For years, astronomers had been puzzled by these brief but intense bursts of radio waves that in some ways appeared to be coming from deep space. There have been dozens of reported perytons, some dating back to the 1990s, and theories about the signals’ origin included ball lightning, aircraft, and components of the telescopes themselves.
But almost since the beginning, one thing has been clear about perytons: Despite mimicking a deep space signal, they’re produced by a source that’s somewhere near Earth. Astronomers knew this because perytons simultaneously show up in multiple viewing fields rather than arriving from a single point.
In this respect, perytons are very much unlike their cousins called fast radio bursts, highly energetic signals that truly appear to be coming from very, very far away and have no known origin.
If you open the microwave door before the timer goes off, the thing in the oven that produces microwaves – it’s called a magnetron – hasn’t had a chance to completely shut off. And so, the microwave oven is briefly transmitting radio waves into the open. More
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