The Wow! Signal

What would you say if you heard a signal so powerful and unusual that it seemed to confirm the evidence of intelligent alien life?


Radio telescopes

For astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, it was a single cursive word, written in the margin of printed data: "Wow!". The 72 second signal from 1977 is still considered our best SETI candidate after 45 years, and it remains unexplained and unrepeated. Until now: an amateur astronomer may have actually located the source of the long-debated signal.


The global astronomical community is edging nearer to determining whether intelligent alien life really exists, and government agencies and academics may have received a helping hand from an amateur astronomer. That's because space enthusiast Alberto Caballero thinks he might have pinpointed the source of a mysterious signal famously attributed to intelligent alien life.


According to Caballero, the so-called Wow! Signal, detected by a radio telescope on 15 August 1977, may have come from a sun-like star 1,800 light-years from Earth in the Sagittarius constellation.


The Wow! Signal is considered the best SETI candidate radio signal that we have. Caballero believes this star, called 2MASS 19281982-2640123 (definitely a mouthful), could be a good target for further observation.


And, with observatories like the James Webb Space Telescope, European Large Telescope, and the Square Kilometer Array all expected to start searching for alien life this decade, we may soon know much more about the potential origin point of the Wow! Signal, and whether it was really a signal from extraterrestrial intelligence.

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