Solved a 40-year-old mystery of a strange radio signal from space

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2017-06-09 10:00:06

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In August 1977, from space to Earth came a radio message from aliens. Precisely at that time, so many thought. The message contained one sentence: "Wow!" ("Wow!"). The signal was detected by astronomer Jerry Ayman while working on the radio telescope "Big ear" Ohio state University. Listening to the radio was part of the SETI project, and at that time, the telescope was directed towards the group of stars Chi of the constellation Sagittarius. Scanning the sky, Ayman caught a 72-second burst of radio waves. After a quick analysis, he circled the data on it in a circle and signed it as "Wow!". So the signal got its name.

Over the past 40 years, the signal "Wow!" was viewed by many ufologists as a direct evidence that we are not alone in this Universe. Experts and ordinary people believed that we finally have evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life.

However, Antonio Paris of florinskogo College St Petersburg recently found an explanation for this mysterious signal. Its source is a pair of comets. The findings of the scientist was published by the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

The Comet, known under the names of 266P/Christensen and 335P/Gibbs, create around themselves a giant (size of a few million miles) hydrogen cloud. He 72-second signal "Wow!" with a wavelength of 21 cm was detected at a frequency of 1420 MHz, which corresponds to the radio frequency line emission of neutral hydrogen.

The Team of Paris decided to dig a little deeper and found out that at the time of receiving a signal both of the comet were relatively close to each other, and its main source is the comet 266P/Christensen.

Despite the fact that this discovery will certainly disappoint enthusiasts in search of aliens, it should be noted that the signal "Wow!" is the most powerful unusual radio signal, which we managed to obtain, which in turn suggests that we are able to accurately interpret the signals and sounds of the surrounding space. Of course, this also leaves us hope in our attempts to decode hundreds of "strange, alien" signals coming to us from distant stars almost every year.

Humanity has a whole Arsenal of means of space discovery, much of which is actively used by the Institute of search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The primary tool is, of course, radio telescopes, and the most ambitious at the moment, the project to search for signals from extraterrestrial life is the so-called "Project Phoenix".

To implement SETI used the three biggest radio telescope: a telescope Observatory Parkes (diameter 64 meter) radio telescope National radio astronomy Observatory in West Virginia (diameter 40 metro), as well as the radio telescope of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico (the world's largest radio telescope with a diameter of 300 meters). In addition, with the support of the American entrepreneur Paul Allen has built a network of The Allen Telescope Array.

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