Home » News & Blogs » Fifty years ago Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars and changed our view of the universe
Bookmark and Share
Universe @ CSIRO

Fifty years ago Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars and changed our view of the universe

27 Nov 2017, 23:39 UTC
Fifty years ago Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars and changed our view of the universe Wayne England

A pulsar is a small, spinning star – a giant ball of neutrons, left behind after a normal star has died in a fiery explosion. With a diameter of only 30 km, the star spins up to hundreds of times a second, while sending out a beam of radio waves (and sometimes other radiation, such as X-rays). When the beam is pointed in our direction and into our telescopes, we see a pulse. 2017 marks 50 years since pulsars were discovered. In that time, we have found more than 2,600 pulsars (mostly in the Milky Way), and used them to hunt for low-frequency gravitational waves, to determine the structure of our galaxy and to test the general theory of relativity.

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod