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Old May 26th, 2022 #1
Ray Allan
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Default Famous 'alien' Wow! Signal may have come from a distant sun-like star

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Researchers may have pinpointed the source of a famous supposed alien broadcast discovered nearly a half century ago.

The prominent and still-mysterious Wow! Signal, which briefly blared in a radio telescope the night of Aug. 15, 1977, may have come from a sun-like star located 1,800 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.

"The Wow! Signal is considered the best SETI candidate radio signal that we have picked up with our telescopes," Alberto Caballero, an amateur astronomer, told Live Science. SETI, or the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is a field that has been listening for possible messages from otherworldly technological beings since the middle of the 20th century, according to NASA.

Appearing during a SETI search at the Ohio State University's Big Ear telescope, the Wow! Signal was incredibly strong but very brief, lasting a mere 1 minute and 12 seconds, according to a report written by its discoverer, astronomer Jerry Ehman, in honor of its 30th anniversary.

Upon seeing a printout of an anomalous signal, Ehman scribbled "Wow!" on the page, giving the event its name. The now-deconstructed Big Ear telescope looked for messages at the electromagnetic frequency band of 1420.4056 megahertz, which is produced by the element hydrogen.

"Since hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, there is a good logic in guessing that an intelligent civilization within our Milky Way galaxy desirous of attracting attention to itself might broadcast a strong narrowband beacon signal at or near the frequency of the neutral hydrogen line," Ehman wrote in his anniversary report.

. . . Knowing that the Big Ear telescope's two receivers were pointing in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius on the night of the Wow! Signal, Caballero decided to search through a catalog of stars from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite to look for possible candidates. "I found specifically one sun-like star," he said, an object designated 2MASS19281982-2640123 about 1,800 light-years away that has a temperature, diameter and luminosity almost identical to our own stellar companion. Caballero's findings appeared May 6 in the International Journal of Astrobiology.

While living organisms may exist in a wide variety of environments around stars quite dissimilar to our own, he chose to focus on sun-like stars because "we're looking for life as we know it," Given his results, he thinks it "could be a good idea to search [the star] for habitable planets, and even civilizations."
https://www.space.com/wow-signal-origin-star
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Old May 27th, 2022 #2
Nikola Bijeliti
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The signal has never been replicated, so it's probably natural in origin. Either that, or ET was butt-dialing.

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Old May 27th, 2022 #3
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Originally Posted by Nikola Bijeliti View Post
The signal has never been replicated, so it's probably natural in origin. Either that, or ET was butt-dialing.

The signal probably is natural in origin. It would still be interesting for the James Webb Space Telescope to search for planets orbiting the suspect star.
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Old May 27th, 2022 #4
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I guess the Arecibo Message was humanity "butt-dialing" since it was a one-off signal which won't reach its destination for 25,000 years.

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Old May 27th, 2022 #5
Nikola Bijeliti
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Originally Posted by Ray Allan View Post
I guess the Arecibo Message was humanity "butt-dialing" since it was a one-off signal which won't reach its destination for 25,000 years.

OTD in Space - Nov. 16: Arecibo Observatory Broadcasts Interstellar Message
Was that really a good idea? It's like shouting in the jungle. Do we really want a repeat of Camp of the Saints on an interplanetary scale?
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Old May 27th, 2022 #6
Ray Allan
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Originally Posted by Nikola Bijeliti View Post
Was that really a good idea? It's like shouting in the jungle. Do we really want a repeat of Camp of the Saints on an interplanetary scale?
Stephen Hawking and a few other scientists said doing this was probably not a good idea for this very reason.
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Old May 29th, 2022 #7
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John Michael Godier makes a case for the Wow! Signal being much closer in origin than the constellation Sagittarius.

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