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What is the secret of the famous "WOW!" signal

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What is the secret of the famous "WOW!" signal

On August 15, 1977, a radio telescope located at Ohio State University recorded something strange. He was scanning for possible signals from extraterrestrial civilizations as part of the SETI project and that day found an incredibly strong signal coming from the constellation Sagittarius. It lasted about a minute and has not been recorded since.

WOW signal 1977

The signal was so strong that astronomer Jerry Eman, who first noticed it, circled it with a red pen and wrote "Wow!" in the margin. So the signal got its name, and since then it has received legendary status and has also become one of the most frequently mentioned arguments in favor of the existence of alien civilizations.

But what was the source of the WOW! signal? No, not aliens.

Antonio Paris studied the signal for many years, and in 2016 published an article with his colleague Evan Davis, where he suggested that the signal could be caused by a comet flying through the solar system. There are two candidates - either 266P / Christensen or P / 2008 Y2 (Gibbs), which were in the required zone at the time the signal was detected.

Both comets have large hydrogen clouds surrounding them, which can produce a signal like the one caught in 1977. Paris spent four months in late 2016 and early 2017 studying comet 266P with the telescope, and found strong signals resembling the " WOW!".

Paris also investigated several similar comets and found hydrogen clouds and signals of the same type, so even if comet 266P was not in that sector, the source of "WOW!" could be another similar celestial body.

Related tags:

WOW signal  SETI  1977

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