Welcome to the PSC. Your discovery is here!
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), (NSF awards: 1516512, 1516269) partners the West Virginia University with the Green Bank Observatory and other institutions of higher education to provide high school students and their teachers with opportunities to practice 21st Century Skills while conducting world class research in pulsar astronomy. PSC club members join an international team of scientists who are analyzing hundreds of terabytes of data collected by the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope for the purpose of discovering new pulsars!
The PSC began in 2007 when the Green Bank Telescope was in need of repairs. Specifically, it needed a new track. While this track was being replaced, the telescope was unable to move and could only point at a fixed position in the sky. During this time, two astronomers from WVU, Dr. Maura McLaughlin and Dr. Duncan Lorimer used the Green Bank Telescope to observe the sky as it drifted overhead. And as the sky drifted by, they took data. And more data. And more data. By the end, they had over 300 hours of observing time and acquired more than 30 terabytes of data! We formed the PSC to help them analyze this data, and as it turns out students and teachers are quite good at it! Students have actually discovered several new pulsars, and have become published authors, before they leave high school!
Since that initial successful survey of the sky, the GBT has been used to gather even more data, and the PSC has grown to numerous high schools, colleges and universitiess around the country. We welcome you to join this scientific community and make your contribution!
Why you should join:
- Advance our knowledge of the Universe. PSC students and teachers have so far analyzed more than 2.2 million pieces of data! 7 new pulsars and one transient object have been discovered by PSC members.
- Be part of a vibrant scientific community. Whether you are a teacher or a student, apprenticing in a worthwhile endeavour alongside professional astronomers helps boost your confidence that you CAN do scientific and engineering research.
- Develop skills that will enable you to succeed in a STEM major in college. PSC members share their work with peers and professional scientists, and gain experience in scientific communication in the process.
Please click the Join link to learn how.