A 1,640ft telescope in China has detected 100 mysterious radio pulses from three billion light years away.
The ‘fast radio bursts’ were detected by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope - also known as FAST - and are currently being analysed to discover how they were generated, according to Chinese publication Xinhua.
Fast radio bursts are bright pulses of radio emission mere milliseconds in duration, thought to originate from distant galaxies.
Theories for how they are generated range from highly magnetised neutron stars blasted by gas streams from a nearby supermassive black hole, to signatures of technology developed by an advanced civilisations.
The FAST team were studying a fast radio burst source known as FRB121102, first spotted in 2015.
The researchers have detected more than 100 bursts from FRB121102 since late August, the largest number yet discovered.
Earlier this month, telescopes discovered a large number of ‘repeating fast radio bursts’, and scientists hope to trace the origins of the mysterious blasts.
Results from the Canadian CHIME telescope were published on the arXiv preprint server, with eight repeaters discovered.
An Australian telescope, the Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder also found one, the prestigious science journal Nature reported.
CHIME researcher Bryan Gaensler said: “In 25 years of astronomy research, this is unquestionably the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on.”