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(Phys Org2)   Wow   (phys.org) divider line
    More: Interesting, Extraterrestrial life, Star, Amateur astronomer, years of work, possible candidates, YouTuber Alberto Caballero, SETI, search results  
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2585 clicks; posted to STEM » on 26 Nov 2020 at 1:10 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



32 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-11-26 11:14:57 AM  
The recognition must make Caballero pretty happy.  Gay, even.
 
2020-11-26 11:37:11 AM  
The new expansion blows.
 
2020-11-26 1:25:20 PM  
Amateur astronomer Alberto Caballero finds possible source of Wow! signal

Is it Owen Wilson?
 
2020-11-26 1:29:46 PM  
That there us a sunlike star in the right general direction is not surprising so I'm not going to get too excited, but it is certainly worth allocating some telescope time as the payoff is big enough to justify the effort even if the chances of finding something is remote.
 
2020-11-26 1:34:46 PM  
Sigh....yet another alien chasing wannabe astronomer

The precise location in the sky where the signal apparently originated is uncertain due to the design of the Big Ear telescope, which featured two feed horns, each receiving a beam from slightly different directions, while following Earth's rotation. The Wow! signal was detected in one beam but not in the other, and the data was processed in such a way that it is impossible to determine which of the two horns received the signal.

Basically he is pretending he is in the right slice of sky when there is no way to know for sure. And then we have the kick in the teeth for this whole thing, which is:

The significantly more sensitive Very Large Array did not detect the signal, and the probability that a signal below the detection threshold of the Very Large Array could be detected by the Big Ear due to interstellar scintillation is low.

So, logic would dictate that first we figure out why the far superior array did not get the signal, and why only half of the Big Ear got it, and why its never been found again. And once that is all figured you can move on to the sourcing fun.
 
2020-11-26 1:39:26 PM  
Pretty speculative.
 
2020-11-26 1:44:30 PM  
Approves...

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-26 1:55:02 PM  
Wow. Much signal. So space.
 
2020-11-26 1:57:16 PM  
chicagoaddick.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2020-11-26 1:58:06 PM  
so they are looking for somewhere in the universe other intelligent life might be...
and their method for narrowing down the list of possible locations is to only look at stars like our sun that might have planets like earth?

im thinking that might not be the best approach.  and may in fact be a somewhat...humanity-centric, shall we say, view of the whole process.
 
2020-11-26 1:58:35 PM  
BFD!
 
2020-11-26 2:00:40 PM  

lifeslammer: Sigh....yet another alien chasing wannabe astronomer

The precise location in the sky where the signal apparently originated is uncertain due to the design of the Big Ear telescope, which featured two feed horns, each receiving a beam from slightly different directions, while following Earth's rotation. The Wow! signal was detected in one beam but not in the other, and the data was processed in such a way that it is impossible to determine which of the two horns received the signal.

Basically he is pretending he is in the right slice of sky when there is no way to know for sure. And then we have the kick in the teeth for this whole thing, which is:

The significantly more sensitive Very Large Array did not detect the signal, and the probability that a signal below the detection threshold of the Very Large Array could be detected by the Big Ear due to interstellar scintillation is low.

So, logic would dictate that first we figure out why the far superior array did not get the signal, and why only half of the Big Ear got it, and why its never been found again. And once that is all figured you can move on to the sourcing fun.


the planet you are looking for is very small and located in the tiny solar system "line interference" in one of the recording inputs.
nah that couldnt be it.
 
2020-11-26 2:35:50 PM  

lifeslammer: Sigh....yet another alien chasing wannabe astronomer

The precise location in the sky where the signal apparently originated is uncertain due to the design of the Big Ear telescope, which featured two feed horns, each receiving a beam from slightly different directions, while following Earth's rotation. The Wow! signal was detected in one beam but not in the other, and the data was processed in such a way that it is impossible to determine which of the two horns received the signal.

