Tag: Li Di

Thoughts of China’s Astronomers on Advanced Extraterrestrial Life

Listen to “E212 Thoughts of China’s Astronomers on Advanced Extraterrestrial Life” on Spreaker.

December 22, 2019                         (dailygalaxy.com)

• With China poised to lead the world in Artificial Intelligence and supercomputers, astronomers are wondering if China will also be the first nation to discover extraterrestrial life. Here is what some Chinese scientists and science fiction writers say:

• Mao Shude of the National Astronomical Observatories of China and a professor of astrophysics at the Jodrell Bank Observatory said, “Who knows what they are and how they think? … we only have one sample (of intelligent life) from Earth.” “If we could find more [examples of intelligent life] in the universe, we could look at the puzzle more comprehensively and solve it more easily.” Mao continued, “I’d like to know how life spreads in the universe. Is it distributed uniformly in space or clustered?”

• “[O]ur radios and televisions [are] broadcasting in space all the time,” says Mao. “Aren’t you curious what our counterparts would look like?” “If they are much more intelligent than us, they wouldn’t be so narrow-minded as to compete with us. … [T]hey likely have the power to transform the entire globe already. What’s the point of eliminating a much lower civilization (as ours)?”

• Science fiction writer and winner of sci-fi’s Hugo Award, Liu Cixin observed: “Perhaps in ten thousand years, the starry sky that humankind gazes upon will remain empty and silent. But perhaps tomorrow we’ll wake up and find an alien spaceship the size of the Moon parked in orbit.” In his book, The Three Body Problem, Liu depicts the universe as a jungle, and every civilization a hidden hunter. Those who are exposed will be eliminated.

• Another Chinese science fiction writer, Han Song, believes humans naturally want to connect, citing the Internet as proof. “I think aliens might think similarly,” says Han. “It is a biological instinct to connect with each other. Everyone wants to prove that they are not alone in the universe. Loneliness is intolerable to humans.” “Humans will ultimately go to space to find resources and expand their living area, so it will be hard to avoid aliens. Contact with them, especially those with more advanced intelligence, may help us leap forward in civilization.”

• Perhaps China’s new FAST Radio Telescope, aka: ‘Eye of Heaven’, the world’s largest single-dish radio observatory, will provide an answer using radio waves to locate exoplanets that may harbor extraterrestrial life. Twice the size of the next-largest single-dish telescope, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the FAST Radio Telescope can detect extremely faint radio-wave whispers from an array of sources across the universe. The Chinese government is expected to give the observatory the final green light to begin full operations in January.

• But sci fi writer Liu Cixin points out that our current searches assume that aliens communicate in radio waves. “But if it’s a truly advanced civilization, it is possible [they will] use other more advanced forms of communication, such as gravitational waves.” FAST’s chief scientist, Li Di, responds, “We [will] look for not only television signals, but also atomic bomb signals. We’ll give full play to our imaginations when processing the signals.” “It’s a complete exploration, as we don’t know what an alien is like.”

• Jin Hairong, deputy curator of Beijing Planetarium, says, “It is highly possible that life on other planets is entirely different from that on Earth, and it might not be carbon-based.”

• “We can receive weaker and more distant radio messages,” said Wu Xiangping, director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society, “[This] will help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe,” underscoring China’s race to be the first nation to discover the existence of an advanced alien civilization.

• However it turns out, Professor Mao believes the result will be significant. “If we find other life, it will undoubtedly be the most important scientific discovery in our history.” “[I]f not, it shows that life on Earth is unique and we should respect life and cherish each other.”

 

With China poised to lead the world in AI and supercomputers, astronomers are wondering if it will also be the first advanced nation to discover extraterrestrial life? Perhaps the world’s largest single-dish radio observatory, China’s new FAST Radio Telescope –Tiyan, the “Eye of Heaven”– will

                     Liu Cixin

provide an answer as it prepares to explore a frontier in radioastronomy — using radio waves to locate exoplanets, which may harbor extraterrestrial life.

             Mao Shude

During a visit to the remote facility, Liu Cixin, China’s acclaimed science fiction writer and winner of the Hugo Award for his novel “The Three Body Problem”, observed: “Perhaps in ten thousand years, the starry sky that humankind gazes upon will remain empty and silent. But perhaps tomorrow we’ll wake up and find an alien spaceship the size of the Moon parked in orbit.”

