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Scientists Discover Where the Wow! Signal Came From

Plamena M.Plamena M.

The Wow! signal, detected for the first time in the year 1977, is one of the few pieces of evidence that has been taken seriously by experts around the world as a possible extraterrestrial signal. Astronomers today have found where the signal owes its origins from.

On August 15, Jerry R. Ehman detected a narrowband radio signal from space. This occurred within the scope of the SETI project, which was begun in 1960 with the goal of making contact with an extraterrestrial civilization and receiving a signal from it. When the American saw the received data, he boldly exclaimed "Wow! " From there the mysterious signal also earned its name - the Wow! signal.

The detected signal was at the hydrogen line frequency, where scientists were waiting for a signal from extraterrestrials. It had a duration of 72 seconds - the amount of time believed needed for a signal from an artificial source. It was found that the signal came from a region within the constellation Sagittarius, leading many to ask themselves whether it originated from an extraterrestrial spaceship located there.

Dr. Ehman was flabbergasted at the precision with which the detected signal corresponded with the expectations of scientists at the time. Since then, the theory that the signal was of extraterrestrial origin could neither be confirmed nor refuted.


But today scientists are ready to provide an explanation for this strange phenomenon. According to them, the signal came not from an alien spacecraft but from the comets 266P/Christensen and P/2008 Y2 (Gibbs). They flew by the location in the question in the constellation Sagittarius between July 27 and August 15, 1977.

The cores of these objects are surrounded by hydrogen clouds which emitted the signal that scientists picked up. In the past, these particular bodies were unknown to science, hence their possible role in this phenomenon was not considered. The discovery is quite disappointing to extraterrestrial proponents and their alleged contact with humans but is nonetheless fact.