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Une thorie suggre que les sursauts radio rapides seraient

d'origine extraterrestre
Post le 10 mars 2017 11h10 dans Science

Un sursaut radio rapide est un flash de quelques millisecondes qui provient d'une mission
radio. C'est en 2007 qu'on les dcouvre pour la premire fois et depuis on en a dtect
seulement 17. Les scientifiques estiment qu'ils proviendraient de galaxies situes des
millions d'annes-lumire.

Deux chercheurs de l'universit d'Harvard, Avi Loed et Manasvi Lingam se sont penchs sur
la question pour savoir s'il tait possible de crer un transmetteur radio assez puissant
pour russir dtecter un signal sur de telles distances astronomiques. D'aprs leur tude,
le transmetteur devrait possder une surface qui serait le double de celle de la Terre
pour pouvoir envoyer une telle nergie partir d'une alimentation solaire. Selon les
scientifiques, notre technologie ne permet pas de le construire, mais uniquement du point
de vue des lois de la physique, cela serait tout fait ralisable. Ajoutez galement cela
un systme de refroidissement du double de la surface de notre plante bref, a en fait du
boulot !

Pourquoi construire un tel transmetteur radio ?

Vous devez vous demander quoi pourrait bien servir de construire un tel transmetteur radio?

Tout simplement, alimenter des voiles solaires car l'nergie serait capable de
transporter une charge allant jusqu' un million de tonnes !

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Pour Lingam, ce moyen de transport serait idal pour faire voyager des personnes sur des
distances interstellaires voire intergalactiques. Pour y parvenir, il faudrait alimenter la voile
solaire via le transmetteur qui concentrerait le rayon d'nergie des sursauts radio rapides en
continu. Sauf que problme, d'aprs les observations des scientifiques, les sursauts radio
rapides ne sont pas continus et aucun vnement astrophysique ne peut expliquer leur
origine. Du coup, les deux auteurs de l'tude sont partis sur une hypothse assez insolite :
tant donn que le sursaut radio rapide n'est pas provoqu par un vnement
astrophysique, par consquent, il est d'origine extraterrestre !

Une thorie un peu trop excentrique

C'est un peu trop gros pour tre vrai surtout qu'en plus les sursauts radio rapides ne semblent
pas provenir de la mme origine. Si on suit cette hypothse, cela voudrait dire que deux
civilisations extraterrestres seraient prsentes dans deux galaxies distinctes situes des
millions d'annes-lumire ?

Et qu'en plus, ces deux civilisations utiliseraient la mme technologie avec le mme
transmetteur pour envoyer le mme type de signal ? Soit on a beaucoup de chance, soit on est
totalement ct de la plaque.

Avant de se lancer dans de telles thories, encore faudrait-il qu'on connaisse l'intgralit des
diffrents phnomnes astrophysiques dans notre Univers et on en est encore loin. Mais d'un
ct, on ne peut pas en vouloir Avi Loeb de vouloir faire un peu de promo sur les voiles
solaires aprs tout il est fond dans son projet Breakthrought Starshot dont il est l'un des
responsables !

Le repaire d'un mystrieux "sursaut radio" venu de


l'espace dbusqu
04/01/2017 21:47

Ce phnomne cosmique proviendrait d'une galaxie naine situe plus de 3


milliards d'annes-lumire de la Terre.

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Le Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, un rseau de radiotlescopes situ au Nouveau-
Mexique, a permis cette dcouverte

SCIENCE - Pour la premire fois, des astronomes sont parvenus localiser avec prcision
la source d'un "sursaut radio rapide". Ce phnomne cosmique mystrieux proviendrait
d'une galaxie naine situe plus de 3 milliards d'annes-lumire de la Terre, rvle ce
mercredi 4 janvier une tude amricaine.

Les "sursauts radio rapides" ou FRB (Fast Radio Burst) sont des flashs d'ondes radio trs
nergtiques mais aussi trs brefs car ils ne durent que quelques millisecondes.

Mis en vidence pour la premire fois en 2007, ils intriguent depuis dix ans les scientifiques
qui cherchent comprendre ce phnomne qui semble trouver son origine ailleurs que dans la
Voie lacte, notre galaxie. Pour le moment, seuls 18 FRB ont t reprs.

