Astronomers have found a new and intense type of radio burst, Space.com reports:
The single, short-lived blast of radio waves likely occurred some 3 billion light-years from Earth, and it may signal a cosmic car crash of two neutron stars, the death throes of a black hole—or something else.
"This is something that's completely unprecedented," said Duncan Lorimer, an astrophysicist at West Virginia University in Morgantown and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory who led the discovery-making team. He noted that radio-emitting pulsars send out similar emissions, but repeat them every few hours.
"We're confused and excited, but it could open up a whole new research field," Lorimer told SPACE.com of the 5-millisecond blip on the cosmic radar screen. "If we really go after these things, we expect to find out that a couple hundred of them occur each day."