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Fast radio burst tracked to its galaxy of origin

Detection offers clue to matter hiding in space between galaxies

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1:00pm, February 24, 2016
telescopes

HUNTING FOR GALAXIES  Radio telescopes at the Australia Telescope Compact Array (pictured) helped pinpoint the latest fast radio burst to a galaxy about 6 billion light-years away.

For the first time, astronomers have tracked a blast of cosmic radio waves to its home galaxy.

This burst originated in a galaxy roughly 6 billion light-years away in the constellation Canis Major, researchers report online February 24 in Nature. Identification of a host galaxy has eluded astronomers since the first report of a fast radio burst in 2007. All the bursts typically last for just a few milliseconds and never repeat (SN: 8/9/14, p. 22).

In April 2015, the Parkes radio telescope in Australia recorded a burst and alerted other observatories, Evan Keane, an astronomer with the Square Kilometer Array Organization in Macclesfield, England, and colleagues report. About two hours later, the Australia Telescope Compact Array picked up a faint radio glow that faded over the following six days. The position

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