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Thread: The Wow! Signal

  1. #1 The Wow! Signal 
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    What is the professional cosmologist take on this? Is this woo? Crank Speak? or has been turned into such because of the cranks that follow it and make the claims that they do?

    Wow! signal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    To the best of my knowledge it was a real signal (in that it was actually recorded and the possibility of equipment error was ruled out, etc.) but having never reappeared, that's about all we can say about it. There's certainly not enough information there to extract any meaning or even to use it as evidence for anything.


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  4. #3  
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster View Post
    To the best of my knowledge it was a real signal (in that it was actually recorded and the possibility of equipment error was ruled out, etc.) but having never reappeared, that's about all we can say about it. There's certainly not enough information there to extract any meaning or even to use it as evidence for anything.
    I kinda gathered all of that. I was just wondering about the personal thoughts of some of the professional community here were. Or are is that their thoughts, "we don't know/no comment."
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
    President Dwight Eisenhower
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    My response is that we've done all that we could to verify the accuracy of the recording itself.

    Without anything further, we're stuck with a single item of data. Nothing to compare, nothing to match, nothing to build on. Given the vastness of the universe and the billions of years of its existence, it's entirely possible that it's mere chance.

    With no further similar items, we have no way of knowing.
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    The funny part of the Wikipedia article: "In 2012, on the 35th anniversary of the Wow! signal, Arecibo Observatory beamed a response from humanity, containing 10,000 Twitter messages, in the direction from which the signal originated."
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  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    I was just wondering about the personal thoughts of some of the professional community here were. Or are is that their thoughts, "we don't know/no comment."
    The short answer is - the only thing that is for certain is that we don't know for sure. Everything else is mere speculation, given the fact that it has never again been detected. Personally I find it unlikely that it was the product of an extraterrestrial civilisation, given that it was never repeated, but I might of course be wrong. It should be noted that the regions of sky from where it originated don't contain any nearby stars ( the closest one is over 100 lightyears distant ), so if it was indeed extraterrestrial, it would have required an extremely energetic transmitter, given the intensity with which it arrived here.
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    I didn't take any course in electromagnetics yet, but from what I gather, the source of the signal must use a great amount of energy in order to traverse the distance it took to reach us. So if it did belong to an extraterrestrial civilization, they might have used it for long distance communication.

    Of course, this is just a speculation. My view might change in the coming months after I've taken an electromagnetics course...
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  9. #8  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sci-fi guy View Post
    I didn't take any course in electromagnetics yet, but from what I gather, the source of the signal must use a great amount of energy in order to traverse the distance it took to reach us. So if it did belong to an extraterrestrial civilization, they might have used it for long distance communication.

    Of course, this is just a speculation. My view might change in the coming months after I've taken an electromagnetics course...
    I think if there is any technological life in our galaxy other than us. It's a good bet it's farther away than 100 lightyears. So even if we knew for sure that it was there, sending a signal and ever getting any answer back would be an extreme longshot. Now suppose there is an advanced civilization out there that has a way of getting to us in a reasonable amount of time. Do you really think it's a good idea to advertize where we are? Maybe they would have good intentions, but I wouldn't want to bet the extinction of our species on it. I think we should know a lot more about the universe than we do now before we start hand waving to anyone that that might think humans were a great new food source or maybe just want our world as is without humans on it.
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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Do you really think it's a good idea to advertize where we are?
    We've already been doing that for the past 70 years or so...
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  11. #10  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Do you really think it's a good idea to advertize where we are?
    We've already been doing that for the past 70 years or so...
    One can only hope the predators have over looked us. So far so good. When you consider all the bad things that can happen to us finding bad aliens seems to be way down on that list. But, we really just don't know enough yet and if there is anybody out there that can find and then reach us, we would be at their mercy.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Maybe the aliens already know we're here and the Federation of Unified Celestial Kindness placed our solar system under some kind of quarantine until Humanity develops civilization. The Wow! signal could have been a "Danger, Keep Out!" signpost.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    If I were at the console when that signal was detected, I would have judged it as a anomaly, more likely to be a signal disturbance by other forces, unknown.. not a signal directed to us or space. A natural event of and from a souse as unknown.. marking its detected location for future study.. A glitch. Some sort of stellar outburst.. that the remnant signal that reached the receiver was of unknown origin.
    If a star system were detected of that location then a more energetic inquiry would be assumed. It's not.
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