According to a report by the state-backed Science and Technology Daily, China’s gigantic Sky Eye observatory may have picked up signals of alien civilizations. The news and posts about the discovery subsequently appeared to be erased.
The narrow-band electromagnetic signals detected by Sky Eye, the world’s largest radio telescope, are different from previous ones captured, according to the report, which cited Zhang Tonjie, chief scientist of an extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ National Astronomical Observatory, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Though the news had already started trending on social network Weibo and was picked up by other media outlets, including state-run outlets, it is unclear why the report was apparently removed from the website of the Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China’s science and technology ministry.
Sky Eye, which has a diameter of 500 meters (1,640 feet) and is located in China’s southwestern Guizhou region, formally commenced a search for extraterrestrial life in September 2020. According to the paper, the team discovered two sets of suspicious signals in 2020 while processing data collected in 2019, and another suspicious signal in 2022 from observation data of exoplanet targets.
According to Zhang, China’s Sky Eye is particularly sensitive in the low-frequency radio band and plays a crucial role in the search for alien civilizations.
However, the odd signals could possibly be radio interference, requiring additional research, he warned.