More mysterious extragalactic signals detected | Science News


Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

News in Brief

More mysterious extragalactic signals detected

A never-before-seen twin fast radio burst may help narrow the search for the source

3:22pm, November 25, 2015
Parkes radio telescope

CAUGHT IN THE ACT  Five more fast radio bursts have been detected at the Parkes radio telescope in Australia, shown here.

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, astronomers snagged a two-for-one deal on mysterious blasts of radio waves from other galaxies. An unprecedented double burst recently showed up along with four more of these flashes, researchers report online November 25 at

Fast radio bursts, first detected in 2007, are bright blasts of radio energy that last for just a few milliseconds and are never seen again (SN: 8/9/14, p. 22). Until now, astronomers had cataloged nine bursts that appeared to originate well outside the Milky Way. Yet, follow-up searches with nonradio telescopes for anything that might be pulsing or exploding keep coming up empty (SN Online: 12/8/14).

The five newcomers, detected at the Parkes radio telescope

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content