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Was the Wow Signal Caused by Comets?

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posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 04:50 PM
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Prof. Antonio Paris, of St. Petersburg College, Florida, has suggested that the famous SETI wow signal was caused by two comets in the same part of the sky, and at the same time that the signal was received.
This idea has met with a good deal of skepticism, mainly because , while comets contain hydrogen, they do not seem to be strong radio emitters on the neutral hydrogen line, the frequency where the wow signal was detected. There may simply not be enough radio energy to have produced the signal, which was very strong.
There is another problem, too. The wow signal was detected in only one of the two antenna beams of the 'Big Ear' radio telescope. It was as if the signal turned off after it crossed the first beam, and before it reached the second. Comets should probably have been heard in both beams, especially so, considering the apparent high power of the wow signal.

Below are links to a journalistic article on this new idea, and to a preprint of Prof. Paris scientific paper:

www.newscientist.com... aliens

planetary-science.org...

edit on 13-1-2016 by Ross 54 because: improved word choice




posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 05:14 PM
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I like new theories. How do you gain more evidence to show they are real though. The conditions may not be the same for a thousand years.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 05:17 PM
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a reply to: Ross 54

Unless the object which spawned the signal was rotating, and on one side was comprised of a highly radioactive substance, and on the other side an incredibly dense layer of solid, and radiologically inert material, I fail to see how he can possibly speculate that the signal was the issuance of a comet, a pair of comets, or any of the cosmic jetsam which could reasonably fall into a similar category.

For all I know, even the ridiculous suggestion I just made, falls apart because the signal would have been identifiable as having come from an elemental source, rather than a technological one, just by its particular wavelength, and was no so identified at the time.

His idea seems a little far fetched to me, and I am one of those aggravating bastards who think that SETI looking for life like ours in the universe is stupid, and that we should be looking for all life, especially the ones we cannot possibly imagine, which is why I also believe we should put less stock in what we can read at a distance, than we should put into getting OUT THERE to do some REAL exploration of our universe, in person.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

You said "...we should be looking for all life, especially the ones we cannot possibly imagine..."

So let's look more closely at comets with that possibility in mind--as impossible as that will be for some of you. I have some threads along that line that I assume are buried somewhere in the ATS archives.

(I will not be responding further to this thread.)



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Fantastic reply mate! I'm a long time fan of your contributions!

I can not help but agree, I can not fathom any install center in which a comet singular or paired would release such an anomaly. I am how ever not an astrophysicist.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 08:52 PM
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'spose we will fond out soon enough, 25 Jan 2017 they return.

JPL interestingly casts some doubt to the comet theory.



Some researchers are sceptical, saying it isn’t clear the comets would release enough hydrogen to generate something like the Wow! signal. James Bauer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, agrees that the hydrogen from comets can extend quite far, but still thinks the signal won’t be strong enough. “If comets were radio-bright at 21 centimetres, I would be puzzled as to why they aren’t observed more often at those wavelengths,” he says.

www.newscientist.com...



posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 10:21 AM
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Comets are apparently weak emitters on the frequency of the wow signal, at best. The wow signal was very strong, 30 sigma, or 30 times the background noise, yet its movement with the fixed stars indicate it was distant. The identification of the wow signal, as coming from comets seems very unlikely.



posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 11:11 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Ross 54
and that we should be looking for all life, especially the ones we cannot possibly imagine


Not trying to be a sophist, but if unimaginable (to us) life forms exist - isn't it possible that they may be such that they escape our "scope of vision" entirely and be practically undetectable to us?

But I realize this is somewhat beside the point of this thread.



posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: AdAstra

Just a quick aside. First of all, I mentioned the issue of unusual or unimaginable life, because I wanted to get across that I am not one of these folks who believes that something is impossible, just because I have not yet come across it.

However, since you ask, it is possible that an unimaginable life-form might escape our notice. That is far more likely, if the only method we have for searching the cosmos for life, is to use telescopes of various types and sizes. It is significantly harder to miss a life-form which is right in front of you, than it is to miss one from light years away, and that is why I am so angry and frustrated that work on exotic propulsion is so FANTASTICALLY slow, not to mention hideously underfunded.



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