Whispers from the Cosmos

The Chinese observatory’s massive dish will collect radio waves from an area twice the size of the next-largest single-dish telescope, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico means that it can detect extremely faint radio-wave whispers from an array of sources across the universe, reports Elizabeth Gibney in Nature, helping in the hunt for gravitational waves and probe still-mysterious fleeting blasts of radiation known as fast radio bursts. The Chinese government is expected to give the state-of-the-art observatory the final green light to begin full operations at a review meeting scheduled for next month.

Concluding his tour of the gargantuan FAST facility nestled in the remote mountain fastness of Dawodang depression in the Guizhou province of southwest China, Liu Cixin pointed out our current searches assumes that aliens also communicate in radio waves. “But if it’s a truly advanced civilization, it is possible to use other more advanced forms of communication, such as gravitational waves.”

                              Han Song

With no clues of extraterrestrial life questions are constantly asked as whether the search methods are appropriate. “Some strange signals have been found, but it’s hard to confirm their origins, because these signals do not repeat,” says Li Di, FAST’s chief scientist. “We look for not only television signals, but also atomic bomb signals. We’ll give full play to our imaginations when processing the signals,” Li says. “It’s a complete exploration, as we don’t know what an alien is like.”

“We can receive weaker and more distant radio messages,” said Wu Xiangping, director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society, “It will help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe,” he added underscoring the China’s race to be the first nation to discover the existence of an advanced alien civilization.

The dish will have a perimeter of about 1.6 kilometers, and there are no towns within five kilometers, giving it ideal surroundings to listen for signals from space. Scientists have depicted it as a super-sensitive “ear” capable of spotting very weak messages – if there are any – from “cousins” of human beings.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

China Unveils More Plans For Its Enormous, Alien-Hunting Radio Telescope

Listen to “E40 7-24-19 China Unveils More Plans For Its Enormous, Alien-Hunting Radio Telescope” on Spreaker.

Article by Hannah Osbourne                    July 11, 2019                    (newsweek.com)

• China’s 1,600 feet wide Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (or ‘FAST’, pictured above) is the world’s biggest radio telescope. A primary mission of FAST is to listen for pulsars and other interstellar radio signals—including any coming from hypothetical extraterrestrials.

• Many scientists looking for potentially habitable planets focus on its rocky composition, distance from its star so liquid water can exist, and the existence of an atmosphere. These are the requirements for life on Earth to exist—so it may also be true of other planets as well. But the Chinese space agency will instead focus on magnetic fields.

• The Chinese Academy of Sciences reported in the journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics its plan to look for habitable exoplanets within 100 light years from Earth by their magnetic fields. FAST chief scientist Li Di said if they can confirm the presence of a magnetic field around an exoplanet, they would be able to study it to find out whether it was habitable or not. “It would be a very important discovery,” Li Di said.

• In searching for magnetic fields around exoplanets, the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere should generate radio radiation. Says Li Di, “All the planets with magnetic fields in our solar system can be found generating such radiation, which can be measured and studied by radio telescopes.” Magnetic fields cannot be detected by traditional optical and infrared astronomical observation.

• The Earth’s magnetic field protects our planet from solar wind – a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun that would otherwise strip away our atmosphere. The FAST team believes it is reasonable to think the same may be true for distant worlds.

• Li Di notes that if the Earth stopped rotating, its magnetic field would disappear. In such a case, “…the Earth’s atmosphere would be blown off by the solar wind. As a result, humans and most living things would be exposed to the harsh cosmic environment… unable to survive.”

 

China has unveiled its latest plans for the world’s biggest radio telescope—to look for habitable planets beyond our solar system by finding out if they have a magnetic field.

Published in the journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, the team behind the five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) has announced its ambitions for the next decade—including the hunt for exoplanets.
FAST, as the name suggests, is a 1,600 feet wide telescope. It sits in the Dawodang depression of the Guizhou Province and it achieved its first light in September 2016.

One of the main scientific missions of FAST is to listen out for pulsars and other interstellar radio signals—including any coming from hypothetical extraterrestrials. “In theory, if there is civilization in outer space, the radio signal it sends will be similar to the signal we can receive when a pulsar (spinning neutron star) is approaching us,” Qian Lei, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told CCTV in 2016.

Many scientists looking for potentially habitable planets are focused on its composition (rocky), distance from its star (so liquid water can exist) and its atmosphere (that it has one). These are the requirements for life on Earth to exist—so may also be true of other planets.

But in their latest publication, FAST researchers from China and France said they are planning to look for exoplanets within 100 light years from Earth with magnetic fields.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Copyright © 2019 Exopolitics Institute News Service. All Rights Reserved.