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40-year-old alien mystery may have finally been solved as astronomer reveals source of the 'Wow!' signal

Mirror logo Mirror 6/06/2017 Jeff Parsons
Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty

One of the mysteries of space has been perplexing scientists for the last 40 years .

Back in 1977, astronomer Jerry Ehman received such a strong radio signal coming in from the heavens, he wrote the word "wow!" next to his results.

The burst of activity lasted 72 seconds and - although it came from the Sagittarius constellation - it matched no known celestial object.

It's gone on to become a conspiracy theory favourite as proof of advanced alien life trying to communicate with us.

But now Professor Antonio Paris from the St Petersburg College in Florida believes he's solved the mystery.

"I have always been fascinated with astronomy, space and - more importantly - whether there is life in the universe," he told the Sunday Times .

"After 40 years, the Wow signal was a cold case I wanted to reopen.

"Here we have a crime scene with a date and time, and a little description of the subject."

Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty

According to Professor Paris, the signal came from the hydrogen cloud created by two comets as they passed by Earth.

Using celestial records, he found that these two comets were passing by our planet on August 15, 1977 - the day the "Wow!" signal was recorded. Of course, at the time, there was no knowledge that these comets even existed.

To make absolutely sure, Professor Paris waited until the comets were due to pass again then pointed some radio telescopes in their direction. He recorded the same results as Ehman did and has had his research accepted into the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

It'll now be up to other astronomers to disprove his theory.

And Professor Paris is almost hoping they do so.

"There's still a bit inside of me that hopes it was aliens," he said.

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