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Welcome to the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) – West!. NRAO University Wisconsin – Milwaukee West Virginia University Yerkes Observatory University of Chicago. Let’s introduce ourselves to each other. (checks lab). Pretests/Post-tests. The grant needs to have data!

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welcome to the pulsar search collaboratory psc west

Welcome to the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) – West!

NRAO

University Wisconsin – Milwaukee

West Virginia University

Yerkes Observatory

University of Chicago

pretests post tests
Pretests/Post-tests
  • The grant needs to have data!
  • MosartAstro test was taken before arriving (If not, please take it now!)
  • 7 multiple choice questions on pulsars
    • Take now
    • Take at end of today’s session
  • There will also be the always needed evaluations
citizen scientists
Citizen Scientists
  • So much of scientific research today relies on the analysis of incredible amounts of data.
  • Scientists cannot possibly look at it all
    • Computers do most, but human element is an essential ingredient, as it always will be
  • We already see some “citizen scientists” at work
    • Galaxy Zoo
    • Einstein at Home
    • Other “Zoo” type things
slide6

Educational outreach is important to scientists, and NSF is willing to bridge the gap!

    • Involving high school, and even middle school students is highly desirable
      • Can undo stereotypes
      • Can ignite the interest in science
      • Can make science accessible to underserved students (and to under achievers)
    • Involving science teachers is also a plus!
      • An opportunity is also available at UWM
astronomy
Astronomy!
  • It can really grab the interest of kids,
  • They like to ask the big questions:
    • What’s out there?
    • How do we know?
    • Are there Aliens?
  • Here is a way you can involve a student of any ability.
this opportunity
This opportunity . . .
  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia (NRAO)
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM)
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown)

NRAO, WVU,

Funded by the NSF

ARCC@UWM

some of the people involved
Some of the people involved . .

Sue Ann Heatherly

Education Director,

NRAO

Rachel Rosen

Astronomer,

Program Director of

PSC

Maura McLaughlin,

Astronomer, WVU

Duncan Lorimer

Astronomer, WVU

from uwm
From UWM

Xavier Siemens , Physicist, UWM

Larry Price, postdoc, UWM

Jean Creighton, Planetarium Director

Dawn Erb, Astronomer, UWM

David Kaplan, Astronomer, UWM

for this project
For this project . .
  • Data is collected by Radio telescopes
  • The data is screened by a computer to a certain point
    • Then a human must look at it to see if it is worth a follow up
      • This is where students come in!
electromagnetic radiation
Electromagnetic radiation
  • A traveling, massless packet of energy --OR an oscillating electric and magnetic field
    • Also known as: radiation, light wave, photon

Travels at the speed of light (by definition).

Remarkably, all radiation travels at this speed, regardless of whether is carries a lot of energy or only a little

Animation from Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes (www.astronomynotes.com)

NRAO/AUI/NSF

all em waves follow the equation
All EM waves follow the equation:
  • Let’s try a problem:
    • What do the above variables stand for?
    • (one or two problems will be added – simple,
what is the difference between radio waves and sound waves
What is the difference between radio waves and sound waves?
  • This is a confusing point to a lot of students and non-science people
slide23

The

Radio

Sky

NRAO/AUI/NSF

activity time
Activity Time!
  • Detecting Invisible Waves
radio waves can be detected night or day
Radio waves can be detected night or day
  • They also can travel through dust and gas
  • So we can see further into our galaxy with radio waves than with light waves.
slide28

Radio Telescope

Optical Telescope

Nowadays, there are more similarities between optical and radio telescopes than ever before.

NRAO/AUI/NSF

slide32

Itty Bitty telescope

  • Radio Jove
  • Let’s go outside . . . .
slide34

Pioneer of Radio Astronomy

Karl Jansky

1928: Karl Jansky, working for Bell Laboratories discovers radio waves coming from space.

slide35

Pioneer of Radio Astronomy

Grote Reber

First Surveys of the Radio Sky

Chart recordings from Reber's telescope made in 1943.

slide36

0

In 1967, Cambridge graduate student

Jocelyn Bell was using a radio array to study interplanetary scintillation – SURPRISE!

slide38

How Radio Waves are produced

Accelerating charged particles emit radio waves.

One Way: high speed electrons and magnetic fields

NRAO/AUI/NSF

slide46

What we’re looking for!

pulsars –spinning, neutron stars

slide47

Pulsars signals are used to find gravitational waves.

  • Pulsars are used to study interstellar space.
  • Pulsars are inherently interesting in themselves!
a pulsar is the collapsed core of a massive star
A pulsar is the collapsed core of a massive star
  • It is like taking the mass of the sun and making it into a ball the size of Milwaukee.
  • It spins very fast, like an ice skater who has brought their arms in.
slide49

Pulsars are neutron stars

Pressure becomes so high that electrons and protons combine to form stable neutrons throughout the object.

Typical size: R ~ 10 km

Mass: M ~ 1.4 – 3 Msun

slide50

0

What kinds of properties might we expect?

slide51

Angular momentum conservation

=> Collapsing stellar core spins up to periods of ~ a few milliseconds.

Magnetic fields are amplified up to B ~ 109 – 1015 G.

(up to 1012 times the average magnetic field of the Sun)

slide52

Pulsar Properties

  • Extremely dense - 100,000,000,000,000,000 kg m-3

=

slide53

Pulsar Properties

  • Extremely dense - 100,000,000,000,000,000 kg m-3
  • Very rapid rotation - up to 700 Hz
slide54

Pulsar Properties

  • Extremely dense - 100,000,000,000,000,000 kg m-3
  • Very rapid rotation - up to 700 Hz
  • Ultrahigh magnetic fields - 1,000,000,000,000 times Earth’s
slide55

Pulsar Properties

  • Extremely dense - 100,000,000,000,000,000 kg m-3
  • Very rapid rotation - up to 700 Hz
  • Ultrahigh magnetic fields - 1,000,000,000,000 times Earth’s
  • High space velocities - up to 1,000 km/s

sprinter - 10 m/s

f1 car - 100 m/s

normal stars - 10 km/s

why do they pulse
Why do they pulse?

rotation axis

  • Pulsars sweep their beam of radio (electromagnetic) waves across the face of the earth at a very periodic rate.

beam of

radio waves

magnetic field

process
Process . . .
  • A computer program analyzes the data for possible candidates
  • A “viewer” page is produced
  • Ratings are made and submitted
  • Potential pulsars are followed up with additional observations
  • This is what we will learn next time!
slide60

The basic question:

  • Is it a Pulsar?
    • Or is it Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)?