7 explanations for why mysterious radio bursts are coming from space

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An artistic impression of galaxies

FRBs keep coming from space, but what’s causing them?

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

Strange flashes of radio waves, called fast radio bursts (or FRBs), have been confounding astronomers since the first one was detected in 2007. It’s tough to say what’s causing them because most FRBs are here and gone in a moment – only one has ever been seen to repeat – so it’s tricky to gather a lot of data about each one.

However, astronomers do have some ideas about where they might come from, ranging from the usual astronomical suspects …

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