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Insights from recent posts in The Galaxy on fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most baffling mysteries of the cosmos by several of the world’s leading astronomers and physicists.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are among the most enigmatic and powerful events in the cosmos. Around 80 of these events–intensely bright millisecond-long bursts of radio waves coming from beyond our galaxy–have been witnessed so far, but their causes remain unknown. Despite happening frequently – thousands occur over the entire sky every day – only a couple dozen FRBs have ever been seen. Scientists don’t know what causes them but it must involve incredible energy–equivalent to the amount released by the Sun in 80 years.

“We still have no new clue on whether the origin is artificial or natural,” said Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb about fast radio bursts (FRBs), one of the great astrophysical mysteries. In a rare feat, Caltech researchers have caught a new burst, called FRB 190523, pinpointing its origins to a galaxy 7.9 billion light-years away.

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Category: Science