The Unexplained: Who’s sending us signals from deep space?

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are short bursts of radio emissions from the sky lasting only few milliseconds. Image credit: Jingchuan Yu/Beijing Planetarium

The radio signals were sent billions of years ago.  It takes a long time for the waves to travel the great distances of space. 

The New York Times first wrote about mysterious radio waves from space in 1933.  Stories about such waves are usually followed by: “no evidence of interstellar signaling.”

Something amazing happened on August 15th of 1977, and it came from space.  The Big Ear radio telescope of Ohio State University that had been recording seemingly senseless data for years, recorded some brief but startling information.

The person that was examining the printed data, astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, noticed a definite pattern in the radio signals from space.  It was an intelligent looking pattern coming in from the constellation Sagittarius.  How could such patterns possibly be random?  How could they possibly not be made by intelligent transmitters?

As Ehman was reading the information on the print out, he circled the pattern and wrote “wow!” beside it.  It has been known ever since as the Wow Signal–for good reason.

It is the strongest example for a possible extraterrestrial radio transmission ever recorded.

Sara Marie Hogg

People like me are always hoping for another Wow Signal.  I want more of these signals and for us to be able to decipher them into an intelligent message of some kind.

Radio signals keep coming to Earth from deep space.  The ones we have been getting recently – and there have been a lot – are not from beings of another world, but they are interesting and of scientific value.

Mind you, the signals we get are not being sent now.  They were sent billions of years ago.  It takes too long for the waves to travel the great distances of space.  They were emitted billions of years ago because it takes that long for the waves to travel across galaxies.

Several science articles published in January and February of 2023 tell us of signals picked up recently in India and Canada.  They picked up radio signals from a galaxy that is nine billion light years away.

Sadly, it is not a Wow Signal, but it was emitted when the universe was only 4.9 billion years old.  It was sent out, not that long after the Big Bang.

Our own solar system was formed about 4.5 billion years ago.

The galaxy, SDSSJo826+5630, is so far away that normally any signal would be too faint to be detected by our radio telescopes on earth.

There is a type of phenomenon that is making capturing these distant signals possible, now.  It is called gravitational lensing. This happens when a signal is bent around a large object – in this case, a galaxy, and the resulting magnification of the signals was thirty times.

The signal was captured with the giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in Maharashtra, India.

Astronomical researchers in Montreal also picked up the signal.

The signal, from a star-forming galaxy, helped researchers measure the gas composition of the galaxy.  Signals are helping scientists unravel mysteries of the early universe.

Gravitational lensing can be harnessed to observe the mysteries of other distant galaxies.

In my own mind, I am certain there will be more Wow Signals.


Please click HERE to find Sara’s collection of true stories about the bizarre and unexplained.

, , , , , , , ,

Related Posts