It was the night of August 15, 1977 when SETIthe center for the search for extraterrestrial life, detected a signal in space that they called Wow!.
The signal was incredibly strong but very brief, lasting only 1 minute and 12 seconds, according to a report written by its discovererastronomer Jerry Ehman, in honor of his 30th anniversary.
Now why is it called Wow!?: Seeing a printout of an anomalous signal, Ehman scribbled “Wow!” on the page, giving the event its name. The telescope Big Ear, now deconstructed, searched for messages in the 1420.4056 megahertz electromagnetic frequency band, which is produced by the element hydrogen.
“Since hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, there is good logic in guessing that an intelligent civilization within our Milky Way galaxy eager to draw attention to itself could transmit a strong narrowband beacon signal. at or near the frequency of the neutral hydrogen line,” Ehman wrote in his anniversary report.
wow! it may have come from a Sun-like star located 1,800 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.
“The Wow! Signal is considered the best SETI candidate radio signal that we have captured with our telescopes,” Alberto Caballero, an amateur astronomer, told LiveScience. SETI, or the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is a field that has been listening to possible messages from otherworldly technological beings since the mid-20th century. according to NASA.