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Old 05 May 2015, 08:46 AM
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Icon102 PhD astronomy student cracks source of mysterious radio bursts

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An Australian-based PhD student has cracked an international mystery that had some of the best minds in astrophysics stumped. Working at the Parkes radio telescope in NSW, Emily Petroff has identified the source of mysterious radio bursts of terrestrial origin that mimic signals from outside our own galaxy.

The strange radio signals being detected on Earth, known as "perytons", are very similar in frequency and duration to deep space signals that some astronomers thought could be caused by neutron stars becoming black holes. However, Ms Petroff and her colleagues identified a far more mundane source for perytons – microwave ovens used by astronomers to heat up their pot noodles.
http://www.theage.com.au/technology/...05-1mur6m.html
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  #2  
Old 05 May 2015, 01:29 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Good for her. Tracking down anomalies has led to many important advances, from the original 'debugging' to finding out why the candy bar got melted on the antenna, and many others. Whether this leads to any further developments or not, sorting out the signals and explaining observations is good science.
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Old 05 May 2015, 01:49 PM
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At the very least "some of the best minds in astrophysics" who were also working on the problem can go and work on something else now that the mystery has been solved.
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Old 05 May 2015, 02:59 PM
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At least it wasn't the type of peryton I'm used to....



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  #5  
Old 05 May 2015, 05:25 PM
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Wasn't this something that was discovered decades ago. I know there was a story of an astronomer discovering the same thing in the 90s
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Old 05 May 2015, 06:47 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Considering that this team was still looking for this, I am going to have to ask you for a cite, Beach. It may be that you are remembering a different interference problem.
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Old 05 May 2015, 06:54 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Perhaps Beach is thinking about the reverse story. The first detection of the universal background radiation (the echo of the big bang) was done with a large microwave receiver and initially it was thought that the signal came from a local source (including pigeons nesting in the antenna).
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Old 05 May 2015, 07:06 PM
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It's really hard to find anything because all google search's lead to this new incident.

I did find this Toledo Blade article from 1979 about how microwave ovens create issues for astronomers:
Microwave Ovens Upset Astronomers

So its been known that microwave ovens create issues. I am guessing that it has been previous ruled out as an explanation for perytons.
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  #9  
Old 05 May 2015, 07:14 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Okay, but this is a significantly different effect, in that the sudden opening of the microwave oven doors allowed a fairly unique set of frequencies to escape the enclosure, different from the usual use of microwave cookers (and I am pretty sure the cookers have been made better about allowing EM radiation to escape under closed-door use).

ZOMG - if opening the door creates a signal as intense as the formation of a black hole, what must it be doing to our bodies!!!!!
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Old 05 May 2015, 07:42 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
ZOMG - if opening the door creates a signal as intense as the formation of a black hole, what must it be doing to our bodies!!!!!
Everyone knows that microwave ovens contain a really small black hole.
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