Home / Science / News /  Earth picked up an alien ‘wow’ signal 45 years ago. Source? Read here to know
Listen to this article

What did the aliens say about almost half a century ago on the night of 15 august 1977?

Yes, that's right, aliens.

Are they communicating with us in real or is this a story straight out of the Steven Spielberg directed E.T movie?

Apparently, not!

On the night of 15 August, 1977, at around 11.16 pm a strange radio signal was received by the Big Ear radio telescope that lasted merely 1 minute and 12 seconds.

Till this date, that strange radio signal remains a communication of mystery and a potential candidate claiming extra-terrestrial communication.

See the picture shared by astronomer Jerry Ehman below.


Picture shared by astronomer Jerry Ehman
View Full Image
Picture shared by astronomer Jerry Ehman

Upon seeing the printout of the unique signal, astronomer Jerry Ehman circled the strange frequency and scribbled 'wow', giving it the mystic name.

Years later, researchers have identified the source of the radio signal that Ehman had dubbed 'WOW" signal to a sun-like star in the constellation Sagittarius nearly 1800 light-years away from Earth.

Reportedly, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), which has been searching the dark trenches of the universe for intelligent lifeforms, continues to study the signal.

The research published in the International Journal of Astrobiology states that a total of 66 G and K-type stars were sampled to find out the source of the alien signal, but only one of them is identified as a potential Sun-like star considering the available information.

Astronomer Alberto Caballero, who led the research, has identified 2MASS 19281982-2640123 to be the ideal target to conduct observations in the search for techno-signatures of the signal.

The search for the source has taken over 45 years as it never repeated and a similar signal was never detected.

"If we analyse the history of (the few) radio signals that humanity have sent to several targets in the hope of contacting a civilization, none of those transmissions had a long duration or were repeatedly sent for a long time. An extraterrestrial civilization could have opted to behave in a similar manner," Caballero said in the paper.

The astronomer identified an object in deep space to be the potential source of the wow signal, the sun-like star 2MASS 19281982-2640123, which is too dim to image with current technology, an extragalactic source, or any other origin.

Earth, too, had broadcast a radio message using the powerful Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico containing information about the basic chemicals of life, the structure of DNA, Earth’s place in our solar system, and a stick figure of a human. However, no response has been picked up so far.

A new plan is now being considered to send another signal into deep space with new information that includes simple principles for communication, basic mathematical concepts, physics formulas, constituents of DNA along with information about humans, the Earth, and a return address if someone wants to revert.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.
Recommended For You
Edit Profile
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout