What's up in

fast radio bursts

A magnetar.

A Surprise Discovery Points to the Source of Fast Radio Bursts

June 11, 2020

After a burst lit up their telescope “like a Christmas tree,” astronomers were able to finally track down the source of these cosmic oddities.

Virginia Trimble at UC Irvine.

Virginia Trimble Has Seen the Stars

November 11, 2019

How a young celebrity became one of the first female astronomers at Caltech, befriended Richard Feynman, and ended up the world’s foremost chronicler of the science of the night sky.

Photo lede for "With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation"

With a Second Repeating Radio Burst, Astronomers Close In on an Explanation

February 28, 2019

Brief cosmic blips called fast radio bursts have puzzled astronomers since their discovery earlier this decade. Now researchers appear to be close to understanding what powers them.

Illustration for Extreme Radio Bursts

Astronomers Trace Radio Burst to Extreme Cosmic Neighborhood

January 10, 2018

A mysterious object that repeatedly bursts with ultra-powerful radio waves must live in an extreme environment — something like the one around a supermassive black hole.

Very Large Array, Socorro, NM
Abstractions blog

Ultra-Powerful Radio Bursts May Be Getting a Cosmic Boost

October 10, 2017

Repeating radio bursts are among the most mysterious phenomena in the universe. A new theory explores how some of their puzzling properties can be explained by galactic lenses made of plasma.


A Cosmic Burst Repeats, Deepen­ing a Mystery

April 18, 2017

After a surprise discovery, astrophysicists are racing to understand superenergetic flashes of radio waves that sometimes beep out from distant galaxies.