Parkes Telescope Scientists Found That The Outer Space Signals Were Not From Aliens But From Their Microwave Oven

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IN PHOTO: A bus parked nearby gives an idea of the size of the newest instrument at Green Bank: a radio telescope so massive the Statue of Liberty, including the pedestal, could lie down on its blindingly white observing surface with room to spare.[ Its 43-story height and 16 million pounds (7.258 million kilograms) of tilting, turning mass make it the largest thing on land that moves. Welcome to the National Radio Quiet Zone. Feel free to shout, play the tuba or let out a primal scream. Just don't think about using a microwave oven. One stray zap from a microwave -- or a car's sparkplugs, or even an electric blanket -- in the heart of the 13,000 square mile (33,670 sq km) zone could interfere with science at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, a patch of forested Appalachia just west of the Virginia border CREDIT : REUTERS/NRAO/AUI-Handout/FEATURE/SPACE QUIET

Scientists at the Parkes Radio Telescope facility in New South Wales, Australia, were ecstatic to listen to the “fast radio bursts” that was seemingly coming from outer space. But an investigation by PhD student, Emily Petroff, found that these signals were coming from the microwave oven which was being opened too fast by hungry scientists.

Emily Petroff in her paper identified the signals that many astrophysicists attributed to neutron stars becoming black holes, was in-fact send out by their own microwave. According to Brian Koberlain, an astrophysicist at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the strange signals are called “Perytons” are like Fast radio bursts and do not have deep space origins. He added that the Parkes Radio Telescope was suited to detect these types of signals.

But in her paper uploaded on to arXiv, Petroff found that the Perytons and Fast Radio Bursts exhibited similar dispersion in electromagnetic spectra, making it difficult to distinguish from each other. Both were shorter wavelength radio signals which lasted for the similar time periods. Petroff discovered a phenomenon that Perytons were visible over a field of view and occurred only during weekdays and office hours. Fast Radio bursts mostly emanated from a single source. Using this crucial difference she zeroed on to the source, the microwave oven at the Parkes Telescope facility.

It has been found that impatient astronomers who opened the microwave door before the timer ended caused these signals. When the microwave oven door is opened very early, the oven’s magnetron sends out a brief burst of low frequency signals which mimic fast radio bursts. These were detected by the Parkes Telescope and mistakenly identified as intergalactic signals.

Petroff’s research has pointed out that Fast Radio Signals are of intergalactic origins and need to be studied carefully. Otherwise a microwave oven can stump overzealous astrophysicists in the quest to find alien life.

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