Scientists think they have detected an “unknown or unanticipated” burst of gravitational waves coming from somewhere deep in space.
The wobble in spacetime was picked up unexpectedly by the LIGO experiment, which was specifically built to detect gravitational waves.
Astronomers have a picture of what part of the sky the burst originated from, and will look to find more information about its source by further studying the area.
But for now there is very little indication of what could have caused the blast, which sent ripples through the fabric of the universe that were detected by LIGO in recent hours.
Errors of this kind are predicted to happen only once every 25 years, indicating that the burst probably did really come from an astrophysical event.
Astronomers have long hoped that the successful detection of gravitational waves could allow them to see the universe in an entirely different way. Such burst gravitational ways could be an important way of doing so – but are yet to be found, and scientists don’t know exactly what they will look like.