Noise is an everywhere phenomenon. Its influence could be described theoretically quite easily, but is hard to measure in an experiment. Catalytic reactions on surfaces can be described by nonlinear reaction-diffusion equations. For one of such surface reactions - CO oxidation on Iridium(111) surfaces - the probability distribution of CO2 rates around the mean value - showing the influence of noise - could be measured directly in a ultra high vacuum (UHV) experiment. This opens the way to address such a fundamental phenomenon like noise by all three modern methods of physics - experimental, computational and analytical. We show the measured effect of colored noise on a bistable surface reaction and explain all observations directly with the underlying theoretical description - the Langmuir-Hinshelwood reaction scheme - by solving the equations under realistic assumptions. It is a great pleasure to dedicate this work to Prof. Dr. Helmut R. Brand on the occasion of his 60th birthday. © 2014 EDP Sciences and Springer.