Astronomy: Taking the Pulse of Pulsars

Under the careful scrutiny of increasing numbers of scientists around the world, astronomy's newest sensation—the pulsars—continued to beep away last week, confounding observers with the breathtaking regularity of their signals. With almost unseemly haste, astronomers and astrophysicists conjured up possible explanations for the new signals from space and rushed them to publications like Nature and Science, hoping to be first in print with the theory that eventually is proved correct. In London a crowded, excited meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society was devoted entirely to the pulsars.

Somewhat belatedly, Astronomer Anthony Hewish, leader of the Cambridge University group that discovered...

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