Scientists locate the first fast radio burst in the Milky Way

The discovery could shed much more light on the nature of the bursts. This burst’s proximity to Earth made it possible to detect bursts in other wavelengths, like X-rays, that weren’t practical with more distant examples. It might be possible to determine the cause, whether it’s the product of the magnetic fields themselves or something inside the star.

Don’t expect this to solve every riddle around fast radio bursts. It’s still not certain why some bursts are more energetic than others (the nearby instance was about 1,000 times weaker than usual), and others erupt in patterns that don’t necessarily line up with what you’d get from a magnetar. Nonetheless, this ‘local’ event might answer many questions about the bursts and what they say about the universe, such as the distribution of matter.

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