In DepthAstronomy

Galactic flash points to source of enigmatic fast radio bursts

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Science  12 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6496, pp. 1171-1172
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6496.1171

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Summary

On 28 April, a radio telescope known as the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) detected an enormously bright radio flash known as a fast radio burst (FRB). Because of its brightness, the CHIME team knew it had to come from somewhere close. All other FRBs seen so far have erupted in distant galaxies—too far and too fast to figure out what produced them. After some extra data processing, the team determined the burst had come from a known magnetar—a neutron star with a powerful magnetic field—in the Milky Way. The find could be the missing link in a problem that has puzzled astronomers for more than a decade: What is the source of these laserlike radio flashes?

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