Humanity Responds to ‘Alien’ Wow Signal 35 Years Later, Beams Stephen Colbert Into Space_Featured_, Space Sunday, August 19th, 2012
By SPACE.com Staff
(SPACE.com) Just in case any aliens out there in the universe are listening, more than 10,000 Twitter messages, plus videos from celebrities such as comedian Stephen Colbert, have been beamed into space as a big “Hello!” from Earth.
The messages are intended as a response to what’s called the Wow! signal, an intriguing radio signal detected on Aug. 15, 1977 that some thought was a call from extraterrestrials. The 72-second transmission was picked up by the Big Ear radio observatory at Ohio State University, coming from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.
Because the radio signal was 30 times more powerful than the average radiation from deep space, a volunteer astronomer named Jerry Ehman who was watching the telescope data scrawled “Wow!” on a computer printout, leading to the signal’s moniker. No evidence ever arrived actually linking the transmission to an alien civilization, and no repeat message from the same direction has ever been detected, and the Wow! Signal remains a mystery.