The Sun rotates at tex2html_wrap319 . Compress it to 10 km and conserve angular momentum, it would spin up to tex2html_wrap321 (and fly apart).

So, at the center of a SNII remnant we expect to find a Rapidly Spinning, Extremely Dense ball of Neutrons with a Huge Magnetic Field

This was worked out back in the 1930's but it was assumed it was impossible to ever test it and it also seemed like science fiction even to the researchers who worked in the area.

But, Jocelyn Bell and Tony Hewish out together a rickety barbed-wire fence in a field in the countryside near Cambridge (England) in 1967 to do some routine radio observations.

They discovered a source in the constellation Vela that let out a little pulse every 1.3 seconds, then they realized it was every 1.337 seconds, then 1.3372866576 seconds. Eventually they realized that the best clocks of the time were not accurate enough to time this object which they christened a ``LGM''.


The announcement of this discovery was withheld for awhile while they tried to decide if they had discovered extra-terrestrial life. But soon others were discovered. This discovery set off more than a year of wild speculation as to the nature of the rapidly varying sources. But the possibility that it was a neutron star pretty quickly rose to the top.

Looked at the Crab nebula (ejected shell of the 1054 AD SN explosion) and detected another pulsing source with a period of 0.033 seconds (or, 30 pulses per second). This cinched it.

Michael Bolte
Mon Mar 9 11:01:38 PST 1998