originally posted by: chiefsmom
A bit misleading title, not from you.
Basically, they have a general area, of where it might have originated.
Still cool, that they have narrowed it down.
I'm in general agreement the title is misleading.
However, it is not determining the general region of the sky of the signal's origin that is new as you suggest, that has remained unchanged.
What has changed is the 2013 European Space Agency launch of the Gaia space observatory, which created an improved star map of the sky, including the
two regions where the signal may have originated, outlined in red in the following illustration:
An approximation to determine the source of the WOW! Signal
So according to the paper on which the OP article is based, that image shows thousands of stars in each of the potential source regions, so I'm not
sure why they aren't all potential sources.
Apparently the partially implied and partially stated assumptions to narrow it down to one star out of those thousands goes something like this:
The author is assuming that the signal was sent by aliens, perhaps something like us, on a planet something like ours, around a star like ours. If you
make all those assumptions, there is only one star like ours known so far in those two regions, and he's saying that's the possible candidate for a
source. But there are many problems with those assumptions.
First, though the frequency is banned by earth-bound transmitters, that doesn't rule out some military or rogue transmission originating from Earth
and reflecting back, either from a classified project which chose to ignore the frequency ban or possibly even from some country which never agreed to
the frequency ban.
Second, while natural sources seem unlikely, it's hard to say there is no possibility of a natural source. Some other astronomical phenomena which
were suspected of having alien intelligence as sources at first were later found to be the result of previously unknown natural phenomena.
Third, I don't think the assumptions leading to the idea that the candidate star must be like ours are supportable. We have already speculated that
liquid water is what is really desirable for intelligent life, but this can occur not only with our type of star, but also with planets orbiting
hotter stars at greater distances, or planets orbiting cooler stars at closer distances, which could also have liquid water. So this alone would open
up the possibilities to probably at least several dozen stars in those two regions, from the new star map. To the author's credit, he does mention
several dozen other stars in his paper also, which aren't quite like our sun but maybe could still be possible candidates.
Fourth, while the new star map is a big improvement, it's still not complete, meaning we know the detection limits of the space observatory and there
are very likely still more candidate stars than the thousands in the new map, which are not in the new map because they didn't meet the observatory's
threshold for detection. So, the source could be from a star which exists, but is still not in the new star map.
So I'd say it's premature to pop the cork on the champagne bottle and say it's anywhere near "solved", it's not even close. This after the 2017 media
claims that the source was thought to be a comet (which is now discounted as an explanation by most astronomers):
Wow! signal explained after 40 years?
The internet is buzzing today over new evidence from Antonio Paris – an adjunct professor of astronomy at St. Petersburg College, Florida and
ex-analyst of the U.S. Department of Defense – suggesting that the famous 1977 Wow! signal was most likely generated by a comet.