Hanaa is hunting for a blip in a vast set of data.
Although she is only a high school student, she is searching for the signal of a pulsar — a rapidly rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation like a lighthouse.
Hanaa and 19 of her fellow students at Alverno Heights Academy in Sierra Madre are participating in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), a program that partners high school students with astronomy mentors at local universities. The mentors then train the students how to search a large data set for the signals of pulsars. The PSC, headquartered at the University of West Virginia, was established in 2007 through a grant from the National Science Foundation. As part of the grant, 300 terabytes of data collected by the West Virginia’s Green Bank Telescope were set aside for high school students to use to search for pulsars.
Published by Pasadena News Now. See more on their website