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A team of researchers with the Center of Planetary Science (CPS) has finally solved the mystery of the "Wow!" signal from 1977. It was a comet, they report, one that that was unknown at the time of the signal discovery. Lead researcher Antonio Paris describes their theory and how the team proved it in a paper published in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

Back in August of 1977, a team of astronomers studying radio transmissions from an observatory at Ohio State called the "Big Ear" recorded an unusual 72-second signal—it was so strong that team member Jerry Ehman scrawled "Wow!" next to the readout. Since that time, numerous scientists have searched for an explanation of the signal, but until now, no one could offer a valid argument. Possible sources such as asteroids, exo-planets, stars and even signals from Earth have all been ruled out. Some outside the science community even suggested that it was proof of aliens. It was noted that the frequency was transmitted at 1,420 MHz, though, which happens to be the same frequency as hydrogen.
The explanation started to come into focus last year when a team at the CPS suggested that the signal might have come from a hydrogen cloud accompanying a comet—additionally, the movement of the comet would explain why the signal was not seen again. The team noted that two comets had been in the same part of the sky that the Big Ear was monitoring on the fateful day. Those comets, P/2008 Y2(Gibbs) and 266/P Christensen had not yet been discovered. The team then got a chance to test their idea as the two comets appeared once again in the night sky from November 2016 through February of 2017.

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Astronomers have finally solved the mystery of peculiar signals coming from a nearby star, a story that sparked intense public speculation this week that perhaps, finally, alien life had been found.

It hasn't. The signal, which has been formally named "Weird!" was interference from a distant satellite.
Of course, astronomers said all along that extra-terrestrials were quite far at the bottom of the list of possibilities for the signals detected from Ross 128, a dim star known as a red dwarf some 11 light-years away.
To experts, the true mystery was that they couldn't figure out if the bursts were unusual stellar activity, emissions from other background objects, or interference from satellite communications.
"However, many people were more interested in the signals as potential proof of transmissions from an extraterrestrial intelligent civilization," wrote Abel Mendez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo in a blog post Friday, revealing the true nature of the signals.
After further fueling speculation by summoning the world experts in the hunt for life elsewhere in the universe—The SETI Berkeley Research Center at the University of California—the team issued its conclusion.
"We are now confident about the source of the Weird! Signal," Mendez wrote.
"The best explanation is that the signals are transmissions from one or more geostationary satellites."
The signals only appeared around Ross 128 because it is located "close to the celestial equator where many geostationary satellites are placed," Mendez added.

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Hydrogen cloud huh?

Not nearly as sexy as an Alien life signal. Chuckle
Actually more believable than aliens. (IMHO)
(01-30-2019, 07:58 AM)FullThrottle Wrote: [ -> ]Actually more believable than aliens. (IMHO)

...but that is in direct contradiction to my fantasy.
(01-30-2019, 08:48 AM)Frigg Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-30-2019, 07:58 AM)FullThrottle Wrote: [ -> ]Actually more believable than aliens. (IMHO)

...but that is in direct contradiction to my fantasy.

Sorry @Frigg I'm with @Debauchery on this issue, So far all we see is a cold dark Universe that screams at us YOU ARE ALL ALONE!!! Scream1

Horrifying to contemplate, isn't it. Chuckle