Strange Radio Bursts Seen Coming From a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Mark Strauss in National Geographic:

ScreenHunter_2489 Jan. 06 12.04Every day, thousands of enigmatic objects in space produce bursts of radio waves that flash for just a few milliseconds yet are capable of generating as much energy as 500 million suns.

Astronomers didn’t even know these fast radio bursts existed until a decade ago. In the years since, they’ve been scouring the cosmos, hoping that by pinpointing their locations, they might be able to figure out what—or perhaps who—is producing them.

Today, a team of astronomers announced that they have finally found their quarry. Relying on a global network of powerful telescopes, they managed to capture a fast radio burst that is broadcasting from a dwarf galaxy some three billion light-years away.

The discovery—described in multiple papers in Nature and the Astrophysical Journal Letters—could have profound implications. It may provide astronomers with a new window into the early universe, while also offering vital clues to a mystery that continues to challenge our perceptions of the cosmos.

More here. [Thanks to Farrukh Azfar.]