A new study by an international team of scientists led by astronomers at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB) in British Columbia has discovered that a mystery radio source in a galaxy some 500 million lightyears from our solar system is sending out fast radio bursts like clockwork in 16.35 day cycles, including 1-2 bursts per hour over a four day period and then 12 days of silence before starting up again.
The discovery is important, because out of the 150+ fast radio bursts recorded by Earth-based observatories over the last decade and a half, only ten of them have repeated, and none as steadily as the source discussed in the study. Furthermore, only a handful of them have been tracked back to the galaxy they came from.
The mystery signal, known as FRB 180916.J0158+65 was first discovered in 2017, but has continued repeating steadily, albeit at a rate some 600 times fainter than the first bright flare. In their study, scientists analysed 28 bursts which took place between September 2018 and October 2019, confirming the pattern, and excitedly concluding "that this is the first detected periodicity of any kind in an FRB source."