If one goes by a recently posted and subsequently deleted report by Chinese scientists, the country's huge "Sky Eye" telescope might have picked up trace signals from an alien civilization.

Live Science reported that according to a piece published Tuesday in Science and Technology Daily, astronomers at Beijing Normal University have found "several cases of possible technological traces and extraterrestrial civilizations from outside the Earth." This year, a targeted survey of known exoplanets found another mysterious narrow-band radio signal.

Zhang Tongjie, head scientist at the China Extraterrestrial Civilization Research Group at Beijing Normal University, said that these are "several narrow-band electromagnetic signals different from the past." He shared that the team is currently "working on further investigation." He noted that the possibility that the suspicious signal is "some kind of radio interference is also very high." He said that it needs to be further confirmed and ruled out, but this may be a "long process."

Global Times also tweeted also that the research team from Beijing Normal University said that China's 500-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) had found "several possible technical traces and suspected signals of extraterrestrial civilizations."

Dan Werthimer, the Marilyn and Watson Alberts SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) Chair in the Astronomy Department and Space Sciences Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, gave some perspective about the FAST rumors, reported space.com. Werthimer, who works with the Beijing Normal University SETI researchers, threw cold water on the possibility that the FAST signals were produced by aliens. He said that these signals are from radio interference.

They are due to "radio pollution from Earthlings, not from extraterrestrials." He shared that the technical term they use is "RFI — radio frequency interference." It can come from mobile phones, TV transmitters, radar, satellites, as well as "electronics and computers near the observatory that produce weak radio transmissions," Werthimer explained. He added that the signals detected by SETI researchers so far are made by human civilization, "not another civilization."

This is not the first time that scientists have been baffled by radio waves from deep space as in August 1977, a SETI search performed by the Ohio State University's Big Ear telescope picked up a strong, minute-long, electromagnetic burst. It flared at a frequency that scientists suspected could be used by alien civilizations. On spotting the signal on a data printout, the scientist, Jerry Ehman, who was working with the telescope that night hastily scribbled "Wow!" on the page. It gave the detection its famous name.

Representation Image Humanoid alien figure Pawel86 / Pixabay

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