seeScientists have detected a strange and extremely powerful signal way out in deep space. It is thought the massive burst of radio waves is a little understood cosmic event called a blitzar. These catastrophic explosions deserve their name, as they last just one millisecond and give off as much energy as our own sun manages to put out in a million years. A blitzar was first observed in 2007 and since then a total of nine have been spotted. But all of these were only noticed some time after the event, making the latest blitzar the first to be caught in the act. Keith Bannister of Australia’s national science agency told New Scientist that no-one could quite explain the strange signal. “Nobody knows what to make of it. “All the ideas are very exotic so ruling them out is all you can do at the moment.” It is thought that the blitzar came from 5.5 billion light years away and may have been sparked by the collapse of a huge neutron star. The radio burst was so intense that several of earth’s telescopes detected it. Emily Petroff, of Melbourne’s Swinburne University, said: “It’s something nobody has ever measured before.” She is now hard at work trying to interpret her findings. Mirror