L'an dernier, des chercheurs ont dcouvert que l'un d'entre eux, mis en vidence en novembre
2012 par le radiotlescope Arecibo Porto Rico, se rptait mais de faon irrgulire.

Tlescopes haute rsolution

Une quipe internationale conduite par Shami Chatterjee, de Cornell University (Etats-Unis) a
traqu ce FRB 121102 en utilisant le Karl Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), un rseau de
radiotlescopes situ au Nouveau-Mexique (Etats-Unis).

"Jusqu' prsent, ce FRB avait t seulement dtect par des tlescopes avec une rsolution
plus basse. L nous avons russi prciser d'o il provient grce des tlescopes plus
haute rsolution", explique l'AFP Shami Chatterjee.

Le tlescope optique Gemini North Hawa a ensuite permis d'tablir qu' cette localisation
prcise se trouve une galaxie naine situe plus de 3 milliards d'annes-lumire de la Terre.

Reste trouver l'origine de ce sursaut radio. Les chercheurs, qui ont publi leurs travaux dans
la revue Nature, avancent plusieurs ides.

"Il peut s'agir d'un phnomne associ un noyau galactique actif. Ou de faon plus plausible
d'impulsions gantes mises par un magntar", une toile neutrons produisant un champ
magntique extrmement intense, considre Shami Chatterjee.

The next big question is the nature of the source: What powers these bursts and are there other
ones that repeat?

We think it may be a magnetar a newborn neutron star with a huge magnetic field, inside a
supernova remnant or a pulsar wind nebula somehow producing these prodigious pulses,
said Chatterjee.

Or, it may be an active galactic nucleus of a dwarf galaxy. That would be novel. Or, it may
be a combination of those two ideas explaining why what were seeing may be somewhat
rare.

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Advanced Alien Civilization Generates Flashes of Cosmic Light,
Astronomers Say
03:42 11.03.2017

A pair of Harvard University astronomers have suggested that mysterious deep-


space radio signals could be coming from a massive radio transmitter twice the
size of Earth. The purported transmitter, built by a super-advanced alien race,
could be used to accelerate spacecraft to near light speeds for interstellar travel.

Something strange is afoot three billion light-years from Earth in the distant Auriga
constellation, as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are continuously emitting from one of its dwarf
galaxies. FRBs are a mysterious cosmic phenomenon that lasts only a few milliseconds,
but release more energy than the sun does in an entire month.

Leading theories behind the cause of FRBs are cosmic catastrophes like stars colliding, or
solar flares from a super-dense neutron star. Neither event is likely to occur in a small,
otherwise inconsequential dwarf galaxy, however. "Why is this spectacular FRB in such a
little, very innocent-looking galaxy?" asked Heino Falcke, a radio astronomer with Radboud
University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. "There are many things coming together which don't
make much sense yet."

An unexplained phenomenon in space ? Must be aliens.

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great
distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence," said study
co-author Avi Loeb, in a Thursday statement. Loeb, a theorist at the Harvard-Smithsonian
Center for Astrophysics, stated, "An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking."

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Loeb and study lead Manasvi Lingam, a Harvard astrophysicist, speculate that an advanced
alien race could build a radio transmitter some 24,000 km (15,000 miles) in length that would
collect sunlight to generate mind-boggling amounts of power. By comparison, our Earth has a
diameter of just around 7,500 miles.

What would our aliens do with such technology?

According to Loeb and Lingam, they could accelerate spacecraft to astonishing speeds. Alien
ships would be equipped with light sails, enormous mirrors that gather sunlight and
generate energy. The transmitter could be used to shoot the sails with a beam of energy
to accelerate the spacecraft to a significant fraction of the speed of light. Human light
sails remain experimental, mostly due to extreme engineering and financial challenges,
but the science is sound.

"We examine the possibility that FRBs originate from the activity of extragalactic
civilizations. Our analysis shows that beams used for powering large light sails could
yield parameters that are consistent with FRBs," the Harvard team wrote. "The
characteristic diameter of the beam emitter is estimated through a combination
of energetic and engineering constraints, and both approaches intriguingly yield a
similar result which is on the scale of a large rocky planet."

