Student uses Radio Telescope Data to Uncover Strange Astronomical Object

A high school sophomore at South Morrison High School in Clarksburg, W.V., didn't need his own receiver and antenna to discover a new astronomical object—a rare rotating radio transient. The West Virginia student made his discovery analyzing data from the nearby Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT).

Looking at the graphs in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory news release, it appears the rotating radio transient was found on 350 MHz. The student, Lucas Bolyard, noticed the signal showed a non-zero "dispersion measure," which indicated the signal came from space, not Earth.

For more on this interesting astronomical object and the graphs that alerted Bolyard to its presence, refer to the NRAO news release.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.