Microwave Research Group
Development of Technology for Scientific Research
The name Peryton was picked by Sarah-Burke Spolaor to describe unusual transient radio signals which she detected in data from the Parkes radio telescope and were believed to be of terrestrial origin (Ap.J., 727:18, Jan 2011) . A Peryton is a mythological hybrid animal combining the physical features of a stag and a bird. The Peryton was created and described by Jorge Luis Borges in his Book of Imaginary Beings, using a supposedly long-lost medieval manuscript as a source.
A Peryton is distinguished from radio frequency interference by the fact that it is a pulse of several to ten's of millisecond duration which sweeps downward in frequency following a parabolic track similar to that caused by dispersion in a plasma. They are further distinguished by the fact that they occur simultaneously in many beams of a radio telescope (indicates they come from Earth) whereas astrophysical transients, termed Fast Radio Bursts (FRB's), occur in only 1 or 2 of the beams (indicates they are of galactic origin).
In 2015, Parks traced their Peryton source to a microwave oven at the telescope site which swept from 1.1 to 1.5 GHz in 300ms.