Scientists have announced that they discovered the first cosmic radio bursts from outside of the Milky Way. It is not known where the bursts came from, but they are often produced when stars explode or merge into one another.
Radio bursts are quick spikes of light from a point in the sky. They are of longer wavelengths. Scientists discovered a single radio burst six years ago but they were not sure if it came from our galaxy.
NASA detected four radio bursts in total that came from billions of light years away, far off from our galaxy.
They published the discovery in the most recent issue of Science and includes explanations from an international team. The bursts were observed in Parkes Observatory in Australia.
"The radio bursts last for just a few milliseconds and the farthest one that was detected was 11 billion light years away," Dan Thorton, who headed the study, said. "You have to look at the sky for a very long time to find these. The reason that we're detecting them now is we've simply looked long enough."
Simon Johnston, research team member, said, "Staggeringly, we estimate there could be one of these flashes going off every ten seconds somewhere in the sky. With the ability to detect these very fast sources we are opening up a whole new area of astrophysics."
They are continuing to scan the sky for more cosmic radio bursts outside of the galaxy.