Thursday, November 05, 2020
A flash of luck helped astronomers solve a cosmic mystery: What causes powerful but fleeting radio bursts that zip and zigzag through the universe?
Scientists have known about these energetic pulses " called fast radio bursts " for about 13 years and have seen them coming from outside our galaxy, which makes it harder to trace them back to what's causing them. Making it even harder is that they happen so fast, in a couple of milliseconds.
Then this April, a rare but considerably weaker burst coming from inside our own Milky Way galaxy was spotted by two dissimilar telescopes: one a California doctoral student's set of handmade antenna s, which included actual cake pans, the other a $20 million Canadian observatory.
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