The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal. The Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope in the United States received it in August 1977.
The signal is considered one of the best candidates in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence due to its long duration of 72 seconds and its frequency of 1,420 Mhz, which is believed to be a ‘channel’ that extraterrestrials could use to communicate.
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In 2017, a group of scientists proposed that the hydrogen cloud surrounding two comets could have been the source of the Wow! Signal, but this hypothesis was dismissed by the scientific community because the comets were not in the beam at the correct time.
The problem in finding the real source of the WOW! Signal is that the data was processed in a way that does not allow the astronomers to determine which of two feed horns of the radio telescope detected it.
However, new research published in arXiv has identified a potential Solar twin named 2MASS 19281982-2640123 inside the region where the WOW! Signal was detected.
The star, which is located 1,801 light-years away, has an estimated temperature only 5 degrees higher than the Sun, and a radius and luminosity almost identical.
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If the WOW! Signal indeed came from an exoplanet similar to Earth, the star 2MASS 19281982-2640123 has a high chance of being its host star.
Another 14 potential Solar analogues with temperatures between 5,730 and 5,830 K are also identified inside the region.
The author of the paper Alberto Caballero points out that despite the WOW! Signal could have come from any of the thousands of stars in the region, these Sun-like stars are excellent targets to search for habitable exoplanets.
New spectrographs such as ESPRESSO (Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanet- and Stable Spectroscopic Observations) will allow astronomers to easily find Earth-like planets around stars such as 2MASS 19281982-2640123.