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View Diary: Breaking News: Mankind leaves the solar system Update w/ pics (202 comments)

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  •  Any thoughts on the 'WOW' signal? (0+ / 0-)

    You seem pretty well-informed, curious about your opinion on that event.

    You couldn't load a pistol with dormitive virtue and shoot it into a breakfast-roll - CS Peirce

    by Mr Raymond Luxury Yacht on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:39:12 PM PDT

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    •  the WOW signal is enormously interesting (1+ / 0-)
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      MRA NY

      It consisted of a focused high-energy narrow-bandwidth signal and it was found in the frequency range that would contain the least amount of background noise--exactly the sort expected from an intentional signal, and the same sort of signal that we sent out at Arecibo.

      So the question becomes, what produced it?

      On the "pro-space alien" side, we note: the signal was found in a frequency that has been banned for use on earth, precisely because it is reserved for astronomical research (though the outside chance remains that it came from some sort of military satellite that was illegally using the banned frequency so no one would listen in on it). And the source of the signal was apparently motionless with respect to the satellite dish's field of view, which indicates a source very far outside of earth's atmosphere (which would seem to indicate that it was a not an earth-orbiting satellite--unless it was geostationary).

      On the "anti-space alien" side, we note: the signal never repeated and despite many attempts afterwards to listen to that spot in the sky again, there have been no more signals. There is a chance that it was some sort of terrestrial signal reflected in the atmosphere in some odd way, which of course does occasionally happen to radio signals. Also, the frequency of the signal was very close to that of natural hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, raising the possibility that it may have been some sort of unknown astronomical phenomenon. This mistake was made before--in 1967, a researcher in the UK detected a radio signal from space that repeated itself at a precise interval, something which matched no known natural phenomenon. It was labelled the LGM signal (for "Little Green Men"). Only later was it discovered to be a pulsar, a previously unknown stellar object that projects a narrow beam of radio energy into space which blinks periodically as the pulsar rotates.

      My own view?  It is possible that WOW! is indeed a signal from an ET intelligence. It is also possible that it is an unknown astronomical phenomenon. But until we can duplicate the results by comparing it with another signal from the same source, we simply can't say anything meaningful about it. Science is not very good, alas, at dealing with "one-offs".

      I guess it comes down to whether one thinks like Mulder or like Sculley. Do you WANT to believe . . . ?    ;)

      •  Have they periodically looked at the spot since? (0+ / 0-)

        Or did they give up after a while? It's been a long time, but it may be aliens work on a different view of time, and may be sending a signal out in what they think is a timely manner - every 50 years or so.

        "We are not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people." - future President Paul Ryan.

        by Fordmandalay on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:33:37 PM PDT

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