Hawkesbury Radio Astronomy Observatory

Vela Pulsar Observations

Observing PSR B0833-45 with a Small Aperture Antenna


The detection of pulsars is viewed as a major achievement by many in Citizen Scientist Radio Astronomy circles.  The difficulty of this activity has produced some optimistic claims - fortunately there are many examples of successful pulsar detections by citizen scientists which comply with the scientific method and, as such, are good sources of information.

This website documents the activities at the Hawkesbury Radio Astronomy Observatory (HawkRAO) centred around the Vela Pulsar.

Structure of These Pages

Use the tabs at the top and bottom of the pages to navigate the project website - in particular the...


The target pulsar was selected as B0833-45 (J0835-4510) as it is the strongest pulsar (5 Jy @ 400 MHz) and also happens to pass almost directly overhead at this location (34°S). Use the 'Vela' tab to view more details about the pulsar.

The antenna and low noise amplifiers are commercial products and data acquisition is achieved via a relatively inexpensive USB SDR - the RTL-SDR dongle.

The analysis software - Virtual Control Panel (VCP) - was written specifically for the HawkRAO hardware setup.

A description of the results of over a year's observation of the Vela pulsar can be found in this PDF...

One Year Of Observing Vela

Comments/corrections/criticisms welcomed.

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