.
“The suspicious signal may also be some kind of radio interference, which needs to be further confirmed or ruled out. This may be a long process,” Professor Zhang Tongjie, chief scientist at the Extraterrestrial Civilization Research Group told Yicai Global.
"'China Sky Eye' will repeat the observation of suspicious signals that have been discovered to further identify and detect new signals," Prof. Zhang said, reports Science and Technology Daily.
"We look forward to 'China Sky Eye' being the first to discover and confirm the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations."
However, the data will need to be further analyzed because, as always, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.