Alien pings were the microwave

06 May 2015 - 02:33 By ©The Daily Telegraph

Scientists monitoring an Australian radio telescope have discovered that a series of strange signals which have baffled astrophysicists for 17 years were caused by the facility's kitchen microwave. The finding was made by Emily Petroff, a PhD student, who set up an interference monitor at the site to investigate the signals, known as perytons, which were thought to be from space.The signals were first detected at Australia's Parkes telescope in 1998 and were similar in frequency and duration to fast radio bursts, which are believed to come from another galaxy.Petroff detected three short signal bursts, whose data indicated a source similar to a microwave oven.He examined the microwave and discovered that opening it while it was in use could trigger the reception of the perytons.The mystery was solved: the signals came from impatient researchers opening the microwave door prematurely."It turns out that you can generate these particular local signals by opening the door of the microwave," Petroff said.

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