Basically he is pretending he is in the right slice of sky when there is no way to know for sure. And then we have the kick in the teeth for this whole thing, which is:

The significantly more sensitive Very Large Array did not detect the signal, and the probability that a signal below the detection threshold of the Very Large Array could be detected by the Big Ear due to interstellar scintillation is low.

So, logic would dictate that first we figure out why the far superior array did not get the signal, and why only half of the Big Ear got it, and why its never been found again. And once that is all figured you can move on to the sourcing fun.


Pretty much all of this right here.
 
2020-11-26 2:36:01 PM  

oopsboom: so they are looking for somewhere in the universe other intelligent life might be...
and their method for narrowing down the list of possible locations is to only look at stars like our sun that might have planets like earth?

im thinking that might not be the best approach.  and may in fact be a somewhat...humanity-centric, shall we say, view of the whole process.


Scientific inquiry works well on the foundations of what we already know.  We know pretty much nothing of any life with a different biological basis than here on Earth.

So, does it make much sense to search the skies for life by looking for things you don't know how to recognize?
 
2020-11-26 2:42:58 PM  

SansNeural: oopsboom: so they are looking for somewhere in the universe other intelligent life might be...
and their method for narrowing down the list of possible locations is to only look at stars like our sun that might have planets like earth?

im thinking that might not be the best approach.  and may in fact be a somewhat...humanity-centric, shall we say, view of the whole process.

Scientific inquiry works well on the foundations of what we already know.  We know pretty much nothing of any life with a different biological basis than here on Earth.

So, does it make much sense to search the skies for life by looking for things you don't know how to recognize?


We dont even have a solid definition for intelligent life on earth for farks sake. How would we possibly find it anywhere else when its staring us in the face here and we are too stupid and arrogant to realize it
 
2020-11-26 2:56:40 PM  

lifeslammer: SansNeural: oopsboom: so they are looking for somewhere in the universe other intelligent life might be...
and their method for narrowing down the list of possible locations is to only look at stars like our sun that might have planets like earth?

im thinking that might not be the best approach.  and may in fact be a somewhat...humanity-centric, shall we say, view of the whole process.

Scientific inquiry works well on the foundations of what we already know.  We know pretty much nothing of any life with a different biological basis than here on Earth.

So, does it make much sense to search the skies for life by looking for things you don't know how to recognize?

We dont even have a solid definition for intelligent life on earth for farks sake. How would we possibly find it anywhere else when its staring us in the face here and we are too stupid and arrogant to realize it


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-26 3:23:41 PM  

lifeslammer: SansNeural: oopsboom: so they are looking for somewhere in the universe other intelligent life might be...
and their method for narrowing down the list of possible locations is to only look at stars like our sun that might have planets like earth?

im thinking that might not be the best approach.  and may in fact be a somewhat...humanity-centric, shall we say, view of the whole process.

Scientific inquiry works well on the foundations of what we already know.  We know pretty much nothing of any life with a different biological basis than here on Earth.

So, does it make much sense to search the skies for life by looking for things you don't know how to recognize?

We dont even have a solid definition for intelligent life on earth for farks sake. How would we possibly find it anywhere else when its staring us in the face here and we are too stupid and arrogant to realize it.


Old and tired: Make Stuff Great Again
New hotness: Stop Doing Things Like This And Do It Differently
 
2020-11-26 3:30:30 PM  
"Hey, remember when those grad students made their own microwave oven for the break room? At the time, I thought 'Wow!'"
 
2020-11-26 5:10:54 PM  
I'd have been more impressed if the signal duration had been a prime number.
 
2020-11-26 5:18:31 PM  

PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: I'd have been more impressed if the signal duration had been a prime number.


1 isn't a prime number?
 
2020-11-26 5:46:29 PM  

oopsboom: so they are looking for somewhere in the universe other intelligent life might be...
and their method for narrowing down the list of possible locations is to only look at stars like our sun that might have planets like earth?

im thinking that might not be the best approach.  and may in fact be a somewhat...humanity-centric, shall we say, view of the whole process.


Have to start somewhere so why not with areas most similar to where we know life already exists.
 
