PSC Camp: News

It’s not too late to join the PSC fall training!

Our weekly online training sessions begin October 19 at 7 PM Eastern.  Teachers, and students are welcome to participate. We will need to make sure you are registered on our websites so that you can access the material, and the forum.  Please visit “For Teachers” to start the process if you are a teacher.

Students, please go to the “For Students” page. We normally expect that you will find a teacher willing to collect your forms and activate your account after you register.  If you cannot find a teacher to support you, and you are serious about participating, we can find a work around. 

Website Improvements

Over the next few days we are making our first pass at reorganizing the content of the pulsarsearchcollaboratory.com website to make it more user-friendly and logical. We hope you will find these changes useful.

Updates include:
1. General reorganization of content.
2. Clearer instructions on how to join the PSC if you are a teacher or a student (New Pages:For Teachers and For Students)
3. An overhaul of the PSC Training Page which includes a consolidation of the “resources links” to better aid you in becoming prepared to help us discover new pulsars.

The PSC is seeking teachers and students!

The Pulsar Search Collaboratory is starting a new round of training for teachers and students. Learn about pulsars from renowned radio astronomers Maura McLaughlin and Duncan Lorimer, and get your hands on some data! Learn more about the program and join us! Our next online training will begin October 12 with an online meeting with educators, followed by six training modules. This session includes weekly webchats with the astronomers! Don’t miss this!
 

Terzan 5– the pulsar gift that keeps on giving

Globular clusters are so cool.  They are really old… globular clusters contain the oldest of stars, and date back to the beginning of our Milky Way, and may be a good place to look for alien civilizations!  And they are dense- hosting a million stars in a volume only 100 light years across. It is this fact that interests astronomers using pulsars as a way to probe the inner structure and origin of these ancient relics.t5pulsars_side

Globular cluster Terzan 5 is home to 37 known pulsars! Many of these are rapidly spinning pulsars known as millisecond pulsars. Astronomers have bean measuring Terzan 5’s uneven tug of gravity on these pulsars to determine the internal structure of the cluster.

Read more here!

Lorimer Burst Discovery Story in WVU Magazine!

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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.

PSC College Course is Back!

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).

Pulsar Candidates Found– Followup to occur this Thursday night!

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!