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China claims to have detected alien signals using its colossal Sky Eye telescope.
Scientists said electromagnetic signals detected by Sky Eye differed from those previously recorded, which China said may be a sign of alien civilisations.
The signals are now being further investigated by China’s team, and the findings were published on the state-backed Science and Technology Daily. However, the article has since been deleted.
According to Metro, teams in China detected two sets of ‘suspicious’ signals back in 2020.
Scientists had been analysing data collected the year before and the analysis came after the country confirmed it had kicked off a search for extraterrestrial life.
A suspicious signal captured in 2022 was also discovered when observation data of exoplanet targets was being processed.
The now-deleted state media report is said to have cited Zhang Tonjie, the chief scientist of China’s extraterrestrial civilisation search team.
Tonjie noted that suspicious signals could just be some sort of radio interference and would need to be investigated further.
Sky Eye is the world’s largest radio telescope and is located in the country’s southwestern Guizhou province.
The telescope’s construction wrapped up in 2016, and speaking at the time, Douglas Vakoch, president of METI International, an organisation that’s dedicated to detecting extraterrestrial life, said: "China's latest telescope will be able to look faster and further than past searches for extraterrestrial intelligence.”
He added: “Because of FAST's incredible sensitivity, it will be able to chart the hydrogen distribution even in far flung galaxies."
During the telescope’s construction, Wu Xiangping, the director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society, said that Sky Eye would greatly aid the search for alien life.
He explained: "Having a more sensitive telescope, we can receive weaker and more distant radio messages.
"It will help us to search for intelligent life outside the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe."
In 2016, The Guardian reported that more than 9,000 people were relocated to make way for Sky Eye and received 12,000 yuan (£1,275) in compensation from the government.
Senior communist party official Li Yuecheng said the relocations would help ‘create a sound electromagnetic wave environment’.
People located within a 5km radius of the 500 metre-diameter telescope Sky Eye telescope were moved.
The Guardian noted that ‘those forced from their homes often complain of poor compensation’.
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