Astronomers detect repeating radio burst, trace it to neighboring galaxy

by Laura Mize · Jan 7th, 2020 12:09 pm
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NSF’s Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory/Gemini Observatory/AURA

Last Updated Jan 7th, 2020 at 1:43 pm

Astronomers have identified a galaxy half a billion light years away as the origin of a repeated burst of radio waves in outer space. A network of eight telescopes on earth honed in on the galaxy — which is considered nearby in space terms — as the source of the repeating radio burst. Like the Milky Way, this galaxy is also spiral-shaped.

It is not yet clear specifically what is causing the repeating, quick radio bursts.

This is only the second such series of bursts for which scientists have discovered the source location. Sources of other radio bursts — whether repeating or individual ones — all have been at least seven times farther away. On Monday, the scientific journal Nature published a study reporting details of the recent discovery.