China joins SETI in new effort to discover extraterrestrial life

China 24

The search for answers as to whether we are alone in the universe just got a big boost from China. With the FAST radio telescope in Guizhou, China is joining forces with U.S. researchers to comb the stars and the planets.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

China joins SETI in new effort to discover extraterrestrial life

China joins SETI in new effort to discover extraterrestrial life

The search for answers as to whether we are alone in the universe just got a big boost from China. The FAST radio telescope in Guizhou, China is joining forces with U.S. researchers to comb the stars and the planets.CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

At the University of California, Berkeley, hunting for aliens is a full-time job for the group known as SETI – the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

In 2015, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner launched the so-called Breakthrough Listen program with a $100 million donation and a touch of a button.

Breakthrough Listen uses telescopes from Northern California, Australia and West Virginia to search the universe for radio and laser signals which are potential indicators of technology from advanced civilizations.

Now researchers here are thrilled that they’ve signed an agreement with the National Astronomical Observatory of China to use southern China’s new FAST radio telescope.

“It’s the largest single dish radio telescope on the entire planet. It’s able to detect weaker signals than any other telescope. And we’re very excited to use that telescope when it eventually comes on line for searches for extra-terrestrial intelligence,” Andrew Siemion, director of University of California, Berkeley’s SETI Research Center, said.

One target of interest is Tabby’s Star.

NASA’s Kepler space telescope recently found that the star displayed dips in brightness, in one case by more than 20 percent.

If a sign from E.T. was ever to be found, a million dollar competition called “Breakthrough Message” will be launched immediately following the discovery.

A reward will go to whoever develops the best digital message for humanity to send to an alien intelligence.

“The presence of intelligent life in the universe is the most interesting property of the universe. It is the most profound question we can ask as human beings or scientists. As if as a civilization we have the capacity to try and answer that question. We ought to do it,” said Siemion