Artist’s impression of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope finding a fast radio burst and determining its precise location. The KECK, VLT and Gemini South optical telescope s joined ASKAP with follow - up observations to image the host galaxy. Credit: CSIRO/Dr Andrew Howells

NEWS BRIEFING: Mysterious one-off radio wave's deep space location pinpointed for the first time

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

For the first time ever, an Australian-led team of researchers has determined the location of a one-off 'fast radio burst'. Scientists don’t know what causes these intense radio bursts from outer space but determining their precise location is an exciting step towards explaining the cause of these phenomena. Since the discovery of fast radio bursts in 2007, a global hunt has netted 85 of these bursts and in 2017 astronomers pinpointed the location of a ‘repeater” burst. Until now, pinpointing the location of a one-off burst has not been achieved. The exciting discovery was made with CSIRO's ASKAP radio telescope in Western Australia and the home galaxy was imaged by three of the world's largest optical telescopes.

Journal/conference: Science

Organisation/s: CSIRO, Swinburne University of Technology, International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Macquarie University, The University of Sydney, The University of Western Australia

Funder: K.W.B., J.P.M, and R.M.S. acknowledge Australian Research Council (ARC) grant DP180100857. A.T.D. is the recipient of an ARC Future Fellowship (FT150100415). S.O. and R.M.S. acknowledge support through ARC grant FL150100148. R.M.S. also acknowledges support through ARC grant CE170100004. N.T. acknowledges support from PUCV research funding 039.333/2018. Work at the Naval Research Laboratory is supported by NASA.

Media Briefing/Press Conference

From: Australian Science Media Centre


  • Dr Keith Bannister is a Bolton Fellow in Astronomy and Space Science at the CSIRO.
  • Dr Adam Deller is an Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Swinburne University of Technology and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow

Date: Thurs 27 June 2019

Start Time: 10:00am AEST
Duration: Approx 45 min 
Venue: Online

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