A chatty source of radio waves from deep space has a little more to say [sciencenews.org]. Six more blasts of radio energy, each lasting just a few milliseconds, erupted from some phenomenon outside of our galaxy [iop.org], researchers report in the Dec. 20 Astrophysical Journal. This detection follows 11 previously recorded outbursts of radio waves from the same location, the only known repeater in a class of enigmatic eruptions known as fast radio bursts.
The origins of these radio bursts, 18 of which have been reported since 2007 [swin.edu.au], are an ongoing puzzle ( SN: 8/9/14, p. 22 [sciencenews.org]). The continuing barrage from this repeating source, roughly 3 billion light-years away in the constellation Auriga, implies that whatever is causing some radio bursts is not a one-time destructive event such as a collision or explosion. Flares from a young neutron star, the dense core left behind after a massive star explodes, are a promising candidate.
The latest volley was detected in late 2015, Paul Scholz, a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues report. Five blasts were recorded at the Green Bank Telescope [greenbankobservatory.org] in West Virginia and one at Arecibo Observatory [naic.edu] in Puerto Rico. This object was first detected at Arecibo in 2012. Ten more blasts followed in May and June 2015 ( SN: 4/2/16, p. 12 [sciencenews.org]).