Mysteries of the Universe: Wowed by the “Wow! Signal”

I’m intrigued by OOParts (Out of Place Artifacts) and unusual findings that may (or may not) point to the premise that we’re not alone in this universe. I’m not talking teeny-tiny organisms that swim in water or primitive life forms suspended in air or gaseous mixtures, hot or cold.

I’m talking advanced life, kinda like us.

You can say that such speculation is the thing that drives science fiction. But you can also argue that we’re not even a speck of sand in a big-ass universe (unless there are multiverses, and then we’re not even a speck of a speck of a speck…of a speck of a speck of a speck…), so how could we be alone? How could we, without knowing what else is out there, possibly determine we’re the only advanced civilization living on a very livable planet?

It’s these questions that drive me to write what I write, and research what I research. And recently I discovered something really cool. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but this particular discovery was new to me. It’s called the Wow! Signal.

copyright -- The Ohio State University Radio Observatory and the North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

copyright — The Ohio State University Radio Observatory and the North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

According to Wikipedia, the Wow! Signal is the name given to a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Jerry Ehman in 1977, while he was working on a SETI project. The signal didn’t bear the distinctive features of something that originated on Earth and appeared to originate from the constellation Sagittarius. The signal lasted a little more than a minute, and no one’s been able to detect another signal since.

And the speculation began.

Source Unknown

Source Unknown

Scientists, and even Ehman himself, went on to verbalize some doubt that the signal was of intelligent extraterrestrial origin. Making such a declaration can be career-threatening and it means taking a mighty leap forward into a theory that humans question, but that no one’s been able to prove.

But then, as these brainiac guys thought more about the facts, they admitted that if the signal had originated on Earth, we probably would have seen it picked up in other locations around the globe.

That didn’t happen.

It could also have been the result of a reflected radio wave off our own space junk.


We just don’t know.

Then, for the hell of it, the Arecibo Observatory sent a signal from Earth in 2012, 35 years after the discovery of the Wow! Signal. It contained 10,000 tweets, messages, and photos aimed at the area where the Wow! Signal originated. To make sure another intelligent life form knew our message was intentional, and meant to be received and “read”, they attached a repeating sequence. Because, as they knew from the Wow! Signal, a one-time message would never prove the existence of other life forms.

But multiple, repetitious ones would.

Will anyone, or anything, answer?

Good question. And I, for one, am hopeful to be around to find out.

What about you? Do you think we’ll ever find out if there’s other intelligent life out there? Or are we really, truly alone?

Because if we are, that’s an awful waste of big-ass space to be populated only by us.


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About terriponce

I write about secrets, suspense, and soulmates.
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4 Responses to Mysteries of the Universe: Wowed by the “Wow! Signal”

  1. Penn says:

    Maybe we aren’t meant to know. Maybe we are an experiment gone wrong. It may be that we are now being observed by the amazing beings that built the pyramids and who are still lamenting the waste of opportunities given to us by them. Despite the efforts of the gifted we are stuffing up big time. Over and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On Earth, every time we discover a new or ‘unique’ life form (extremophiles), we then begin to find that there are even more new or extreme ones nearby when we look closer.
    I suspect the same will happen regards extraterrestrials eventually.
    I also suspect they’re deliberately not in a hurry to welcome us into their fraternity because we’re such a destructive species.
    If (make that a BIG IF) we survive the changes we’ve made to our planet’s Ecosystem / Climate and our Self Destructiveness (evolve into a stable species) THEN they might give us some consideration… 🐵

    Liked by 1 person

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