Drive the Dish and observe pulsars!
This is your opportunity as a class to use the Parkes radio telescope, Murriyang, live to observe pulsars, meet with professional astronomers and learn more about science careers. Pulsars are one of the most extreme astronomical objects. You’ll obtain your own data then use it to determine some of their properties and learn more about these intriguing objects.
What do other students think?
“There’s something truly special about collecting data from the Universe and knowing you’re the first person to see it and study it, PULSE@Parkes provides that opportunity for students. This was the first experience I had with astronomy research and it opened my eyes to what a career in astronomy involved and I haven’t looked back since!”
Kat Ross, former PULSE@Parkes participant and now Astrophysics PhD student at ICRAR-Curtin.
What do you do in PULSE@Parkes?
Sessions are run either fully remotely where you join in from your school or at one of our CSIRO Space and Astronomy sites such as our headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney.
A Typical Session
Arrive at Marsfield or dial into your session online, as we get ready for the beginning of PULSE@Parkes
Our PULSE@Parkes team will introduce themselves to you
We’ll review the background talk then introduce the tools and interfaces used for observing
Learn about these exotic, compact, massive objects and what type of physics they can teach us
Now comes the fun part – you get a chance to take over the Parkes radio telescope, Murriyang, and observe pulsars!
Using the data you just collected, learn the basics of astrophysics by measuring the distances to observed pulsars
This is your opportunity to ask our PULSE@Parkes astrophysicists any science questions they’d like
Our astrophysicists will share some career advice with you
As we say our goodbyes, we’ll let you know where you can find the data you observed today
- Excel spreadsheet or PDF of PULSE@Parkes pulsars (you will refer to this in your observing session).
- Reference sheet of links: PDF or Word docx.
- Database of student pulsar observations.
- Online module for determining distances to pulsars.
- What is radio astronomy?
- CSIRO Virtual Work Experience program.