Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wow! signal

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Dr. Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while working on a SETI project at The Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University. The signal bore expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-solar system origin. It lasted for the full 72 second duration that Big Ear observed it, but has not been detected again. Much attention has been focused on it in the media when talking about SETI results. Amazed at how closely the signal matched the expected signature of an interstellar signal in the antenna used, Ehman circled the signal on the computer printout and wrote the comment "Wow!" on its side. This comment became the name of the signal.