In May 2015, N. N. Bursov at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Special Astrophysical Observatory in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, was gazing at his instruments when he spotted something extraordinary. There was a spike on his radiograph. But not just any spike – this was a big one, much bigger than anything he and his team had seen before.
The astronomer was using the RATAN-600: the largest radio telescope of its kind at nearly 2,000 feet in diameter. Surprisingly, though, the team sat on their discovery for a year while they tried to figure out what to do. This flaunted international protocol.
Finally, then, on the afternoon of August 26, 2016, the rest of the international astronomy community learned about what the Russian Observatory had found. “We were taken aback. It was certainly a surprise,” Dr. Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Centern said to the MailOnline.