Neutron Star Group

The detection of pulsars is viewed as a major achievement by many in Amateur Radio Astronomy circles.  It would not be a stretch too far to say it is something of a minor 'Holy Grail' - accompanied as it is by tales, tall and true, of the achievement of the quest.

As a self-confessed 'pulsar-phile', the administrator of this site (see 'Contact') has endeavoured to collect examples of verified amateur attempts and provide an overview of those attempts.



Prepfold Result (PRESTO)

...which has become necessary because over the last couple of decades claims have been made of pulsar detections by amateurs using home-made software which - on many occasions - have turned out to be invalid. As this home-made software became more complex - in attempts to dig out pulsar signals from poor S/N data obtained from small aperture antennas - it has became almost impossible to decide which is valid and which is the result of massaging noise to get a result.

The only remedy - in the opinion of the author - is to verify with professional software which are proven standards.

This standard has been applied to the author's own results.

Another powerful verification can be obtained by plotting the slow increase in measured period (decrease in spin frequency) over a large number of observations. For example... 


Two more observatories established by an individual are known to be observing Vela in Australia at the time of writing (August 2021) in Australia - but it yet unknown whether they would want to be characterised as 'amateur' and so are not listed here.   The HawkRAO observations detected the 2021 Vela glitch (the 2nd such detection after the 2019 Vela glitch) and so did those observatories as their first.

After viewing the examples of the work of known successful amateurs, be sure to have a look at the challenges they have overcome by reading "Amateur Challenges".

Note: As updates are occurring regularly be sure to refresh all pages to get the latest information.