The Lovell is one of the five biggest radio telescopes on earth currently involved in leading research into pulsars.
‘Bent time’ tips pulsar out of view
A pulsar, one of deep space’s spinning “lighthouses”, has faded from view because a warp in space-time tilted its beams away from Earth.
By tracking its motion closely for five years, astronomers determined the pulsar’s weight and also quantified the gravitational disturbance.
Then, the pulsar vanished. Its wheeling beams of radio waves now pass us by, and the researchers have calculated that this can be explained by “precession”: the dying star wobbling into the dip in space-time that its own orbit created.
- Arecibo Telescope (Puerto Rico, USA)
- Green Bank Telescope (West Virginia, USA)
- Nancay Telescope (northern France)
- Lovell Telescope (Jodrell Bank, UK)
- Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (The Netherlands)