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The closest extragalactic fast radio burst yet?

8 Apr 2021, 11:30 UTC
The closest extragalactic fast radio burst yet?
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The galaxy in the top right is M81. The square insert (top left) shows the extent of hydrogen gas surrounding this galaxy. The red oval indicates the region of origin for the fast radio burst, “to a likelihood of 90%,” these astronomers said. Within this region there are 4 known entities that could have spawned the bursts: an ionized gas region, an X-ray source, a globular cluster and a radio source. Image via DSS/ M. Bhardwaj et al.
Astronomers discovered the mysterious signals known as fast radio bursts (FRBs) as recently as 2007. The bursts are short and strong – on average only .001 of a second long – but with as much energy in that millisecond as our sun puts out in three days. Fast radio bursts aren’t uncommon, though. Astronomers believe that roughly 1,000 of them arrive at Earth each day. We don’t know yet what causes them, but ideas keep getting ruled out or strengthened as new research comes in.
On April 1, 2021, astronomers reported the discovery of a fast radio burst repeating three times (that they measured) during 2020: one burst in January, one in July and one in November, all from the same ...

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