Lingam said in a statement that the transmitter could accelerate an interstellar spacecraft
weighing 1 million tons. "That's big enough to carry living passengers across interstellar
or even intergalactic distances," he said.

In comparison, NASA's gigantic Saturn V (the largest rocket ever launched) is just 3,100 tons.
The fictional Starship Enterprise in the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness weighs
about 500,000 tons, as estimated by Wired. That's a pretty big ship.

But before you call Will Smith and gear up for Independence Day, Lingam and Loeb want
you to know that their study is only speculative. An advanced alien race is merely one
of numerous possibilities.

"Science isn't a matter of belief; it's a matter of evidence," Loeb said. "Deciding what's likely,
ahead of time, limits the possibilities. It's worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be
the judge."

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Are We Alone?
Repeating Deep Space Radio Signals Baffle Scientists
04:22 24.12.2016

Astronomers have reported a new wave of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) from deep
space. These mysterious radio signals have baffled and intrigued astronomers,
including some who speculate that they are the work of an extraterrestrial
intelligence.

Scientists with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Arecibo Observatory
in Puerto Rico have detected a series of six FRBs, all in approximately the same location: the
Auriga constellation, some three billion light-years from Earth. The most recent wave follows
18 previously detected FRBs, recorded since 2007. The astronomical community continues
to discuss the probable source of the repeating signals.

An FRB lasts only a few milliseconds, but contains an incredible amount of energy,
about the same amount our Sun produces in a month. Sensitive detection devices have
been able to detect FRBs billions of light years from the Earth. While a cosmic event, such
as a stellar collision, could be responsible for a single FRB, multiple bursts in short
succession imply that the FRBs are a repeating phenomenon, not unlike a signal. Science
News claims that the most likely candidate is solar flares from a neutron star, the hyper-dense
collapsed core of a larger star.

Another possible candidate is, naturally, extraterrestrials.

In 2015, physicist John Learned, with the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and astronomer
Michael Hippke with the Institute for Data Analysis published a paper arguing that the
repeating FRB waves show a consistency between the dispersion measure (the difference
in arrival times between high and low frequencies) showing a 1 in 2,000 chance of being
coincidental.

They speculated that the FRBs could result from a superdense star whose physics may allow
for regular bursts of radio waves, or a human-built spy satellite which disguises its
transmissions to appear as signals from deep space.

But it could also be the result of an intelligent alien race attempting to make contact
through the cosmos. As was detailed in the plotline of the 1997 film Contact, humanity beams
radio signals into space in an attempt to communicate with potential galactic neighbors.
Mankind's radio signals, however, have only spread some 200 light-years from this planet.

If the FRBs are of intelligent origin, it could then be a civilization advanced enough
to command the energy of an entire star, meaning they would be technologically many
thousands of years ahead of humanity.

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Mysterious Radio Bursts Are Indeed Coming from A
Galaxy Far, Far Away
New research clears the reputation of these distant signals

By Sophie Bushwick
April 22, 2015

In 2001, the Parkes Radio Telescope picked up an extremely energetic burst of radio waves
that lasted a mere five-thousandths of a second. Since then, astronomers have found several
more so-called fast radio bursts, or FRBs, and even observed one of these pulses in real time
last May. Based on these observations, the FRBs seem to be coming from more than 3 billion
light years away, far beyond the Milky Way.

The origin of fast radio bursts is still unknown: They might come from an incredibly heavy,
incredibly fast-spinning magnetar throwing off flares, or from a massive collision between
dense neutron starsor from something else entirely. "You need something that happens on a
very short time scale and can produce a ton of energy," says Emily Petroff, a graduate student
at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. Other researchers have speculated that
FRBs are the products of human--or alien--technology, and some doubted that the bursts
came from outside the galaxy at all.

But now, the debate surrounding FRBs' origins may be put to rest at last. Researchers have
determined the source of a signal remarkably similar to FRBs, clearing the reputation of these
bursts and where they come from.

