Back in 2007, a scientist called Duncan Lorimer found a peculiar signal in data taken with the Parkes telescope in Australia. The signal was a short duration burst (5 milliseconds), and the way its frequency changed with time suggested that it was extragalactic and of unknown origin.

Nothing quite like this "Lorimer Burst" had been seen before, and many in the astronomy community thought it might be just be human-made interference. While several other bursts have been detected since, they have -- until now -- all been detected at Parkes.

A team lead by Laura Spitler has just published their detection of a Lorimer burst (or Fast Radio Burst, FRB), using the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. This burst also has signs of extragalactic origin, meaning there indeed be mysterious energetic events causing these short-lived bursts.