Beginning in the late ’90s, once or twice a year, astronomers operating the telescope at the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia would pick up mysterious radio signals. These signals were known as perytons, described in a recent report as “millisecond-duration transients of terrestrial origin.” The researchers believed the perytons were linked to atmospheric activity such as lightning strikes, and they held this belief for around 17 years, until this year, when they installed a new receiver to monitor interference, The Guardian reports. The actual source of the perytons? A microwave.
The receiver detected signals at 2.4 GHz within 5 kilometers of the telescope, which the researchers realized were being created by staffers heating up their lunches in the Parkes Observatory kitchen. The interference only occurred when staffers opened the microwave door while it was still heating.
Yup, they were signals. And they were coming from the staff room nuke.
Translation of signal: Close the dam door, will you, mate?