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Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Jocelyn Bell Burnell came from a family that strongly believed in the importance of a good education.

Jocelyn Bell was born in 1943 in Northern Ireland. Her father was an architect who loved to read. Jocelyn would often borrow her father's books. Through her reading, Jocelyn became interested in astronomy.

Jocelyn Bell went to a boarding school in England from 1956 until 1961. After boarding school, she earned a degree in physics from the University of Glasgow. In 1965, she became a graduate student at Cambridge University in England. While she was a student at Cambridge she helped build a large radio telescope. This telescope was so big that 57 tennis courts could fit on land covered by the telescope. In 1967, while she was still a student, Jocelyn began to use the telescope. She collected information from the telescope in the form of lines, or markings, on strips of paper. Jocelyn studied hundreds of kilometers of the paper strips. By paying close attention to differences in the lines on the strips, Jocelyn made an amazing discovery. She had discovered the signals from a pulsar.

Jocelyn Bell received her Ph.D. in radio astronomy in 1968. She has received many medals, awards, and honors for her work in astronomy.

Listen to Dr. Bell Burnell answer some questions!

Star How did you become interested in astronomy?

Star What's it like to be famous?

Star Do you have any special talents other than science?

Star Do you have any pets?

Star If you weren't an astronomer what would you be?

Star Did you like school when you were a kid?

Star What were your favorite subjects in school?

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A Question

What was Jocelyn Bell Burnell's occupation at the time of her first pulsar discovery?

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The Answer
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