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Scientists have found the source of a number of intense radio blasts that have been detected on Earth.

The signals, known as “fast radio bursts”, are intense but very short: they last less than a second but contain more energy that the Sun puts out in a whole year.

They were first discovered in 2007 but have remained largely mysterious since, even as researchers have catalogued up to 1,000 of them in the years since. The extremity of the blasts have led to speculation that they are the result of everything from extraterrestrial technology to unknown physical phenomena.

But, in the new study, researchers tracked down the source of eight of those bursts to their exact locations. Five of them were found within spiral galaxies, placed along the their outstretched curvy tentacles.

That discovery not only helps the search for the location of the blasts, but their cause too – the discovery helps narrow down the possible explanations.

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