Epoch J2000 (ICRS) Equinox J2000 (ICRS)
|Right ascension||19h 21m 44.815s|
|Declination||+21° 53′ 02.25″|
|Radius||~1.4 × 10−5 R☉|
PSR B1919+21 is a pulsar with a period of 1.3373 seconds and a pulse width of 0.04 seconds. Discovered by Jocelyn Bell Burnell on 28 November 1967, it is the first discovered radio pulsar. The power and regularity of the signals were briefly thought to resemble an extraterrestrial beacon, leading the source to be nicknamed LGM, later LGM-1 (for "little green men").
In 1967, a radio signal was detected using the Interplanetary Scintillation Array of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge, UK, by Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The signal had a 1.337302088331-second period and 0.04-second pulsewidth. It originated at celestial coordinates 19h 19m right ascension, +21° declination. It was detected by individual observation of miles of graphical data traces. Due to its almost perfect regularity, it was at first assumed to be spurious noise, but this hypothesis was promptly discarded. The discoverers jokingly named it little green men 1 (LGM-1), considering that it may have originated from an extraterrestrial civilization, but Bell Burnell soon ruled out extraterrestrial life as a source after discovering a similar signal from another part of the sky.
The original signal turned out to be radio emissions from the pulsar CP 1919, and was the first one recognized as such. Bell Burnell noted that other scientists could have discovered pulsars before her, but their observations were either ignored or disregarded. Researchers Thomas Gold and Sir Fred Hoyle identified this astronomical object as a rapidly rotating neutron star immediately upon their announcement.
We did not really believe that we had picked up signals from another civilization, but obviously the idea had crossed our minds and we had no proof that it was an entirely natural radio emission. It is an interesting problem – if one thinks one may have detected life elsewhere in the universe[,] how does one announce the results responsibly? Who does one tell first?
Nobel Prize controversy
When Antony Hewish and Martin Ryle received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1974 for their work in radio astronomy and pulsars, Fred Hoyle, Hewish's fellow astronomer, argued that Jocelyn Bell Burnell should have been a co-recipient of the prize.
- Hobbs, G.; Lyne, A. G.; Kramer, M.; Martin, C. E.; Jordan, C. (2004). "Long-term timing observations of 374 pulsars". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 353 (4): 1311. Bibcode:2004MNRAS.353.1311H. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.08157.x.
- Verbiest, J. P. W.; Weisberg, J. M.; Chael, A. A.; Lee, K. J.; Lorimer, D. R. (2012). "On Pulsar Distance Measurements and Their Uncertainties". The Astrophysical Journal. 755 (1): 39. arXiv:1206.0428. Bibcode:2012ApJ...755...39V. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/755/1/39. S2CID 118610470.
- "The ATNF Pulsar Catalogue". Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- Arzoumanian, Z.; Nice, D. J.; Taylor, J. H.; Thorsett, S. E. (1994). "Timing behavior of 96 radio pulsars". Astrophysical Journal. 422 (2): 671. Bibcode:1994ApJ...422..671A. doi:10.1086/173760.
- "Pulsar is 1st observed, November 28, 1967". EDN Network. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "This Month in Physics History: February 1968: Discovery of pulsars announced". www.aps.org.
- Basu, Baidyanath (2003-02-01). An Introduction to Astrophysics. p. 325. ISBN 978-81-203-1121-3.
- Burnell, S. Jocelyn Bell (2004-09-21) . "Little Green Men, White Dwarfs or Pulsars?". Cosmic Search Magazine. Retrieved 2013-07-28. (after-dinner speech given at the Eighth Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics; first published in Bell Burnell, S. Jocelyn (1977). "Petit Four". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 302: 685–9. Bibcode:1977NYASA.302..685B. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1977.tb37085.x. S2CID 222086632.)
- Judson, Horace Freeland (2003-10-20). "No Nobel Prize for whining". The New York Times.
- Billings, Lee. "Pulsar Discoverer Jocelyn Bell Burnell Wins $3-Million Breakthrough Prize". Scientific American. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
- Capriola, Adam (2011-05-19). "The History of Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" Album Art". Adamcap.com. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- "Unknown Pleasures". Joy Division. June 1979. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- Christiansen, Jen (2015-02-18). "Pop Culture Pulsar: Origin Story of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures Album Cover". Scientific American. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
- "Journey (CP1919) Performed by Aurora Orchestra". 2019-05-16. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
- "Arctic Monkeys - Four Out Of Five (Official Video)". from 0:16-0:45 and 2:57-3:13.
- "The Great Silence by LEMMiNO". from 0:05-1:16
- Hewish, A.; Bell, S. J.; Pilkington, J. D. H.; Scott, P. F.; Collins, R. A. (24 February 1968). "Observation of a Rapidly Pulsating Radio Source". Nature. 217 (5130): 709–713. Bibcode:1968Natur.217..709H. doi:10.1038/217709a0. S2CID 4277613.
- "K3PGP Experimenter's Corner – Pulsars (List of pulsars for amateur radio astronomers)". K3PGP.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
- "Pulsar Astrometry with the VLBA (Study of Pulsar Parallax, PSR B1919+21 is one of the pulsars studied)". Cornell University. 2004-01-21.
- Bell, Jon (1996-12-19). "A Tutorial on Radio Pulsars: The discovery of pulsars". Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- Manchester, R. N.; Hobbs, G.; Khoo, J. "Recording of the first-discovered pulsar CP1919 (PSR B1919+21) made at the Parkes radio telescope in April 2012". CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science: Pulsar Group. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2013-06-30.