2020-11-26 6:12:43 PM  

oopsboom: so they are looking for somewhere in the universe other intelligent life might be...
and their method for narrowing down the list of possible locations is to only look at stars like our sun that might have planets like earth?

im thinking that might not be the best approach.  and may in fact be a somewhat...humanity-centric, shall we say, view of the whole process.


Stars like our Sun are fairly small and cool. Doubtful you'd find a habitable planet around a larger star like Betelgeuse.

That's the first step. Next is finding not only exoplanets, but exoplanets in the "Goldilocks" zone, to allow for liquid water on the surface. While other forms of life may exist, we *know* it exists on Earth, and so it makes sense to search for similar planets first.

There may be life on bodies like Europa, but they'd be far below the frozen surface, protected from the radiation from Jupiter. Such life won't advance to a level allowing for intragalactic or interstellar radio transmissions.
 
2020-11-26 7:06:37 PM  

leeksfromchichis: PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: I'd have been more impressed if the signal duration had been a prime number.

1 isn't a prime number?


Fake news.
 
2020-11-26 7:58:11 PM  
Too busy hitting the Vaseline?

Kate Bush - Wow - Official Music Video - Version 1
Youtube 0ar7vovnH5I
 
2020-11-26 7:59:15 PM  
It's pretty likely somithing along the lines of somebody plugging in a shiatty blender to make a smoothie.
 
2020-11-26 11:15:30 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-27 4:58:18 AM  

CalebWilliamson: [Fark user image 416x250] [View Full Size image _x_]


Nothing is obscure on Fark, but this is amazing. Geweldig!
 
2020-11-27 8:54:17 AM  

TheMysteriousStranger: That there us a sunlike star in the right general direction is not surprising so I'm not going to get too excited, but it is certainly worth allocating some telescope time as the payoff is big enough to justify the effort even if the chances of finding something is remote.


The chances of a repeat is very slim.

My favorite extraterrestrial explanation is that we by chance happened in the beam width of an Arecibo-like planetary radar.  It fits the evidence quite well:

1.  The signal was narrowband, less than 10 kHz in bandwidth.  We don't know how much narrower, but that's pretty narrow as it is.  You can of course send data in bandwidths that narrow, but the narrower your bandwidth is, the less data you can send per unit of time.  However, if you are using the radio signal as a radar, bandwidth can be very narrow.

2.  The signal was of short duration.  The "Big Ear" telescope had two feed horns and the Wow! signal was only detected in one of them.  They can't tell if it was the leading feed horn or the trailing one, but either way that means it either turned on or turned off in a very short amount of time.  If both horns heard it we'd see two peaks.  Radar examination of a planetary body is generally of short duration.  Actual communication at narrow bandwidths would take longer and we'd have likely seen two peaks.

3.  It hasn't repeated, at least that we can tell.  If it was a regular communications link between extraterrestrials, or a beacon of some kind, we'd likely have seen it again because the alignment would likely repeat itself.  If you've got aliens on a home planet regularly communicating with a colony on a different body than their home world, you'd expect that the alignment between those two worlds and our solar system would repeat on a regular basis.  You wouldn't expect that if they are using radar to examine random objects in their solar system.

The Wow! signal was quite strong.  We should fund a series of inexpensive radio telescopes just big enough to detect an equivalent signal around the world to provide 24/7/365 coverage of that part of the sky.  They would stare with an unblinking radio eye in order to detect any possible repeat, unlikely though it may be, and when that part of the sky isn't visible to them the individual telescopes could perform more mundane radio astronomy.
 
2020-11-27 8:57:38 AM  

lifeslammer: Sigh....yet another alien chasing wannabe astronomer

The precise location in the sky where the signal apparently originated is uncertain due to the design of the Big Ear telescope, which featured two feed horns, each receiving a beam from slightly different directions, while following Earth's rotation. The Wow! signal was detected in one beam but not in the other, and the data was processed in such a way that it is impossible to determine which of the two horns received the signal.

