A team of McGill University researchers, along with their partners from other leading Canadian universities, have recently detected what they call "a short, intense" radio burst deep in the Milky Way Galaxy.
This exciting discovery has astronomers wondering if "magnetars," or giant, dead stars that have huge magnetic fields, are the source of this mysterious radio burst.
While researchers still have to find out the real source of this phenomenon, the discovery of this radio burst hopes to help unlock some of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
Editor's Choice: 9 Things You Desperately Need To Know Before Moving To Montreal
Close proximity of high energy pulse suggests magnetars may be at the origin of some fast radio bursts.
Known as fast radio bursts or FRBs, these types of radio bursts are usually from far-flung galaxies that are too distant to be detected. They are rarely discovered in the Milky Way.
"We calculated that such an intense burst coming from another galaxy would be indistinguishable from some fast radio bursts," said Pragya Chawla, one of the co-authors on the study and a senior Ph.D. student in the Physics Department at McGill.
"So this really gives weight to the theory suggesting that magnetars could be behind at least some FRBs."
FRBs were first discovered over a decade ago. Astronomers have since found that these bursts release enormous amounts of energy that is "more intense than the energy generated by the Sun over millions to billions of years."
Though work still needs to be done to discover the actual source of this radio burst, McGill researchers hope that this discovery brings us even closer to knowing about our own galaxy and its phenomena.