If you are a student and would like to join, click here for instructions.
If you are a teacher and would like to provide this experience for your students, click here.
Imagine… After millions of years of nuclear fusion, a massive star depletes its core of hydrogen and helium. With no outward pressure to hold it up, gravity wins, and the star collapses. The outer layers rebound from the core and are expelled into space in a giant supernova explosion. But, what of the core?? It continues to collapse into a neutron star… an object with the mass of our Sun, yet only 20 kilometers in diameter.
PSC student Lucas Bolyard at White House Star Party
Some neutron stars–those we can detect–are called pulsars. Pulsars are incredible! Unlike our Sun which spins once every 25 days or so, pulsars can spin up to 800 times/second! They have magnetic fields 10,000,000,000 times stronger than a fridge magnet!
Want to help us discover new pulsars? The Pulsar Search Collaboratory is an out-of-school-time citizen science project for students aged 13 and up. Teachers can join too! After training, PSC students and teachers gain access to radio astronomy data collected by the Green Bank Telescope, the world’s fully steerable radio telescope. PSC members then analyze the data to search for new pulsars.
Finding a pulsar is a significant scientific discovery, which advances our knowledge of the Universe! To date, PSC students have analyzed more than 2,000,000 pieces of data, discovered 8 new pulsars, have been authors on scientific publications, and were congratulated in person by President Obama!
Watch this great little video to learn more about the program.
News & Announcements
And this, from the New York Times!
Great little Doc about Jocelyn Bell! https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/27/opinion/pulsars-jocelyn-bell-burnell-astronomy.html?fbclid=IwAR215JS3_69qJhzWESBY0Ff6nayPM5DnoGE7OCXK4X3X5HdlelCz2UG148U
Data Analysis Marathon April 8!
NEXT Data Analysis Marathon: April 8, 6:30-8:00 PM Eastern Let’s get together and look at plots together. There will be … read more …
Next Online Workshop begins on February 11!
Hey Astro fans! The Next PSC workshop starts February 11th at 7 PM for an all hand orientation. Teachers and … read more …
New Pulsars Gallery
In the New Pulsars Gallery, read about new pulsar discoveries and the students who made them while participating in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory.
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory, a partnership between West Virginia University and the Green Bank Observatory, is funded by the National Science Foundation (awards: #1516512, #1516269). The Green Bank Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.