Source of puzzling cosmic signals found — in the kitchen | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Mystery Solved

Source of puzzling cosmic signals found — in the kitchen

Microwave ovens trip up astronomers

By
4:19pm, April 10, 2015
Parkes radio telescope

WHAT’S FOR DINNER? Signals detected by the Parkes radio telescope (pictured) suggest that intelligent life in the universe has a penchant for leftovers.

Mysterious radio signals detected by the Parkes telescope appear to come from an advanced civilization in the Milky Way. Unfortunately, it’s the one civilization we already know about.

Microwave ovens opened before they’re done cooking have been muddling the hunt for far more distant radio signals, researchers report online April 9 at arXiv.org. Astronomers have had to contend with enigmatic flares dubbed “perytons” ever since discovering equally puzzling fast radio bursts, or FRBs (SN: 8/9/14, p. 22), in 2007. Perytons and FRBs are quite similar, except that astronomers realized that perytons originate on Earth, possibly from some meteorological phenomenon, while FRBs come from other galaxies.

Three perytons in January coincided with independently detected blasts of 2.4 gigahertz radio waves — the same frequency

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content