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A new pulsar model for the Dwingeloo telescope

Submitter: Tammo Jan Dijkema
Description: To demonstrate what a pulsar is, we have a model of a neutron star in the Dwingeloo telescope. This model features magnetic field lines, and two flashlights representing the emission at the magnetic poles of the neutron star. Most importantly, the model can rotate, to show how the fast rotation of the neutron star causes flashes to arrive at the dish. We use this model in telescope tours when showing the live signal from pulsar B0329+54.

The original model was made around eight years ago by Barbara de Jong. It consisted of a styrofoam ball with two flashlights. This model was used in hundreds of telescope tours, and was even visible in an episode of SchoolTV. After 8 years, the styrofoam started to show its age, so we decided to make a new model.

The new model was 3d printed at the ASTRON 3d printer. The model is available on Thingiverse. The flashlights have been tightly integrated into the model; to switch the emission on and off, an on-off-button is integrated into the foot (in the previous model, the flashlights had to be taken out of the model to switch them on).

Thanks to colleagues Sieds, Sytze, Scott and Sjouke who spent part of various coffee breaks to help me in various parts of this effort.

The background of the featured image shows the live reception of B0329+54 in Joy Division style, which we should submit as a separate daily image.
Copyright: CC-BY 4.0 Tammo Jan Dijkema
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