Researchers have pinpointed the source of another ‘fast radio burst’ – a mysterious, powerful radio flash from space.
These bursts are bright pulses of radio emission milliseconds in duration, which release as much energy as the Sun does in 80 years – but scientists have, until now, struggled to chase the bursts to their sources.
The new find was made with CSIRO’s new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope in Western Australia.
CSIRO lead author Dr. Keith Bannister said. “This is the big breakthrough that the field has been waiting for since astronomers discovered fast radio bursts in 2007”.
In the 12 years since then, a global hunt has netted 85 of these bursts. Most have been ‘one-offs’ but a small fraction are ‘repeaters’ that recur in the same location.
Some experts have suggested they could be from extraterrestrials – or be created by the engines of interstellar spacecraft.
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