By Maddie Stone
Sometimes, the powerful radio bursts detected by our telescopes have the look of alien beacons, or other strange astronomical phenomena. Other times, they’re caused by scientists reheating coffee.
The latter happens to be the case when it comes to the origin of mysterious radio signals known as perytons. For years, astronomers at the Parkes Observatory in Australia have puzzled over these brief but intense bursts, which in some ways appeared to emanate from deep space. But unlike the fast radio bursts we’ve also heard about recently, researchers knew that perytons were actually coming from somewhere nearby, because they would simultaneously show up in multiple viewing fields rather than emanating from a single source.
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