TECH

Mysterious 39-Year-Old Alien 'Wow' Signal Could Finally Be Solved

It lasted for 72 seconds.

15/04/2016 10:08

A mysterious "alien" signal, dubbed Wow, could finally be explained by a scientist investigating the source. 

In 1977 astronomer Jerry Ehman detected radio waves signals that lasted for all of 72 seconds. 

Big Ear Radio Observatory and North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO).

At the time Ehman's find became the focus of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program.

Now a crowdfunded experiment could solve this mystery and professor Antonio Paris is leading the charge.

The former analyst for the US Department of Defence studied the signal and found that two comets could be responsible. 

Both comets, 266P/Christensen and 335P/Gibbs, were close to the group of stars that the telescope was observing at the time 'Wow' was detected.

According to Paris, the comets are surrounded by a cloud of Hydrogen, which produces radiation at a frequency of 1420 MHz, similar to the "alien" signal's frequency. 

In order to test this theory out, Paris and his team are hoping to see if the signal can be recreated. 

In 2017, the comets will pass the same group of stars, providing an opportunity to see if we can detect 'Wow' again. 

The experiment could be the biggest case for alien life if the researchers find that comets are not responsible.

Paris cuts an isolated figure in the scientific community with many disputing the accuracy of his work.

"I have this investigative background, so I approached the ‘Wow!’ signal as I’m going back to the crime scene,” he told Dr Stuart Clark, reporting for The Guardian. 

 

 

 

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