At Cambridge, a grad student named Jocelyn Bell
Detected a signal, the tale I must tell.
All regular pulses, the spectrum they span.
To all indications, a Little Green Man.
And it's no, nay, never,
No, nay, never, no more
Will I fall for a pulsar.
No never, no more.
The pulses were regular, quite strong enough,
And in her report Bell had labeled them scruff.
She carefully studied and cataloged them,
And these are the signals they called LGM.
Her research advisor, incredibly wise,
Who later would garner the great Nobel prize
Was Antony Hewish. And he voiced some doubt:
Don't publish until we can check this thing out.
She checked all her printouts, and Jocelyn could tell
The recorder had plotted some others as well.
Then Tommy Gold stated, "I know what they are:
A rapidly rotating dense neturon star."
They published a paper, in Nature, of course:
"A Rapidly Pulsating Radio Source."
Though Jocelyn and Tony preferred "LGM",
Frank Drake gave the monicker "Pulsar" to them.
To all SETI scientists searching for life:
The message is clear, if you would avoid strife.
Check all of your data, take care who you tell.
Remember the pulsars, and J. B. Burnell.
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this page last updated 31 January 2009
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