We probably all know the Wow!-Signal, happened on August 15, 1977. Assume that it wasn't meant for us. What was it pointing at then?

The signal at that time came from RA= 19h25m31s ± 10s or 19h28m22s ± 10s and the declination becomes −26°57′ ± 20′.

Which stars could it point at and did anybody investigate this?

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    $\begingroup$ You're assuming the signal was aimed in a particular direction rather than being broadcast in all directions. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2014 at 1:12
  • $\begingroup$ Is where it pointed to as relevant as where it might have come from? If it came from the Chi Sagittarii star group, that's about 220 light years from here, which suggests the message, at minimum, was sent around 1757, long before we had the capability to respond. A "response" WAS sent in 2012, but it won't arrive before 2232. By then we will either be extinct, or have warp capability. This is hardly an effective means of communication, except perhaps as a source of inspiration. $\endgroup$
    – user2771
    Nov 8, 2014 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


In the opposite direction (RA= 07h 25m 31s ± 10s, +26° 57′ ± 20′, J2000.0, seen from Earth) of the positive horn of the Wow!-signal (RA= 19h 25m 31s ± 10s, −26° 57′ ± 20′, in J2000.0 coordinates), Iota Geminorum, aka Propus, (RA= 07h 25m 43.6s, +27° 47' 53") is within a 3-sigma error ellipse (1.26 sigma in RA, 2.54 sigma in Dec, 2.84 sigma total error).

However, this doesn't reveal, whether the signal pointed to anywhere.

  • $\begingroup$ "120-126 light-years from Earth" sounds worth an investigation. I assume that it's not known whether it has planets. $\endgroup$
    – draks ...
    Mar 11, 2014 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ According to this (hpcf.upr.edu/~abel/phl/exomaps/…) map no planets of Propus are known yet. $\endgroup$
    – Gerald
    Mar 11, 2014 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @draks...: But we know Sol does have planets. If there was a target (a big assumption), it's more likely to be us than Propus, particularly since we're about 120 light-years closer to ... whatever. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2014 at 1:13
  • $\begingroup$ @KeithThompson You can't assume that signal was directed at us. What reason do you have to believe that the signal was meant for us besides the fact that we are here. I believe that the best assumption is no assumption. We have no information that lets us assume it was for us. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2014 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ @RyanMcGaha: I'm not assuming anything. I'm disputing the question's implicit assumption that it wasn't directed at us. If it was deliberately sent in one particular direction, the fact that we received it implies that it was directed at us, or at someone or something directly between us and the source, or at someone or something directly behind us along the same path. Of the available candidates (Sol and Propus), Sol seems more likely, because, as I said we know Sol has planets. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2014 at 21:37

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