Basically he is pretending he is in the right slice of sky when there is no way to know for sure. And then we have the kick in the teeth for this whole thing, which is:

The significantly more sensitive Very Large Array did not detect the signal, and the probability that a signal below the detection threshold of the Very Large Array could be detected by the Big Ear due to interstellar scintillation is low.

So, logic would dictate that first we figure out why the far superior array did not get the signal, and why only half of the Big Ear got it, and why its never been found again. And once that is all figured you can move on to the sourcing fun.


Planetary radar not dissimilar to Arecibo, and a random alignment between the alien transmitter, the object it was observing, and Earth, with the coincidence that the Big Ear telescope just happened to be pointed in the right direction at the right time to hear it.
 
2020-11-27 10:41:45 AM  

dittybopper: 2. The signal was of short duration. The "Big Ear" telescope had two feed horns and the Wow! signal was only detected in one of them. They can't tell if it was the leading feed horn or the trailing one, but either way that means it either turned on or turned off in a very short amount of time. If both horns heard it we'd see two peaks. Radar examination of a planetary body is generally of short duration. Actual communication at narrow bandwidths would take longer and we'd have likely seen two peaks.


Actually we dont know how long the duration really was. Funny thing about all the things on wikipedia is that you find out fun facts like this:

At the time of the observation, the Big Ear radio telescope was only adjustable for altitude (or height above the horizon), and relied instead on the rotation of the Earth to scan across the sky. Given the speed of Earth's rotation and the spatial width of the telescope's observation window, the Big Ear could observe any given point for just 72 seconds.[3] A continuous extraterrestrial signal, therefore, would be expected to register for exactly 72 seconds, and the recorded intensity of such signal would display a gradual increase for the first 36 seconds-peaking at the center of the observation window-and then a gradual decrease as the telescope moved away from it. All these characteristics are present in the Wow! signal.[10][11]

So, the Big Ear only had one horn hitting it, we dont know how long it actually lasted but we know that it was only picked up on half. And more fun, the image of the location shows us that there wasnt a "leading" or "trailing" horn, they were parallel

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size


As for why there never was a repeat, its also possible that was some weird form of stellar explosions that we had never seen before or since, and honestly that would be far more believable than aliens sending us a single signal and never repeating it. Or it was a russian satellite who used a broadcasting band that was "off limits to the world" simply for that reason. And lets face it, the USSR not following the rules is literally the most obvious solution out of everything else possible, and with how many secrets they kept far too well we probably would never know if they did have something up there at that point in time.
 
2020-11-27 12:06:14 PM  

lifeslammer: And more fun, the image of the location shows us that there wasnt a "leading" or "trailing" horn, they were parallel


You know how I know that you don't know how the "Big Ear" actually worked?

http://www.bigear.org/Wow30th/wow30th.​htm#dualhorn

Within a minute or so after the negative horn response was essentially complete (i.e., showed little energy from the source), the same radio source began to be scanned by the east (positive) horn and a non-inverted (right-side up) bell-curve-like shape on the chart recorder was generated. Thus, for a strong radio source of small angular diameter like a distant galaxy or quasar, we see a negative (inverted) beam response followed by a positive beam response shortly thereafter. However, this was not the case for the Wow! source.

The computer printout for Wow! shows only one detection instead of the two detections expected with the dual-horn system. At the time of this signal (August 1977) the computer was not programmed to identify whether the observed output was negative (from the negative horn) or positive (from the positive horn).
 
2020-11-27 9:58:29 PM  

lifeslammer: As for why there never was a repeat, its also possible that was some weird form of stellar explosions that we had never seen before or since,


Natural processes are never that narrow-banded.  That signal was less than 10 kHz wide.   That means it was of intelligent origin.  Natural processes always have much wider bandwidths, only tuned circuits can make a signal that narrow.

Period.

The only debate is whether that intelligence was terrestrial or extraterrestrial.

Hence my statement "My favorite extraterrestrial explanation".

Now, kindly go read some books about radio and astronomy while us adults discuss the Wow! signal.
 
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