Near the source of the famous “Wow!” no signs of alien life have been found. signal

The researchers used a pair of telescopes to scan the area where the alleged alien broadcast occurred 45 years ago.

While investigating the so-called Wow! This time the signal was empty, the research team said the collaboration is showing promising results in other searches for intelligent alien life beyond Earth. This will even include looking at data from the Gaia spacecraft mapping the sky to find more sun-like stars in the signal region, project contributor Wael Farah told

“This includes more than just the uncertainty domain of the Wow! … but extends to regions of the sky where stellar density is high, such as the galactic center and the galactic disk,” Farah wrote in an email on Monday (November 7).

The target zone was around a sun-like star located 1,800 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius, which was identified as a possible signal zone in a study published in May. “This is the first time that a targeted search for a Wow signal has been detected,” said Karen Perez, a Columbia University graduate student, in a Sept. 29 press release. (will open in a new tab) about the research conducted by Perez. It was hosted by Breakthrough Listen, a program of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI).

Related: Alien contact: how will humanity react?

Wow! The signal was transmitted from space by radio on 1 August. September 15, 1977, but despite repeating regularly for a short period of time, in the 45 years since that eventful evening, no one has found any concrete evidence of a signal repeating. (The name comes from the word “Wow!” that the researcher scrawled on a printout showing the signal.)

Perez said the search spurred the first-ever collaboration between two SETI-funded telescopes: the Green Bank Telescope and the Allen Telescope Array. The telescopes made their observations on the same day, May 21, with Green Bank making two 30-minute observations and ATA six five-minute observations. Their observations also coincided by nearly 10 minutes, SETI said in a statement.

Farah, a PhD researcher at ATA, said the telescope’s large field of view and other features (like placing more search beams in the sky) would allow “many other sources [to] be identified and studied at the same time as the tool.” In other words, future searches for the region may turn up more candidate stars where the signal originated.

Paper (will open in a new tab) based on the study was published in the Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society. Open search data is available on this SETI site (will open in a new tab).

Elizabeth Howell is co-author of Why Am I Taller? (will open in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).

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