"I really hope that one day I will establish contact with aliens, and I hope that this day will really come sooner rather than later." In the live broadcast of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' 2022 New Year's Eve speech, Academician Wu Xiangping said he believed aliens existed because Australian scientists received a signal on Proxima Centauri two months ago, which was ruled out by human interference.
"The signals received by FAST (China's Large Radio Telescope) are also likely to be signals of extraterrestrial civilizations, but we don't have time to identify them yet." Peng Bo, director of the FAST Key Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and researcher at the National Astronomical Observatories, also said.
To search for signals from alien civilizations, radio telescopes are very important tools, which can take images of the universe billions or even tens of billions of years ago, help humans understand the origin of the universe, detect gravitational waves, and so on. In December 2020, after the complete collapse of the Arecibo Radio Telescope in the United States, the "China Sky Eye" FAST in Pingtang County, Qiannan Province, Guizhou Province, has become the world's largest single-antenna radio telescope.
A few days ago, as a witness who has lasted for more than 20 years, Peng Bo published the book "Sky Eye Project: Fast Dream Pursuit of large radio telescopes", which recorded the birth process of "China's Sky Eye".
For thousands of years, humans have observed the universe mainly through the visible light band, and in fact, radiation from cosmic celestial bodies has covered the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Among them, the discovery of radio waves, which is only 90 years old, is an important way for humans to "listen" to the universe. In 1932, Carl Jansky of Bell Labs in the United States accidentally discovered radio radiation from the center of the Milky Way, marking the birth of radio astronomy.
Peng Bo said that by looking at two photos of the M81 galaxy group located in the direction of Ursa Major, 12 million light-years from Earth, the advantages of radio telescopes can be clearly found. In the photos taken by the optical telescope, these galaxy groups are three isolated galaxies, while the photos taken by the radio telescope show that there is a relationship between the three, "that is, the radio observation can 'see' the faint connections between the optically invisible galaxies, providing a 'holographic photo' of the cosmic celestial body." ”
Although radio telescopes only passively receive signals and do not emit radio signals, exploring extraterrestrial civilizations has always been one of its missions. The scientific community also has differences on whether to do extraterrestrial civilization exploration, and the core of the disagreement focuses on whether to actively launch radios from outer space.
In the book "Exploration of Extraterrestrial Civilizations: From Science to Fantasy", co-written by historians of science Mu Yunqiu and Jiang Xiaoyuan, it is mentioned that on November 16, 1974, after the first interstellar radio information was sent to the M13 globular cluster through the Arecibo radio telescope, Martin Ryle, the Nobel Laureate and radio astronomer of the year, issued a statement of opposition, warning that "any creature in outer space may be full of malice and hungry". It also called for an international ban on any attempt to connect with and transmit signals to extraterrestrial life on Earth.
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Original link: Blue Whale TMT Responsible Editor: Snowflake