I was reading and I came across this sentence"I only discovered it a heartbeat later." What does "a heartbeat later" mean? Does it mean "later"?

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    What is the length of one heartbeat? About one second. (Of course, the phrase may be used in a somewhat figurative sense, meaning "the next moment" or some such.) – Hot Licks May 30 '17 at 1:07
  • MW: heartbeat: a brief space of time; flash – choster Jun 6 '17 at 14:00

It just means a short time later. A heartbeat is very quick.

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