January 05, 2017

FRBs: "They're one of the most persistent puzzles in modern astronomy."

BBC: As the name suggests, Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are short-lived - but powerful - pulses of radio waves from the cosmos. by Paul Rincon

'Their brevity, combined with the fact that it's difficult to pinpoint their location, have ensured their origins remain enigmatic.

'Outlining their work at a major conference, astronomers say they have now traced the source of one of these bursts to a different galaxy.

'It's an important step to finally solving the mystery, which has spawned a variety of different possible explanations, from black holes to extra-terrestrial intelligence.

'The first FRB was discovered in 2007, in archived data from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. Astronomers were searching for new examples of magnetised neutron stars called pulsars, but found a new phenomenon - a radio burst from 2001. Since then, 18 FRBs - also referred to as "flashes" or "sizzles" - have been found in total.'

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