One of the biggest mysteries in astronomy is the origin of the Wow! signal, and a new study zeroes in on a possible star system candidate.
The signal, a 72 second data sequence of narrowband radio waves, first observed by Jerry Ehman using the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University 43 years ago, was so unusual that he wrote it in the margin.
Researchers still don't know where the signal came from or what caused it, prompting a number of theories over the years, ranging from it being a pair of comets passing by to wild speculation.
The data collected by the European Space Agency's Gaia space observatory was used to find a star system candidate, as detailed in a new paper published in the International Journal of Astrobiology.
The goal was to determine if there were any star systems similar to ours in the region where the Wow! signal was coming from.
The Sun-like star 2MASS 19281982-2640123 is located in the constellation Sagittarius.
There is a solar analog in the region where the most alien-like signal has come from.
He wrote in the paper that despite the star being too far for a reply to be sent in the form of a radio or light transmission, it could be a good place to look for exoplanets.
This star has an estimated temperature five degrees higher than the Sun, and a radius and luminosity almost identical, he argued in a 2020 video on the subject.
It's certainly a bit of a stretch, but otherastronomy say it's not as crazy as it sounds.
Rebecca Charbonneau, a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics historian and SETI expert who was not involved in the project, thinks it's worth it.
Charbonnaeu noted that limiting the search to stars that are similar to our own may have been the wrong move.
She asked, "Why not just look at a bunch of stars?"
It would take hundreds of years for a signal to make its way to 2MASS1982 1928-2640123 from Earth, making it very difficult to return a sign of life.
It is a conclusion that should be taken with a grain of salt.
Our search for intelligent life in the universe needs to start somewhere.
There is a possible source of WOW! IFL Science has a signal to potentially Habitable Sun-like Star.
The signal says we don't understand the origin of the Astronomer who discovered it.