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Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish

Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish

H400/0056

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Credit

HENCOUP ENTERPRISES LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENCOUP ENTERPRISES LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The astronomers Jocelyn Bell and Anthony Hewish seen amongst the wires of the radio telescope in East Anglia, England, with which they discovered in 1967 the first pulsar. Pulsars are very compact neutron stars that are spinning around at very high speed (several times per second). They also emit a beam of radiation which, due the pulsar fast rotation, creates a light-house effect. Bell and Hewish were investigating the variability of some radio sources when they discovered a source in Lacerta, which was called LMG1, producing a set of equally spaced radio pulses. In 1974 Hewish won the Nobel Prize for physics for this work.

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