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What makes researchers think fast radio bursts are coming from outside the galaxy? An FRB
signal is "spread out" in time, meaning the waves that make up an FRB don't arrive at a radio
telescope all at once. This spreading effect can happen when a signal passes between
stars. While traveling through the interstellar medium, the signal's waves slow down
depending on their frequency. By the time the signal reaches a radio telescope, the high-
frequency waves have pulled ahead of the low-frequency ones, and thus arrive sooner,
stretching out the signal. Fast radio bursts are very stretched out, indicating they come from
a galaxy far, far away.

Other researchers, however, point out that the spread effect could have a different cause.

Another spread-out signal that radio telescopes have picked up is the peryton. But these
bursts definitely don't come from other galaxies, or even other planets. Instead of coming
from a single point in the sky, a peryton signal looks like it's coming from all over, a sure
sign that its source is very local. Some blame perytons on atmospheric lightning, radio
interference, or even telescope glitches. Unfortunately, perytons look pretty similar to FRBs,
so they throw doubt on the idea that the bursts are coming from far away. Some astronomers
even think FRBs are just another form of perytons, a false signal rather than an extragalactic
one.

But perytons' reign of uncertainty is at an end, thanks to three perytons that popped up at the
Parkes Radio Telescope in one week this past January.

Petroff and other astronomers at Parkes took a look at the telescope's recently installed radio
interference monitor, to see what radio activity was going on nearby around the time of the
perytons' appearances.

The monitor, which gathers a wider range of frequencies than the telescope does, picked
up strong emissions at a frequency around 2.5 gigahertz every time the radio telescope
had seen perytons. "That led us to thinking, 'What emits at 2.5 gigahertz?'" says Petroff.
"And the obvious thing was microwaves."

The next step was to see whether the scientists could use microwaves to make a peryton
appear. They ran the machines at different settings and for varying amounts of time, but the
radio telescope didn't pick up any new perytons. Then they tried opening the door while the
microwave was active. When you pull open the door of a running microwave, its engine,
called a magnetron, releases the energy that was bouncing around inside the oven. The
discharge sweeps across a range of frequencies as the engine shuts down, creating a stretched-
out frequency spread and interfering with the radio telescope's observations. This was the
source of the mysterious peryton signal.

Since microwaves are the culprit behind perytons, Petroff and other authors argue in their new
paper, their findings strongly suggest that fast radio bursts are indeed coming from space.
FRB signals look different from perytons, and they appear even when the telescope is pointed
away from peryton-producing microwaves. Timing is another dead giveaway: FRBs appear
at all times of day, whether or not humans are on site nuking coffee and making Cup
Noodles. Perytons, on the other hand, only occur during business hours. "They all peak right
around lunchtime," says Petroff. "So that should have been a red flag."

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Harvard theorists:
How sailing aliens could have caused fast radio bursts
By Ben Guarino
10 March 2017

An artists illustration of a light-sail powered by a radio beam (red) generated on the surface of a
planet. Come sail away, indeed. (M. Weiss/Center for Astrophysics)

In 2007, a West Virginia University astrophysicist named Duncan Lorimer detected a brief
yet intense signal while combing through archival data from the Parkes Observatory telescope
in Australia. The signal was quick. The spurt of radio activity, originating from a source
other than our galaxy, lasted fewer than 5 milliseconds. And it was furious. To
generate such a burst would require 500 million times the power of our solar systems
sun. The unknown source of the signal prompted intense speculation.

One proposal, to be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, may be the wildest yet:
Sailing aliens.

An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking, said Avi Loeb, a theorist and
author of the paper at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in a statement on
Thursday.

A decade ago, Lorimer and his mentor, Matthew Bailes, described the phenomenon as a fast
radio burst, or FRB. Duncan Lorimer and I were just completely gobsmacked, said Bailes, a
professor at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, to The Washington Post.

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The day we discovered the first FRB we couldnt sleep. Astrophysicists have detected only
25 other FRBs since Bailes and four other astronomers published their groundbreaking
report in 2007, he said.

