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Should we reply to the WOW! Signal?


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Yes, we should reply to the WOW! signal! I figure, if they are that advanced that they can whizz over here in their spaceships, they probably are peaceful. Plus, even if they are hostile and come here to wage war, I am sure they will spare all the astronomers!

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Reply to what? The WOW! signal was unmodulated within the resolution limit of the receiver. No message received.

At the given frequency an awful lot of data can be packed into a short time. The nature of the signal suggests its origin was a point source in the sky but if aliens had sent the signal as an intentional attempt to communicate why not modulate it constantly? Why not pack data in at a high data rate on a sub carrier and the modulate the carrier at low frequency to aid detection? If I wanted to be heard across space I'd use a signal like the Russian "woodpecker" that plagued SW frequencies in the 70's (over the horizon radar). An intense pulsating signal that couldn't be missed or mistaken.

If it was an unitentional alien broadcast they are most likely not listening for a reply. Maybe the burst was the radio flash from the unfortunate anhilation of their planet with thermoneuclear bombs. Maybe their neighbours didn't like them.

Maybe they were listening for a reply but long since gave up or forgot the signal ever got sent. Who knows what the round trip time is? + 43 years delay on our part :)

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