(ORDO NEWS) — An astronomer analyzing thousands of stars in the vicinity of the famous “Wow!” signal has pointed to a sun-like star as the potential source of a mysterious radio signal that astronomers received more than 40 years ago. The likely source is described in a new article published in the International Journal of Astrobiology.
On August 15, 1977, a narrow-band radio signal was received at the Big Ear Radio Telescope Observatory at Ohio State University.
A few days later, astronomer Jerry Ehman carefully examined the data and noticed a certain sequence of signals that lasted as much as 72 seconds. In the margin next to the printout, he simply wrote “Wow!”.
The mysterious signal still defies explanation. Initially, scientists claimed that the source was a comet. However, about two days later, the team of researchers who discovered Wow! disproved this claim. The fact is that the signal that the comet would produce was diffuse, and this signal was cut off, as if it was turned on and off.
This signal has become a source of speculation among those who believe in aliens, and not without reason. No other similar signals have been found before or since.
This happened in a frequency range that is relatively free of background noise. If we ourselves tried to communicate with other civilizations, we ourselves would choose this range.
Astronomer Alberto Caballero searched ESA’s Gaia data in a database of more than 1 billion that fall within the signal region, trying to narrow the search down to stars that could host a habitable exoplanet.
As Caballero explains, he was able to narrow down the candidates to one star.
“The only potential sun-like star appears to be 2MASS 19281982-2640123,” he wrote in the paper.
“Despite the fact that this star is too far away to send any response in the form of radio or light transmission, it can be an excellent target for observations in search of exoplanets around the star.”
“One of these stars is very close to the distance with the highest probability of an extraterrestrial civilization,” he added.
“This star has a temperature of only 5 degrees above the sun, and the radius and luminosity are almost identical. This is an excellent target for the search for potentially habitable exoplanets.”
He also found 14 other potential candidates that he was less certain of, given that the luminosity of the stars was unknown.
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