Session 1: Introduction to Pulsars

Introduction to the training workshop.

Each week , we will post some short talks to get you ready to be a pulsar astronomer and contribute to the ongoing research on pulsars. We’d like  you to watch these videos and attempt the homework  (which is usually fun) BEFORE our weekly webchat. This will make the webchat  much more interactive–less lecture,  and more about what you want to know.  We want you to get to know the astronomers.  After all, they are going to be your colleagues once you become certified to analyze data!

  • Webchats are held each Thursday at 7 PM Eastern, and we will use Zoom to connect virtually. You will receive an email with the connection information each week.
  • Our discussions in between webchats will take place on the Forum ( see link in the main menu above). When you have a thought, question or comment, ask them there– everybody can benefit from the discussion, and chime in!

Week 1 Videos:  Please view all of these and complete the associated assignments before our webchat.

Dr. Maura McLaughlin is an astronomer at West Virginia University.  She has made some real break though discoveries by studying pulsars ( Google her- she gives a mean Tedx talk!) To help you get introduced to pulsar astronomy, she created 2 short videos to share how pulsars are made, and why they are amazing.  The third video tells you why your work with astronomers in the PSC is so important. Please watch these videos  and post some thoughts in Slack. Links to homework questions are posted under the first two videos.

How are pulsars made?

Just how cool are pulsars?

Discuss on the Forum

What is the PSC?- optional

Homework Assignments :

  1. Introduce yourself  on Slack.
  2. Read or watch How pulsars were discovered. Read a new press release.
  3. Pick a supernova  remnant and find out three facts about it. Post a picture of it and report in SLACK. If you haven’t joined our Slack group yet, do so here. Find the channel called psc-fall-course.

Psst. There could be a quiz next week!