"We turned the telescope into the Sauron of space – the all-seeing eye," says CSIRO's Dr Keith Bannister, gleefully referring to the dark overlord in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

What he's describing (in gloriously geeky fashion) is how the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) on Wajarri Yamatji country near Geraldton in Western Australia has found its first "fast radio burst" from space - after less than four days of searching.