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.

These webpages document the activities at the Hawkesbury Radio Astronomy Observatory (HawkRAO) centred around the Vela Pulsar.

After 20 months of daily observations, on the 1st February, 2019, the HawkRAO system detected a 'glitch' in the Vela Pulsar.

It is believed this is the first ever detection of a pulsar glitch by an amateur radio astronomer (refer to ATel # 12466).


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 the HawkRAO location (34°S). Use the 'Vela Pulsar' 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.

Comments/corrections/criticisms welcomed.

Note: Be sure to refresh your browser to get the latest updates to these webpages.