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Mystery X-ray flashes beamed towards Earth before vanishing just 24 hours later, leaving scientists to investigate the source.
The phenomenon, which stemmed from a galaxy 10.7 billion lightyears away, was captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Initial findings suggest it came from a "completely new type of cataclysmic event".
A NASA spokesman said: "A mysterious flash of X-rays has been discovered by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in the deepest X-ray image ever obtained.
"This source likely comes from some sort of destructive event in space, but may be of a variety that scientists have never seen before."
Report co-author Kevin Schawinski, of ETH Zurich in Switzerland, said: "We may have observed a completely new type of cataclysmic event.
“Whatever it is, a lot more observations are needed to work out what we’re seeing.”