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A search for periodic emissions at the Wow locale


Gray, RH and Ellingsen, SP, A search for periodic emissions at the Wow locale, The Astrophysical Journal, 578, (2) pp. 967-971. ISSN 0004-637X (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1086/342646


The Ohio State University Radio Observatory recorded a strong, narrowband emission near the 21 cm hydrogen line in 1977 during a search for extraterrestrial intelligence, an event known as the "Wow" signal. The few independent attempts to replicate the detection have failed. We have investigated the possibility of a periodic source - perhaps rotating and illuminating us once each cycle of many hours, like a lighthouse which prior observations would have been unlikely to detect. We used the University of Tasmania Hobart 26 m radio telescope to search for intermittent and possibly periodic emissions at the Wow locale by tracking the apparent source positions for nearly 14 hr continuously on multiple days. No emissions resembling the Wow were detected over a bandwidth of 2.5 MHz to a flux density limit of about 18 Jy, with a detection threshold of 5.9 σ and rms noise of 3 Jy. We conclude that the Wow was not due to a source within our flux density limits and repeating more often than every 14 hr, although the possibility of a longer period or non-periodic source cannot be ruled out.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Galactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Ellingsen, SP (Professor Simon Ellingsen)
ID Code:25760
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2002-08-01
Last Modified:2003-05-07

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