World

WOW!

Was Jerry Ehman, a volunteer for SETI, (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) the first human ever to receive an intentional message from an alien source?

In the summer of 1977, Ehman was scanning radio waves from deep space, hoping to locate a signal that bore the hallmarks of one that was believed to be sent by intelligent aliens, when he saw his equipment register a ‘spike.’

The signal lasted for 72 seconds, the longest period of time it could possibly be measured by the array that Ehman was using.

It was loud and appeared to have been transmitted from a place no human has gone before: in the constellation Sagittarius near a star called Tau Sagittarii, approximately 120 light-years away.

Ehman wrote the words “Wow!” on the original printout of the signal, hence it’s name.

The ‘Wow! Signal.’

All attempts to locate the signal again have failed, leading to much controversy and mystery about its meaning or more importantly, it’s origin.

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