China’s FAST starts search for extraterrestrial intelligence
Global Times


Photo taken on Sept. 11, 2018 shows China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in southwest China's Guizhou Province. FAST has discovered 44 new pulsars so far. (Photo: Xinhua)

The 500-meter-diameter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), China's mega-science project and the world's largest single-dish radio observatory, has embarked on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), the Science and Technology Daily reported on Tuesday. 

After it became fully operational in January, some analysts believed that FAST would become the major force in searching for and researching into extraterrestrial intelligence, especially with more and more discoveries of exoplanets and revolutionary progress made in instrumentation and observational capabilities.

In a recent study, the team of FAST said the FAST has the potential to detect Earth-like civilizations on thousands of exoplanets, addressing the possibility of the presence of technological civilizations beyond our planet. They said FAST also has the potential to detect whether the neighboring Andromeda galaxy "m31-andromeda" has more advanced technology and civilizations.

Li Di, chief scientist of FAST and research fellow with the National Astronomical Observation of China, told Science and Technology Daily that it is the first SETI search report of FAST, which lays a solid foundation for launching further searches in the future. 

The study was reportedly published in The Astrophysical Journal (Apj) and Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (RAA).