Joyce Bell Burnell, discoverer of pulsars, is joining the ranks of my Cosmic Pioneers series this evening.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell, born 1943, is a Northern Irish astrophysicist who discovered the first radio pulsars (signals coming from rapidly rotating neutron stars). Some have called this the “greatest astronomical discovery of the twentieth century.”
She made the discovery while under her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish, for which Hewish shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics with Martin Ryle, while Bell Burnell was left out despite having observed the pulsars.
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