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We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

7. THE WOW! SIGNAL Previous | Next

Has ET already been in touch?

IT was 37 seconds long and came from outer space. On 15 August 1977 it caused astronomer Jerry Ehman, then of Ohio State University in Columbus, to scrawl "Wow!" on the printout from Big Ear, Ohio State's radio telescope in Delaware. And 28 years later no one knows what created the signal. "I am still waiting for a definitive explanation that makes sense," Ehman says.

It came from the direction of Sagittarius; the nearest star in that direction is 220 light years away. If that really is where is came from, it would have had to be a pretty powerful astronomical event - or an advanced alien civilisation using an astonishingly large and powerful transmitter.

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Location:Denver, CO
Joined:08/08/2008
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#1 - Posted: 08/08/2008 08:24

How about describing the content of the message? "A message" is pretty vague...

IT TOLLS FOR THEE, DUDE

 

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Location:Lewes, UK
Joined:23/07/2008
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#2 - Posted: 08/08/2008 08:42

Pretty much everything that can be said about the signal (no one can call it a message because, as you say, a message has content) can be found here. It's a really fascinating set of pages. Basically, it was an impulse that rose in intensity, then fell. The Big Ear telescope had two antennae that scoured the skies as the Earth rotated. By the time the second antenna was looking at the same patch of sky (three minutes later), there was nothing there.

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Location:Boston
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#3 - Posted: 08/08/2008 13:27

The cosmic equvilant of being mooned? A galatic flasher? Or just another bump in the night in the cosmic zoo?

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