The Extraterrestrial WOW Signal: [email protected] WOW Race Invitation from SETI.Germany - Let's Answer Team Gridcoin!

in #science5 years ago (edited)

The BOINC team SETI.Germany has invited all [email protected] teams to compete in the 2017 WOW Event. The event is a classic race to see which team can crunch the most work units for [email protected] between August 15 and August 29. Given the size of Team Gridcoin, we can easily win the race if we all make an effort to sign up and divert some compute power!

The race has been named after the WOW-signal, which was recorded by the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University on August 15, 1977. The signal's name was derived from the comment left by the analyst, Jerry R. Ehman, who was pouring over recorded data when he found the signal:

The alphanumeric sequence circled above represents the signal intensity over time. To this day, this signal is the most likely contact we have had from an extraterrestrial civilisation. Not only does the signal appear to follow a perfect Gaussian distribution, but transmission frequency has been calculated to be almost 1420 MHz. This is the frequency naturally emitted by hydrogen - the most common element in the universe - and it is thus likely that it would be the frequency all technologically advanced civilisations would attempt to make contact at.

The signal's raw data was processed in such a way that it can have originated from one of two pockets in the Sagittarius constellation. Theories that the signal was reflected back at the observation array from Earth off a piece of space debrii were proven mathematically impossible. Further reducing the chance that the signal was man made is that the broadcast frequency is reserved for astronomical purposes, and thus forbidden from terrestrial use.

Even so, no other telescope has been able to pick up the signal since. Even Ehman, who tried for months to find the signal again using Big Ear, was unable to rediscover it.

Let's all do our bit and contribute to the 2017 [email protected] WOW race! You can sign up here. I am already contributing over 500k RAC and would be more than happy to help you optimise your RAC on the project.

All images used under Creative Commons



Sadly, the WOW signal may not be as exciting as was once thought:

New models suggest that the signal could have been caused by two recently discovered comets passing in front of the telescope.

fake news 😂😂

A spokesperson from the OSU Radio Observatory, where the Wow! signal was detected, has reached out to express skepticism of this discovery. Specifically, the spokesperson notes that both comet 266P and P/2008 were too far away to have caused the signal, and that there's no prior evidence suggesting that comets can create the type of signal spotted in 1977. In particular, the Wow! signal only lasted for a little over a minute, which would be unusual for a comet.

Will be interesting to see what the truth is once they figure it out.

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