Home Science 50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene

50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene

1 min read
0
0
0

50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene

LIKE CLOCKWORK  Scientists reported the first discovery of a pulsar 50 years ago. The rapidly rotating neutron stars emit beams of radiation (illustrated), which sweep past Earth at regular intervals.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center


50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene50 years ago, pulsars burst onto the scene

The strangest signals reaching Earth

The search for neutron stars has intensified because of a relatively small area, low in the northern midnight sky, from which the strangest radio signals yet received on Earth are being detected. If the signals come from a star, the source broadcasting the radio waves is very likely the first neutron star ever detected. — Science News, March 16, 1968

Update

That first known neutron star’s odd pulsating signature earned it the name “pulsar.” The finding garnered a Nobel Prize just six years after its 1968 announcement — although one of the pulsar’s discoverers, astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, was famously excluded. Since then, astronomers have found thousands of these blinking collapsed stars, which have confirmed Einstein’s theory of gravity and have been proposed as a kind of GPS for spacecraft (SN: 2/3/18, p. 7).

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Dilon Clark
Load More In Science

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

What does Mars’ lake mean for the search for life on the Red Planet?

WHAT LURKS BENEATH  Scientists think they’ve spotted a lake hidden under ice (white) near …