Image credit: NAO/FAST

Dan Werthimer and a co-author on the research project which first spotted the signals told Live Science that the narrow-band radio signals that he and his fellow researchers observed “are from radio interference, and not from extraterrestrials.”

Natural sources generally do not produce narrow-band radio signals. Scientists observed three of these signals, apparently from space, in 2019 and 2022 utilizing the world’s largest radio telescope, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), nicknamed “Sky Eye,” while performing a preliminary scan of exoplanets.

The news of the signals’ feasible alien origins appeared in a report published on Tuesday, June 14th, in the authorized newspaper of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, which comprised claims that were made by the researchers that the team had found “several cases of possible technological traces and extraterrestrial civilizations from outside the Earth.”

The claims rapidly went viral. However, Werthimer explains that, while the signals are artificial, they’re almost certainly from humans, not aliens.

“The big problem, and the problem in this particular case, is that we’re looking for signals from extraterrestrials, but what we find is a zillion signals from terrestrials,” Werthimer told Live Science. “They’re very weak signals, but the cryogenic receivers on the telescopes are super sensitive and can pick up signals from cell phones, television, radar and satellites — and there are more and more satellites in the sky every day. If you’re kind of new in the game, and you don’t know all these different ways that interference can get into your data and corrupt it, it’s pretty easy to get excited.”

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.

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