Jerry Ehman, the astronomer who discovered the Wow! radio signal in 1977, explained Live Science he disagreed with the debunk by Antonio Paris who claimed the signal from deep space was caused by two comets.
On April 1, 2017, Paris published a paper in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, claiming the mysterious “Wow! Signal” has comparisons with the comet 266P / Christensen.
“On 15 August 1977, the Ohio State University Radio Observatory detected a strong narrowband signal in the constellation Sagittarius (Sgr). The frequency of the signal, which matched closely with the hydrogen line (1420.40575177 MHz), peaked at approximately 23:16:01 EDT. On the same date and time, comet 266P/Christensen was transiting in the vicinity where the “Wow!” Signal was detected,” writes Paris.
The reason for his publication is not to humiliate Ehman but to understand more about space.
“This investigation, moreover, was designed to improve our understanding of the content and origin of the “Wow!’ Signal by determining if a neutral hydrogen cloud emitted from a short-period comet could be detected by a terrestrial radio telescope,” Paris continued.
Some astronomers such as Ehman believe Paris is wrong about his comet theory because there was never a second signal within the 3 minutes deadline.
“We should have seen the source come through twice in about 3 minutes: one response lasting 72 seconds and a second response for 72 seconds following within about a minute and a half,” Ehman told Live Science. “We didn’t see the second one.”
Ehman says that a comet does not produce such a signal, but admits he is not convinced that it is about extraterrestrial. If the “Big Ear” only catches the tail it has similarities with the Wow! signal.
Wow! Radio Signal
No researcher can explain what exactly caused the Wow! Signal.
Currently, all options are open. No matter the chances are small that the signals are created by alien intelligence, it can not be ruled out.