Earlier this year, astronomers announced a startling discovery. The fast radio burst called FRB 121102 didn't just repeat itself - it repeated itself in a specific cycle.
The source is silent for about 67 days. Then, for about 90 days, it wakes up again, emitting repeated millisecond radio bursts before being silent, and the entire 157-day cycle repeats itself.
However, the fast radio bursts are extremely mysterious, and there was no guarantee that the cycle would continue. So it is quite interesting that the source flashed again, just on the signal - in accordance with the forecasts of its cycle of activity.
This suggests that it is important to monitor known sources of fast bursts of radio waves, but also to keep looking at FRB 121102 to try to understand what might be causing this phenomenon.
Fast radio bursts are, as the name suggests, bursts of very fast radio waves, only a few milliseconds long, that emanate from galaxies millions to billions of light years away. But in these milliseconds they can release as much energy as hundreds of millions of Suns.