GBNCC — Green Bank North Celestial Cap Survey

A map of GBNCC’s sky coverage in Right Ascension and Declination as of the summer of 2019. Large circles indicate discovered MSPs, small circles are discovered normal pulsars, and triangles mark new RRATs.

The Green Bank North Celestial Cap (GBNCC) survey is a 350MHz all-sky pulsar survey using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. When complete, the survey will cover the entire sky north of Declination -40° (85% of the celestial sphere). Data taking began in 2009 and processing of GBNCC data, in 2011. Data are processed on the Béluga (previously Guillimin) high-performance computer operated by McGill University, Compute Canada, and Calcul Québec.

To date, we have found 161 new pulsars with 20 of them being millisecond pulsars (MSPs) and 11 being new rotating radio transients (RRATs). Below, a sky map shows the relative locations of our discovered pulsars and the current sky coverage of the survey. The collaboration website ( lists new discoveries and a separate list of RRAT discoveries can be found at

In comparison with previous surveys, the GBNCC pulsar survey is particularly sensitive to nearby MSPs off the Galactic plane, many of which are useful for pulsar timing experiments like the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav; e.g. see So far, 10 MSPs discovered in the GBNCC survey have been added to NANOGrav timing campaigns.

In addition to many interesting individual source discoveries, the GBNCC survey — when complete — will provide strong new constraints on our understanding of the pulsar population. Based on the GBNCC survey’s sensitivity, the number of detections to date, and population simulations, we expect the survey will detect over 800 pulsars by 2021, with about 10% of those being MSPs.


Aloisi et al. 2019, ApJ, 859, 93
Lynch et al. 2018, ApJ, 875, 19
Kawash et al. 2018, ApJ, 857, 131
Chawla et al. 2017, ApJ, 844, 140
Karako-Argaman et al. 2015, ApJ, 809, 67
Stovall et al. 2014, ApJ, 791, 67
Kaplan et al. 2012, ApJ, 753, 174

Publicly-released Data

Pulsar discovery parameters are listed at and refined parameters from dedicated timing campaigns for published sources are included in the ATNF Pulsar Catalog ( For inquiries about raw survey/timing data, contact Joe Swiggum (PI; ude.m1721229870wu@jm1721229870uggiw1721229870s1721229870), Ryan Lynch (ude.o1721229870arn@h1721229870cnylr1721229870), Megan DeCesar (ude.e1721229870tteya1721229870fal@e1721229870masec1721229870ed1721229870), and Scott Ransom (ude.o1721229870arn@m1721229870osnar1721229870s1721229870).


Member Institutions

ASTRON, Green Bank Observatory, Lafayette College, McGill University, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, New York University–Abu Dhabi, Penn State University–Abington, Swinburne University, University of British Columbia, University of Manchester, University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley, Universiteit van Amsterdam, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, West Virginia University

Print This