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A repeating fast radio burst 3 billion light-years from Earth may be coming from a neutron star

The strong magnetic field around it could be the result of a black hole or powerful nebula

CNN  — 

The only known repeating fast radio burst in the universe just got more extreme.

These radio flashes usually last a millisecond and have an unknown physical origin. People love to believe that they’re from an advanced extraterrestrial civilization, and this hypothesis hasn’t been ruled out entirely by researchers at Breakthrough Listen, a scientific research program dedicated to finding evidence of intelligent life in the universe.

Fast radio bursts in space themselves are not rare, but FRB 121102 – first detected in 2012 – is the only one that has been known to repeat. And the repetition is sporadic.

Last year, its host galaxy, a star-forming dwarf galaxy 3 billion light-years from Earth, was also identified.