Scientists mistook microwave interference for alien messages

JC Torres - Apr 17, 2015, 7:50 am CDT
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Scientists mistook microwave interference for alien messages

Mistakes do happen even in science, which is the whole basis for the experimentation process. But there are some mistakes are just too embarrassing to make. Take for example this group of scientists who stumbled on what they thought could possibly be messages from intelligent lifeforms in outer space. Fact, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth, or nearer to the scientists, in this case. Apparently, the source of the shorts bursts of energy was nothing more than their very own laboratory microwave.

These scientists have been pouring over data, books, and theories to solve the mystery of preytons, short bursts of energy that were seemingly coming from outer space. Perytons are of specific interest to scientists because they contradicted the expected behavior of another potential source of alien communication, fast radio bursts.

Given the mysterious behavior and then inexplicable nature of the energy, scientists theorized it could be proof of life out there. Sadly, after much investigation, it served only as proof of human error. Apparently, the combination of an open microwave door a telescope set a certain angle produced the said short energy bursts believed to be coming from outer space.

All hope is not lost, however. As with any experiment, eliminating errors and false positives means that you can potentially narrow down the correct answers. In this case, having solved this particular instance of perytons, hopefully by making sure the microwave door is closed, they can turn their focus back to FRBs, which they still consider to be better candidates for extraterrestrial communication. That is, of course, until they potentially discover another Earth-bound source of the interference.

VIA: The Independent


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