Published: August 15, 2012
Mr. DeWolf writes:
I attended the Pulsar Search Collaboratory Summer Institute in early July with Kevin Beach, a senior at my school. The PSC Summer Institute brings together teachers and students from across the country to learn more about pulsars and radio astronomy. The students are tasked with analyzing data from a huge scan of the sky with the GBT - the largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world. Working in teams, the teachers and students each examined a small set of the data, looking for pulsars - both known and unknown. Several known pulsars were found by the teams. My student's team discovered the 6th new pulsar found through the PSC process. This was very exciting as no Summer Institute teams had ever found one previously.
This fall we will be forming an Astronomy Club called the "Space Warriors" (Our school sports teams are the Chippewa Hills Warriors.). Kevin has already recruited one member and they are currently working with the database, screening out known pulsars and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). We hope to be fortunate enough to find another pulsar and have exciting news to share at the students symposium next May at West Virginia University.