Funds needed to identify “Wow!” signal

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An astronomer who thinks the “Wow!” radio signal was not from aliens but caused by two comets that were not known at the time is trying to crowd-source the funds he needs to obtain radio telescope time to prove his theory.

Comet 266P/Christensen will pass the Chi Sagittarii star group again on 25 January 2017, while 335P/Gibbs will make its passage on 7 January 2018. Paris plans to observe these events to look for a recurrence of the mystery signal. But time is not on his side for using an existing radio telescope – they are all booked out.

So, he has launched a crowdfunding campaign on gofundme to raise the $13,000 he needs to buy a radio telescope to make the observation. Donations are rolling in and he is already most of the way to his target. “I would like to [be fully funded] in May, order the stuff so that I can have it by October,” he says. This would give him time to construct the dish, test it and prepare for the January encounter.

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