The “Big Ear” was a Radio Telescope that listened for radio signals from space

Big Ear

EDN - Big Ear receives 'Wow! Signal,' August 15, 1977

The Ohio State University Radio Observatory was operated on the grounds of Ohio Wesleyan Univerity’s The Perkins Observatory in Delaware Ohio from 1963 to 1998.  The radio observatory was part of OSU’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project.

Dr. John D. Kraus (1910–2004)
Director of the Ohio State University Radio Observatory (OSURO) based in Columbus.
He designed and directed the construction of the football-field-sized “Big Ear” in Delaware Ohio. 

Construction of the Big Ear began in 1956 and was completed in 1961. It was turned on for the first time in 1963.

The radio telescope discovered some of the most distant known objects at the edge of the universe and conducted sky surveys mapping over 19,000 radio sources (over half of which had never been previously detected).

The Big Ear gets a Wow!

The Wow! signal was a strong radio signal received on August 15, 1977. The 72-second signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.


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