It is also the radio pulse that traveled the furthest before being detected on Earth.
For approximately eight billion years, or at least half the life of the universe, the powerful flash has been traveling from its source.
In comparison, the previous record holder had traveled through the universe for five billion years.
The newly discovered radio pulse, called FRB 20220610A, was observed using 36 coordinated radio telescopes in Western Australia: the Australian Square Kilometer Array.
The fast radio burst is one of hundreds that have been observed since the phenomenon was first discovered in 2007.
Although that was some time ago and methods for measuring radio pulses have improved, we still don’t know for sure what causes the short, extremely high-energy signals.
One of the most popular theories is that they originate in distant galaxies and are caused by neutron stars with strong magnetic fields: magnetars.
In the latest study, scientists studied the point in the sky where the explosion appears to have come using the Very Large Telescope in Chile.
This allowed them to identify a specific group of distant galaxies that they believed were the source of the violent pulsation, and to determine the distance to the source, which turned out to be very large.
Researchers now hope that the newly discovered extremely powerful radio pulse could teach us something about the early universe.
When radio waves sweep through the universe, they pass between galaxy clusters through clouds of glowing hydrogen gas, which is thought to contain much of the visible matter in the universe.
By measuring the delay of long radio waves compared to short waves, researchers can determine how many hydrogen clouds the radio signals passed through on their way to Earth.
This could help us learn more about a part of the universe that has been hidden from telescopes until now.
The research was published in the scientific journal Sciences.