Astronomers scanned the region of the sky from where the signal “Wow!” came to Earth
Astronomers have scanned the space region believed to be the source of the mysterious “Wow!” signal.
In 1977, a strange signal received by the Big Ear radio telescope excited many researchers. It took astronomers 45 years to accurately locate the source of this broadcast.
In May 2022, it was finally discovered that it came from a sun-like star in the constellation Sagittarius, nearly 1,800 light-years from Earth.
According to scientists, the signal “Wow!” could talk about the existence of intelligent life in the Universe and therefore was studied by SETI experts who were trying to find intelligent life forms in space.
Now astronomers have scanned an area in the constellation of Sagittarius, but they have been unable to find any evidence of a signal source.
Project contributor Wael Farah told Space.com that the collaboration holds promise for other searches for intelligent alien life beyond Earth.
“This does not only include the Wow! signal uncertainty region … but extends to areas on the sky where stellar densities are high, like the galactic center and galactic disc,” he added.
In September, astronomers took a deep scan of an area of the sky believed to be the source of the “Wow!” signal. For observations, the team used the Green Bank Telescope and the Allen Telescope of the SETI Institute.
Although the observations have not revealed the source of the technosignal, astronomers hope that there are many more possible places where the signal could have originated.
The mysterious radio signal was received by the Big Ear radio telescope on August 15, 1977. Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman discovered the anomaly a few days later while reviewing the recorded data.
He was so impressed by the result that he circled on the computer printout the reading of the signal’s intensity, “6EQUJ5”, and wrote the comment “Wow!” beside it, leading to the event’s widely used name.
Extraterrestrial life may be hiding in “terminator zones”
In a study published in the Astrophysical Journal, astrophysicists set out to find out if exoplanets could support life.
Astronomers have come to the conclusion that on the surface of some exoplanets there is a strip that may contain water, necessary for the existence of biological life. The terminator zone is the dividing line between the day and night sides of an exoplanet.
Many exoplanets are planets outside the solar system held by gravity. This means that one side of the planet is always facing the star they orbit, while the other side is in constant darkness.
The water on the dark side will most likely be in a frozen state, while on the light side it will be so hot that the water should just evaporate.
The terminator zone would be a “friendly place” – neither too hot nor too cold – in which liquid water could support extraterrestrial life.
Dr. Ana Lobo of the University of California, said: “The day side can be scalding hot, much uninhabitable, while the night side will be icy, potentially covered in ice. You need a planet that’s the right temperature for liquid water.”
“We’re trying to draw attention to planets with more limited amounts of water that, despite not having widespread oceans, might have lakes or other smaller bodies of liquid water, and that climate could actually be very promising.”
“By exploring these exotic climate states, we are improving our chances of finding and correctly identifying a habitable planet in the near future.”
The researchers created a model of their climate by analyzing different temperatures, wind patterns and radiative forcing, and found the “correct” zone on exoplanets that could contain life-supporting liquid water.
Researchers who are looking for life on exoplanets will now take into account the fact that it can hide in certain areas.
Astronomers discover the strongest evidence for another Universe before the Big Bang
The notion of the Big Bang goes back nearly 100 years, when the first evidence for the expanding Universe appeared.
If the Universe is expanding and cooling today, that implies a past that was smaller, denser, and hotter. In our imaginations, we can extrapolate back to arbitrarily small sizes, high densities, and hot temperatures: all the way to a singularity, where all of the Universe’s matter and energy was condensed in a single point.
For many decades, these two notions of the Big Bang — of the hot dense state that describes the early Universe and the initial singularity — were inseparable.
But beginning in the 1970s, scientists started identifying some puzzles surrounding the Big Bang, noting several properties of the Universe that weren’t explainable within the context of these two notions simultaneously.
When cosmic inflation was first put forth and developed in the early 1980s, it separated the two definitions of the Big Bang, proposing that the early hot, dense state never achieved these singular conditions, but rather that a new, inflationary state preceded it.
There really was a Universe before the hot Big Bang, and some very strong evidence from the 21st century truly proves that it’s so.
Although we’re certain that we can describe the very early Universe as being hot, dense, rapidly expanding, and full of matter-and-radiation — i.e., by the hot Big Bang — the question of whether that was truly the beginning of the Universe or not is one that can be answered with evidence.
The differences between a Universe that began with a hot Big Bang and a Universe that had an inflationary phase that precedes and sets up the hot Big Bang are subtle, but tremendously important. After all, if we want to know what the very beginning of the Universe was, we need to look for evidence from the Universe itself.
Read the full article here.
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