The Mystery of the WOW! Signal

An exploration of the Wow! Signal, picked up at the Big Ear radio telescope in 1977. This signal remains unexplained to this day, and represents the best candidate we’ve ever detected of a signal of intelligent alien origin.

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University‘s Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.

Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman discovered the anomaly a few days later while reviewing the recorded data. He was so impressed by the result that he circled the reading on the computer printout, 6EQUJ5, and wrote the comment Wow! on its side, leading to the event’s widely used name.[2]

The entire signal sequence lasted for the full 72-second window during which Big Ear was able to observe it, but has not been detected since, despite several subsequent attempts by Ehman and others. Many hypotheses have been advanced on the origin of the emission, including natural and human-made sources, but none of them adequately explains the signal.[3] Although the Wow! signal had no detectable modulation—a technique used to transmit information over radio waves—it remains the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission ever detected.[3]

The Wow! Signal with Discoverer Dr. Jerry Ehman https://youtu.be/x67K-Vq1KWk

The Big Ear Wow! Signal (30th Anniversary Report) http://www.bigear.org/Wow30th/wow30th…

SETI in the 1970s http://www.bigear.org/oldseti.htm

The Elusive Wow: Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Robert H. Gray https://amzn.to/2S3GWn3