The WOW! Signal.

April-May 2015, Brescia, Italy.

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received in 1977, by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin. The astronomer who discovered the anomaly was so impressed by the result that he circled the reading on the computer printout and wrote the comment Wow! on its side, leading to the event's widely used name.

Many hypotheses have been advanced on the origin of the emission, including natural and man-made sources, but none of them adequately explains the result. The Wow! signal remains the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission ever detected.


“The key, then, is to reject the safety of the comprehensible and to allow the imagery to lead us back to the concept of an open and multidirectional circularity, a circularity engendered by convoluted allusions and layered contexts”. (Gianluca Ranzi, Receiving the signal)