Ad Blocker Detected

We've noticed you're currently running ad blocking software. The contents of this site are available for free thanks to the contributions of our sponsors. If you cannot see the entire article, we would appreciate if you would deactivate your ad blocker and refresh the page before continuing to browse.

Thank you.


50 Years After Being Lost In Space, A Satellite Is Now Sending Messages Back To Earth

NOVEMBER 29, 2016  —  By Sarah Jewel  
Sarah Jewel

Sarah Jewel

Animal and pizza lover with an Internet addiction. Nerd to the max. Currently residing in the land of beautiful winters.

When we lose an object in space, it's usually gone forever.

That's the fate that everyone was expecting for LES-1 (short for the Lincoln Experimental Satellite), which disappeared from all tracking devices in 1967. There were eight more LES satellites launched over the following ten years, but LES-1 was never recovered.

Amateur astronomers were the first ones to pick up LES-1's new transmissions in 2013.

Phil Williams from the United Kingdom said he heard a "ghostly sound" in the satellite's signal. Some people even thought it might be sending alien voices to Earth.

Scientists have no idea why LES-1 is suddenly working again after tumbling through space all this time.

Getty Images

The most likely cause is the same faulty wiring that made it go offline to begin with.

Read More: This Object Has Been Orbiting The Earth For 50 Years, But No One Knows What It Is

The signal from the satellite is fluctuating because the device is spinning quickly.

Getty Images

When its solar panels are exposed to light, its transmitter can work. When the body of the satellite casts a shadow on the panels, the signal cuts out.

(via The Sun)

Astronomers can learn a lot from LES-1's failure and its new messages. The mystery of this satellite can finally be put to rest.

Load another article