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Magnetars can spew high energy beams of light that may be the radio bursts we see on Earth

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger

The strangest fast radio burst (FRB) yet is helping us narrow down the possibilities of what causes these odd, powerful blasts of radio waves from space. The unusual patterns we see in its light suggest it may be coming from a wobbly neutron star.

FRBs generally last only a few milliseconds, but some of them have been observed to repeat, bursting many times from the same location. We don’t know what causes them, although everything from …



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