Microwave ovens trip up astronomers
David McClenaghan, CSIRO
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