The Wow! signal: An intercepted alien transmission?

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.

I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist

The Wow! signal: An intercepted alien transmission?

Detected in 1977, this short signal has puzzled SETI investigators for decades. The article gives a good overview of the mystery.


One comment

  • Pzatchok

    A 72 second signal on just one day doesn’t sound like a real attempt at communication.

    Any intelligent alien who has the power to transmit something that far, in our direction would know to transmit something more than static for 72 seconds for just one burst on one day.

    You would make the same assumption that we do about a planets needed orbits and spins to support life.
    So one burst would not do it. They would at least send it at the same time over a number of consecutive periods.

    And it would be something better than static. Definitely not 4g high def quality but at least a series of dots similar to morris code. Something that would represent their counting system, be it base ten, base 8, base 12 or what ever they use. A simple mathematics primer in their system.

    I can’t see a way to send a verbal language or written language that would be transmittable over that distance and stay clear.

    I can’t think of a way to encode a written language so that someone who has no reference points can decode it and read it. Especially another being on another planet who doesn’t even know what you look like for a beginning reference. You can’t point to your eye and say eye or write eye.

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