STUNNING: Fast Radio Bursts, brief yet brilliant eruptions of cosmic radio waves
, have baffled astronomers since they were first reported nearly a decade ago.
It took a 25-year-old radio engineer and ham radio operator, Grote Reber, to conduct the first systematic survey of cosmic radio waves
. In 1937 Reber single-handedly built a 9.5-meter (31.4-foot) radio telescope in his backyard in Wheaton, Illinois, and for nearly a decade was the world's only radio astronomer (S&T: July 1988, pages 28 and 31).