Jocelyn Bell Burnell - Beautiful Minds: Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell TV - Horizon TV - Carl Sagan TV - How the Universe Works TV - The Universe TV -
My eureka moment was in the dead of night, the early hours of the morning, on a cold, cold night, and my feet were so cold, they were aching. But when the result poured out of the charts, you just forget all that. You realize instantly how significant this is – what it is you’ve really landed on – and it’s great! Jocelyn Bell Burnell
In 1967 a Phd student called Jocelyn Bell noticed something that shouldn’t happen. Strange regular flashes of energy emanating from deep space. She had discovered a completely new type of star which came to be known as pulsars. Beautiful Minds: Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, BBC 2010
Pulsars are thought to be dead stars which have exploded in a supernova. All that’s left is a tiny spinning body just the size of a city but tremendously dense, releasing pulses of deadly radiation up to six hundred times a second. The three new planets were orbiting the remnants of one of these strange dead stars. Horizon: Planet Hunters, BBC 2000
They keep such perfect time that the first one discovered was thought to be a sign of extraterrestrial intelligence. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean, PBS 1980
Some neutron stars spin so fast they generate huge pulses of energy. Beams of radiation blasting out of the star’s north and south poles. This neutron star is called a pulsar. How the Universe Works s1e5: Supernovas, Discovery 2010
We know of hundreds of millisecond pulsars scattered across the cosmos … Some of them are alone: what’s happened to their sibling? How the Universe Works s6e3: Twin Suns
There are two types of neutron star: pulsars that spin rapidly and emit beeping radio pulses, and magnetars that spin more slowly and emit energy from magnetism. Magnetars which are much rarer than pulsars have the strongest known magnetic fields in the universe. The Universe s3e10: Strangest Things, History 2009
The pulsar/magnetar combination star is fairly young – less than nine hundred years old. So astronomers think neutrons stars begin their lives as magnetars then settle down and become pulsars. ibid.
They are the freaks of the cosmos: pulsars and quasars so strange their very existence seems impossible. The Universe s4e10: Pulsars & Quasars
A pulsar seems to blink on and off because the rotating star is sending out beams of energy from its magnetic field. ibid.
Quasars – in the heart of each one sits a monster. ibid.