It’s the most mysterious signal ever received from space – a weird 72-second radio burst which many have claimed is proof of alien life.
But now a scientist believes he might have cracked the mystery of the strange signal which arrived just before midnight on August 15, 1977.
Antonio Paris pored over astronomical records and found that two comets zoomed past on Earth at the very moment the Wow signal was recorded.
He originally published this theory in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences earlier this year, but is now on the verge of finally proving his claims.
Paris, a former investigator at the Department of Defense, is about to successfully complete a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough cash to build a radio telescope and “solve one of the greatest mysteries of the Universe”.
“I have always been fascinated with astronomy, space and – more importantly – whether there is life in the universe,” he told the Sunday Times .
“After 40 years, the Wow signal was a cold case I wanted to reopen.
“Here we have a crime scene with a date and time, and a little description of the subject.”
Antonio Paris has now raised $18,260 of his goal of $20 thousand on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.
This cash will be used to build a radio telescope just in time to see the comets 266P/Christensen and P/2008 Y2 zoom through the same area of the sky as the star cluster M55 in the constellation Sagittarius, which was thought to be the origin of the Wow signal.
Paris believes that the radio waves were actually produced by clouds of hydrogen which surround the comets, rather than emanating from M55.
However, he admitted that he would be quite sad to finally prove the signal was not produced by an extraterrestrial civilisation.
“There’s a little bit of inside of me that hopes its aliens,” he added.