But the origin of FRBs remained an open question. The problem proved to be at once
formidable, resilient and brain twisting. Some scientists proposed that FRBs were the fault of
massive neutron stars, suns that had collapsed into dense cores. Perhaps there existed stellar
flares capable of spitting out a radio wave that traveled across half of the known universe. Or
maybe vanishing black holes spewed the FRBs our way.

I am not exaggerating when I say there are more models for what FRBs could be than there
are FRBs, Cornell University astronomer Shami Chatterjee told The Washington Post in
January.

Mysterious radio burst came from a galaxy 2.5 billion light years away,
astronomers discover

We dont have a convincing model for FRBs at the moment, Bailes said. The leading
model is some form of very exotic neutron star.

The new hypothesis put forth by a pair of theorists at the Center for Astrophysics was even
more exotic. Loeb and his co-author, Manasvi Lingam, ditched natural sources entirely. They
speculated that FRBs could, in theory, be traced back to extragalactic civilizations.
Specifically, aliens who flashed superpowered beacons or cruised through space on the wings
of giant light-sail technology.

Its a delightful thought experiment, said Bailes, who was not involved with the paper.
(Bailes told The Post he considered himself more of an FRB hunter than a theorist.) But, he
said, the new hypotheses amounted to an incredible long shot.

The two Harvard theorists recognized that their FRB origin story dealt with possibility, not
probability. Deciding whats likely ahead of time limits the possibilities, Loeb said. Its
worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge.

FRBs could represent artificial beams, Loeb and Lingam wrote, created by a far-off
civilization either as giant beacons or for driving light sails. Given the luminosity of the
FRBs detected on Earth, an intelligent civilization would need to harness energy from a
sun and cool the machinery with planet-sized amounts of water. Although alien traffic
controllers would need to keep this beam aimed at the sail, distant observers would see
only a flash as the beam pivoted across the universe.

When sailing by light, the suns radiation provides propulsion. If caught by a large
enough sail and given adequate time, solar photons bouncing off a reflective surface
could push a spacecraft with ever-increasing speeds.

Solar sailing has been a science-fiction concept for decades. Fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke
described solar ships in his short story Sunjammer, published in 1964. Perhaps the most
famous sci-fi solar sail appeared briefly in the 2002 movie Star Wars: Attack of the Clones,
when villain Count Dooku traveled by a sail in his ship (a heavily-modified Punworcca 116-
class interstellar sloop, per Wookieepedia).

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Solar sails are poised to jump into real life, too, in 2018. Two years ago, NASA
announced its Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, which will use a reflective sail to travel
toward a lump of space rock.

A new reason we havent found alien life in the universe

By Loeb and Lingams calculations, the hypothetical alien solar ship would be gigantic. They
calculated that a solar-powered radio transmitter capable of producing FRBs would
beam sunlight at an area roughly twice the diameter of Earth. If a solar sail were massive
enough to catch these rays, it would propel a million-ton payload about equal to three
Empire State Buildings glued together, on par with what the theorists called an interstellar
ark or world ship.

Thats big enough to carry living passengers across interstellar or even intergalactic
distances, Lingam said in the news release.

The billions of galaxies in the universe may be the saving grace of Loeb and Lingams exotic
speculation. It only takes one galaxy, Bailes said, to develop some awesome technology.

Still, from our planet, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of structurally deficient bridges,
an infrastructure project of this magnitude may be difficult to imagine. Although Bailes said
he would encourage his fellow scientists to take creative approaches toward modeling FRBs,
his gut feeling was that the signals came from some unknown natural phenomenon.

The unusual nature of FRBs will require unusual models. (The area of FRB research is young
but growing. A new radio telescope under construction in Canada has the potential to
find dozens of FRBs a day.) Scientists recently detected one burst, FRB 121102, which was
not a single flare but an irregular sequence Bailes called it the repeater. The repeater
seemed to rule out a singular catastrophic event as the FRB cause, but offered little in the way
of answers.

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs)

Full details and parameters for all currently known FRBs can be found in the Swinburne
FRB Catalogue.

FRB 010724 (the Lorimer Burst)

F&M was involved in the discovery and analysis of the first of these bursts reported, FRB
010724 (the Lorimer Burst), which was found in a Parkes survey of the Small Magellanic
Cloud. For scientific details about FRB 010724, please consult "A Bright Millisecond Radio
Burst of Extragalactic Origin" by D. R. Lorimer et al., Science, 318, 777 (2007).

