One of the researchers on the project said that the signal was almost certainly due to human factors.
The newspaper of China's Ministry of Science and Technology, Science and Technology Daily said this week that it had detected "possible technological traces of extraterrestrial civilization." According to Dan Werthimer of the University of California, Berkeley, the signals are not from aliens.
A ground-based telescope called FAST picks up radio signals from different points in the sky. It is used for research into SETI, which is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, by looking for technosignatures, which are signals that would come from a distant civilization.
It's difficult to find evidence of technosignatures when the data is so sensitive. Danny Price, who was not involved in the FAST research, explained in The Conversation that FAST is prone to detecting radio interference because it is so sensitive. He warned the public not to get too excited when they hear about alien civilization signals.
The signal detected by FAST was unusual because it was in a narrow band. One of the Chinese researchers warned in Science and Technology Daily that the signal they detected was very high.
It is difficult to avoid all the radio signals given off on Earth. Werthimer said that they were looking for signals from extraterrestrials, but what they found was a lot of signals from the ground. It is possible to pick up signals from cell phones, television, radar, and satellites with the help of the telescopes.
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