There have been a number of remarkable space-based developments recently. Today brought another. The Verge reported on papers in the journal Nature that discussed fast radio bursts (FRBs) – repeated pulses of radio waves that came from outside our own galaxy. In July and August 2018, some of these came from the same location. It gives scientist a chance to pinpoint where they actually came from and what is sending them towards Earth. The pules could also help scientists find out what is in the regions between galaxies.
Most FRBs have been momentary blips in the sky — at least as far as we know. These explosions of radio waves will last for just milliseconds and then disappear, never to be seen again. They seem to come from some incredibly distant spot in the Universe — sometimes billions of light-years away. The first FRB was discovered in 2007, and since then, we’ve confirmed 52 sources of these transient bursts. But in 2015, a special FRB discovery was made when multiple flashes were found that came from the same location. That provided an opportunity to help locate its source, and today’s FRB gives scientists another shot at that goal.