For a layman's explanation, you can read the media report of the discovery in Strong
Extragalactic Radio Burst Poses a Mystery at NPR's All Things Considered web site (the
radio broadcast of the report is also there, and you can listen to that).

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FRB 121102 (the Arecibo Burst)

F&M was also part of the discovery (and redetection) team for FRB 121102, the only FRB
discovered to date with the Arecibo telescope and the only one observed to repeat its burst
emission. For details about FRB 121102, see "Fast Radio Burst Discovered in the Arecibo
Pulsar ALFA Survey" by L. G. Spitler et al., Astrophysical Journal, 790, 101 (2014)

The first followup detection of multiple bursts from the same source was published in "A
Repeating Fast Radio Burst" by L. G. Spitler et al., Nature, 531, 202 (2016). On the Nature
page there is also a nice audio interview with several researchers about this finding and other
recent FRB science.

Later localization of this burst source using VLA follow-up observations was reported in "A
Direct Localization of a Fast Radio Burst and Its Host" by S. Chatterjee et al., Nature, 541, 58
(2017).

Plots and Figures

Below: A plot of the arrival of the (dispersed) Lorimer burst, with frequency vs. time shown
(inset is the burst after dedispersion):

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Below: The Lorimer burst after dedispersion and channel summing has been applied, shown
as a function of time (see also the inset of the previous image):

Below: Image of the SMC with the location of the Lorimer burst indicated (note that we also have a
larger image with a white background):

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Below: A plot of Arecibo burst FRB 121102. The burst arrival is shown with frequency vs. time plotted
(the inset is a plot of the burst after dedispersion).

Fast radio bursts are astronomical radio flashes of unknown physical nature with durations of
milliseconds. Their dispersive arrival times suggest an extragalactic origin and imply radio
luminosities that are orders of magnitude larger than those of all known short-duration radio
transients. So far all fast radio bursts have been detected with large single-dish telescopes with
arcminute localizations, and attempts to identify their counterparts (source or host galaxy)
have relied on the contemporaneous variability of field sources or the presence of peculiar
field stars or galaxies. These attempts have not resulted in an unambiguous association with a
host or multi-wavelength counterpart. Here we report the subarcsecond localization of the fast
radio burst FRB 121102, the only known repeating burst source, using high-time-resolution
radio interferometric observations that directly image the bursts. Our precise localization
reveals that FRB 121102 originates within 100 milliarcseconds of a faint 180-microJansky
persistent radio source with a continuum spectrum that is consistent with non-thermal
emission, and a faint (twenty-fifth magnitude) optical counterpart. The flux density of the
persistent radio source varies by around ten per cent on day timescales, and very long baseline
radio interferometry yields an angular size of less than 1.7 milliarcseconds. Our observations
are inconsistent with the fast radio burst having a Galactic origin or its source being located
within a prominent star-forming galaxy. Instead, the source appears to be co-located with a
low-luminosity active galactic nucleus or a previously unknown type of extragalactic source.

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Localization and identification of a host or counterpart has been essential to understanding the
origins and physics of other kinds of transient events, including gamma-ray bursts and tidal
disruption events. However, if other fast radio bursts have similarly faint radio and optical
counterparts, our findings imply that direct subarcsecond localizations may be the only way to
provide reliable associations.

Pulsar surveys offer a rare opportunity to monitor the radio sky for impulsive burst-like
events with millisecond durations. We analyzed archival survey data and found a 30-jansky
dispersed burst, less than 5 milliseconds in duration, located 3 from the Small Magellanic
Cloud. The burst properties argue against a physical association with our Galaxy or the Small
Magellanic Cloud. Current models for the free electron content in the universe imply that the
burst is less than 1 gigaparsec distant. No further bursts were seen in 90 hours of additional
observations, which implies that it was a singular event such as a supernova or coalescence of
relativistic objects. Hundreds of similar events could occur every day and, if detected, could
serve as cosmological probes.

* *

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