The Wow! signal is considered the best candidate radio signal for the SETI project to search for extraterrestrial civilizations. Known to this day as the “mysterious Wow! signal”, it was caught by a radio telescope on the night of August 15, 1977. Researchers have expressed different ideas about the origin of this message: from intelligent beings to a passing comet. Now, perhaps, the exact source of the alleged broadcast of “aliens”, discovered almost half a century ago, has been determined.
Astronomer Alberto Caballero said that the signal could come from a sun-like star located at a distance of 1800 light-years in the constellation Sagittarius. However, do not think about the artificial origin of a distant radio message.
“The Wow! signal most likely came from some natural phenomenon, not from aliens. I found one particular sun-like star – this is an object designated as 2MASS 19281982-2640123, located about 1800 light-years away from us. Its temperature, diameter and luminosity are almost identical to our Sun,” Caballero said.
However, a tiny hope for the artificial origin of the extraterrestrial message remains. All because, according to scientists, life, as we know it, can most likely be formed in planetary systems with sun-like stars.
Discovery of the Wow signal!
The signal was picked up by the Big Ear telescope of Ohio State University, which recently joined the SETI program. The signal was incredibly strong, but very short and lasted only 1 minute and 12 seconds, according to a report written by its discoverer, astronomer Jerry Eyman.
After seeing the printout of the abnormal signal, Ehman highlighted it and even wrote the exclamation “Wow!” on the page, which became the name of this event. Now disassembled Big Ear telescope was looking for messages in the electromagnetic frequency range of 1420.4056 megahertz, which is generated by a hydrogen element.
“Since hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe, there is logic in the assumption that an intelligent civilization in our Milky Way galaxy, wishing to attract attention to itself, could transmit a strong narrowband signal at the frequency of the neutral hydrogen line or close to it,” Ehman explained.
Caballero’s findings were published in the International Journal of Astrobiology.
Recall that earlier scientists called the time of the first contact with aliens.
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