A view from CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder radio telescope antenna 29. Photo: CSIRO/Alex Cherney

For the first time, scientists have traced the origin of a non-repeating Fast Radio Burst (FRB).

Why it matters: The origin of FRBs — extreme and mysterious pulses of radio waves from outside our galaxy — has been a long-standing mystery in astrophysics that the new study in the journal Science moves the field closer to solving.

  • “[An FRB] lasts about a millisecond, so you click your fingers, and you miss it,” lead author Keith Bannister of CSIRO told Axios.

What they found: A powerful radio telescope allowed the astronomers to trace an FRB detected in 2018 to a particular part of its host galaxy more than 4 billion light-years away from our own.

Context: Scientists have plenty of ideas about what might be causing these FRBs, but none of the explanations are perfect.

  • “There are tens of models out there in the literature with the burst sources ranging from really massive black holes at the centers of galaxies to highly magnetized neutron stars,” McGill University’s Pragya Chawla told Axios.

But, but, but: FRBs can be either a single radio wave pulse or repeating bursts. Scientists traced the origin of a repeating FRB in 2017, but that galaxy looks very different from the galaxy that hosted this transient FRB.

  • The repeating FRB came from a much less massive galaxy that was bursting with star formation, unlike the single FRB detailed in the new study.
  • “The study hints at repeating and non-repeating FRBs having different origins or that FRBs could be found in widely varying local environments and galaxies,” Chawla, who wasn’t affiliated with the new research, said. “Too early to say which one of those is true, but I definitely found myself thinking hard about both those possibilities.”

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Graham hopes his panel will approve Amy Coney Barrett by late October

Sen. Lindsey Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Saturday he expects confirmation hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court to start Oct. 12 and for his panel to approve her by Oct. 26.

Why it matters: That would mean the final confirmation vote could take place on the Senate floor before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Texas city declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

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Details: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a "do not use" water alert Friday for eight cities, along with the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections centers and the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport. This was later lifted for all places except for Lake Jackson, which issued a disaster declaration Saturday.