Mysterious fast radio bursts could reveal hidden galactic matter

Rapid bursts of radio waves that originate millions to billions of light-years away from Earth could be used as probes to investigate halos of difficult-to-see diffuse gas surrounding nearby galaxies.

New research shows that these pulses called fast radio bursts (FRBs), slow as they pass through the gas enveloping the galaxies between their source and Earth. This also has the effect of dispersing their radio frequencies.

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