Mysterious signal may have been alien call2/18/2012
Extraterrestrial life expert Robert Gray has scoured the (literal) ends of the universe to solve the mystery of the "Wow!" signal. Almost 35 years ago, a radio telescope in Ohio recorded an abnormally urgent signal -- so abnormal, and so strong, that a scientist noted it with a handwritten "Wow!" on a printout of the data. Was this, at last, incontrovertible proof of intelligent alien life? Gray tells The Atlantic that the signal -- "a tug on the cosmic fishing line" -- might represent a sweeping alien call, similar to the beam emitted from a lighthouse: "To operate a beacon that is on all the time, broadcasting in all directions -- the amount of power is enormous," Gray says. "[Aliens] might use some other cheaper strategy -- brief periodic broadcasting, [like] a sweeping lighthouse beam."
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