Did SETI hear from aliens back in 1977?

By | February 20, 2012

Did SETI hear from aliens back in 1977

Did SETI hear from aliens back in 1977? For three and a half decades, the ‘Wow!’ signal – detected via a large radio telescope in Ohio – has tantalised alien hunters, but it has never been rediscovered or duplicated in searches since. But it certainly has now become somewhat of a touchstone, inspiring those questing after alien contact in the 21st century.

Late one night in the summer of 1977, a large radio telescope outside Delaware, Ohio intercepted a radio signal that seemed for a brief time like it might change the course of human history. The telescope was searching the sky on behalf of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and the signal, though it lasted only seventy-two seconds, fit the profile of a message beamed from another world. Despite its potential import, several days went by before Jerry Ehman, a project scientist for SETI, noticed the data. He was flipping through the computer printouts generated by the telescope when he noticed a string of letters within a long sequence of low numbers—ones, twos, threes and fours. The low numbers represent background noise, the low hum of an ordinary signal. As the telescope swept across the sky, it momentarily landed on something quite extraordinary, causing the signal to surge and the computer to shift from numbers to letters and then keep climbing all the way up to “U,” which represented a signal thirty times higher than the background noise level. Seeing the consecutive letters, the mark of something strange or even alien, Ehman circled them in red ink and wrote “Wow!” thus christening the most famous and tantalizing signal of SETI’s short history: The “Wow!” signal.

Despite several decades of searching, by amateur and professional astronomers alike, the “Wow!” signal has never again been found. In his new book, The Elusive Wow, amateur astronomer Robert Gray tells the story of the “Wow!” signal, and of astronomy’s quest to solve the puzzle of its origin. It’s a story he is well-positioned to tell. …

via Daily Grail Frontpage | TDG – Science, Magick, Myth and History.

0 thoughts on “Did SETI hear from aliens back in 1977?

  1. Cheng

    I had that same set of tiles the last time I played scrabble. Perhaps “EQUJ” is alien for “over here stupid”.

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