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Has the mystery of the ‘alien Wow! signal’ been solved?
- Updated: April 20, 2016
IT’S the space noise that gave birth to an entire generation of alien hunters almost four decades ago and has baffled scientists ever since.
An hour before midnight on August 15, 1977, an astronomer working on the SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of Ohio State University heard a strong signal coming from the constellation Sagittarius.
The signal sequence was spotted by Jerry Ehman and was dubbed the “Wow!” signal after he scribbled the word out – but has never been detected since.
Professor Antonio Paris believes that the signal ISN’T made by aliens – but was instead created by two comets passing Earth.
Now Professor Paris has raised $20,000 via GoFundMe to test the hypothesis, by directing a radio telescope towards comets next year.
Professor Paris says, ‘I have always been fascinated with astronomy, space and – more importantly – whether there is life in the universe.
‘After 40 years, the Wow signal was a cold case I wanted to reopen. Here we have a crime scene with a date and time, and a little description of the subject.’
‘There’s a little bit of inside of me that hopes its aliens.’
The GoFundMe page says, ‘Comet 266P/Christensen will transit the neighborhood of the “Wow” signal again on January 25, 2017. And, on January 07, 2018 comet P/2008 Y2 (Gibbs) will also transit the neighborhood of the “Wow” signal.
‘With your assistance, The Center for Planetary Science will have an opportunity to direct a radio telescope toward this phenomenon, analyze the hydrogen spectra of these two comets, and test our hypothesis.’