For the past decade, astronomers have grappled with the mystery of fast radio bursts, fleeting blasts of intense cosmic energy lasting just a few milliseconds that come from unknown sources billions of light years away. The hunt for the origins of these perplexing phenomena will soon be aided by a unique experiment unfolding in the remote reaches of the Northern Cape: the MeerLicht, a new optical telescope at the SA Astronomical Observatory near Sutherland, will be coupled with the MeerKat radio array near Carnarvon, roughly 245km away. Multi-wavelength astronomy is nothing new — for astronomers, the more information from different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum the better — but this will be the first time an optical telescope captures images of exactly the same part of the sky at the same time as a radio telescope. "This is probably the future for multi-wavelength physics," says Rob Fender of the University of Oxford. "Colleagues around the world are looking at MeerLicht and...

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