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The Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia monitored fast radio burst (FRB) 121102. Photo: Green Bank Observatory.

Scientists honed in on the galaxy where mysterious fast radio bursts (FRB) seem to be originating. In just a few milliseconds, FRBs give off roughly the same amount of energy as the Sun does in a day, according to a New York Times report.

Why it matters: At least 30 FRBs have been found since 2007, per the Times, and scientists don't know what causes them. But, they've gotten more information about the environment around them after tracing a particularly repetitive burster called FRB121102 to a galaxy that's 3 billion light years away.

What happened: FRB121102 looked to have been made "in a magnetic field at least thousands of times more powerfully than normally seen in space," the Times reports. The Washington Post reports its flares are "500 times as twisted as any other burst scientists have seen," which also supports the theory that they originate near an intense magnetic field — like the one produced by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy or a supernova.

Other potential sources include:

  • For FRB121102, the Post reports that scientists believe it could be surrounded by "a highly magnetized cocoon of material."
  • Extraterrestrial intelligence and "solar-powered alien craft," but per the Post, an E.T. research initiative focused on FRB121102 "revealed no extraterrestrial voyagers."
  • A neutron star could be producing the flare, but Simon Chatterjee at Cornell, who tracked FRB121102, told the Times "it would have to be unlike anything else seen in our galaxy."

What's next: Sarah Burke-Spolaor, a West Virginia University astrophysicist who was involved in research on FBR121102, told the Post the latest discovery on the burst "will help 'steer the field.'"

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.