47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth

While searching deep space for extra-terrestrial signals, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have stumbled across signals broadcast from Earth nearly half a century ago.

Radio astronomer Dr. Venn described how he made the historic discovery after analysing a number of signals originating from the same point in space. “I realised the signal was in the VHF Band and slap bang in the middle of 41-68 MHz. It was obviously old terrestrial television broadcasts, but they seemed to be originating from deep space.” After boosting and digital enhancement the resulting video signals are remarkably clear.

A BBC team have been working closely with Dr Venn’s team to help recover the signals. BBC Television historian Peter Wells, explained “We now know these are original broadcasts. So far we have recovered about 7 weeks of old television signals from space. Every day in our lab is like traveling back in time. And speaking of which we have just started the digital recovery of signals that contain lost Doctor Who episodes.

Doctor Who

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