The universe is sending us 10,000 messages every day. You can’t see them. You can’t understand them. But then again, neither can anybody else.
Astrophysics professor Duncan Lorimer was sitting at his desk in Hodges Hall at West Virginia University in early 2007 when one of his undergraduate students walked in. Physics and political science senior David Narkevic had been looking through readouts of radio signals from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. He was looking for more examples of a kind of rotating star—a pulsar—that emits very short radio signals. And he found something.
It was strange. A dark line in a place on the graph that meant it was incredibly far away. If the reading was right, it was possible that the signal was both a billion light years away and a billion years in the past.
Lorimer took a look. And then he put it aside. It probably wasn’t anything. “I kind of told him to go back to work, and I put it in a drawer,” Lorimer said.
Read the rest in WVU Magazine.
We will again be offering the PSC for WVU credit this year. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get three credits under their belt before starting college, and to have a tangible reward for their PSC work.
- Please read the course syllabus carefully to determine if you are eligible, and would like to enroll.
- The fee will be $153 for the three-credit course. The first step for students is to fill out this registration form: http://k12.wvu.edu/Access/Forms/application.pdf and fax it to the number on the form. The CRN is 19076 and course name is ASTR 293A. We’d like to get all of the registrations in before the end of the year, if possible.
- Also, if you do sign students up, please let Maura know so she can stay on top of the applications and make sure they get through the system in time (maura.mclaughlin-at- mail.wvu.edu).
A new header item (Bios) on the PSC homepage will link you to short bios with photos from past/present PSC students and mentors. Bios will be updated on a bi-weekly basis; the latest is brought to you by Jamie — now a senior at Columbia University.
Our intrepid pulsar sleuths may have uncovered some pulsar gold! We will be holding a followup session on 2-3 new pulsar candidates this Thursday night– starting at 10:45 PM. Would you like to call in to the control room and find out how it’s going?
If you would like to be on site for the session, that could probably be arranged as well. We have several students joining us who discovered the candidates. We’d be happy to host a few more!
Send an email to Sue Ann at sheather-at-nrao.edu, and I’ll tell you how to connect!
Saira Blair, Hedgesville High student, and PSC member won the WV Republican primary to become a Delegate to the WV Legislature! I don’t think the PSC can take credit for that but we sure are proud of her initiative! Way to go Saira! Read more here.
We only had 3 students enroll, and so unfortunately we have decided to cancel Campstone for this summer. We feel bereft, not having a PSC experience this summer though, so we thought we might host a weekend experience in September. I’d like to hear from you– let me know if you think it is a good idea, and you would be interested in coming. We are thinking of September 19,20,21. The 21st is our annual open house, and you would have some great opportunities to tour the labs and meet the scientists and engineers, machinists, and mechanics who work at the NRAO.
Send a quick email to Sue Ann at sheather-at-nrao.edu subject line: PSC weekend, and say I’m in if you are interested in coming.
Hey, check this out!
Sarah JM Kolberg is producing a documentary about the PSC! Take a look at the awesome trailer at http://vimeo.com/70743540. This documentary is funded by the NSF Informal Science Education program and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
You can also follow the project on twitter! https://twitter.com/lgm_film
Here we are! This is the new home for the PSC: pulsarsearchcollaboratory.org (pulsarsearchcollaboratory.com will still work too). One of the features of this new website is that we have a forum! We hope this will replace the old mode of communicating through the pulsarsearchcollaboratory.com email. If you use the forum to talk about plots or other PSC related stuff, then all PSC members will see it. But I think that is wonderful, as there is so much expertise in the PSC group.We have also jettisoned the school pages. If you desire to use the old google site, it has not disappeared, but we will not be updating it. Go to: https://sites.google.com/a/pulsarsearchcollaboratory.com/pulsar-search-collaboratory/Home…
~ Sue Ann