In August 1977, radio astronomers in the U.S. detected what could have beena signal from intelligent life somewhere in the solar system, from the nowdismantled “Big Ear” radio telescope at Ohio University. The trouble was, itonly happened once.
This signal became known as the “Wow” signal, because the astronomer Jerry Ehman, who spotted it, was so surprised that he scribbled “Wow” on the print-out.
The signal had all the properties that astronomers were looking for as a sign of alien intelligence. Because the Ohio telescope couldn’t move, it was unable to track the signal and could only detect it for 72 seconds, as it passed across the telescope’s field of view. Although scientists tried to find it again, they were never able to.
Some researchers say it came from man-made interference, but others insist it definitely came from space.
Now two astronomers, Robert Grey and Kevin Marvel, are using the multiple radio dishes of the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico to take another look at the spot where the signal was heard. So far, they have seen two faint radio signals at the position that “Wow” came from, but neither one represents anything unusual.
As they say in radio, stay tuned for more information.
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