Visible-light image of the dwarf galaxy from which signal FRB121102 is emanating.
Mysterious radio signal traced to dwarf galaxy
00:52 - Source: CNN

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Unexplained phenomenon may be closer to being solved

Radio signal traced to a tiny galaxy billions of light-years away

CNN  — 

A mysterious signal that has confounded scientists for years has been traced to a spot in the sky more than 3 billion light-years away.

Almost a decade after the first fast radio burst (FRB) was discovered, an international team of researchers has pinpointed the origin of one such signal as a dwarf galaxy in the pentagon-shaped constellation Auriga.

Scientists originally thought the signal – sporadic bursts of radio waves – was coming from within the Milky Way itself, or from our closest galactic neighbors, but a new report in the journal Nature confirms it emanates from a tiny galaxy 1% the mass of our own.

“These radio flashes must have enormous amounts of energy to be visible from over 3 billion light-years away,” Cornell University researcher Shami Chatterjee said in a statement.