Syncing something with a pulsar

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In summary, the conversation revolves around the possibility of having an audio indication of the cycle/period of PSR B1919+21 in real time. The speakers discuss the feasibility of using a program to produce a pulse train at the same time as the pulsar "lights up", but acknowledge the difficulty due to network delays and the lack of precise timing. They also mention the limitations of radio telescopes in tracking the pulsar constantly.
  • #1
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Soo...

I'm trying to "sync" something up with PSR B1919+21. (so in essence I'm just looking to have an indication (preferably audio) of its cycle/period in real time. (PSR B1919+21 has a period of 1.337 seconds and a pulse width of 0.04 second.) I'm wondering if there any online streams of data that are available online or that can be somehow be arranged. (I tried searching. Are there any radio telescopes that would be willing to provide this data?) An audio stream of its "sound" would be ideal. (i realize that, probably, none of these are "real" time) Alternatively a list of its pulses and their exact moments in time... I was thinking I could write a small program that would sync with it using that as a base to start from. Anyway... I'm more or less wondering if this is feasible and perhaps if anyone could point me to someone who can help.

:/
 
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  • #2
It would be very easy to write a program that produces a pulse train of 0.04 second pulses with a period of 1.337 seconds, and then dumps that into a .wav file.

Synchronizing this program so that it actually produces pulses at the same time that the pulsar "lights up" would be essentially impossible, unless you had your own local radio telescope. Otherwise, network delays, etc. would ruin any synchrony. Besides, the phase relationship wouldn't matter at all for an audio signal.

- Warren
 
  • #3
hmmm.
yeah i can handle the quasi-simulation easily in Max/MSP.
my understanding of pulsars (of which i have little), is that they follow a very strict pattern. You don't think it would be possible to have something more or less check the time and then sync up using some previous known pulse? (i understand that it wouldn't be _exact_ unless I am using an atomic clock or something.) or is my understanding of their cycles completely off.

What do you mean when you say the phase relationship wouldn't matter for an audio signal?
 
  • #4
Your ear is not going to care whether this pulse train starts at t=0 seconds or t=0.1 seconds. It'll sound the same.

- Warren
 
  • #5
No radiotelescope placed on Earth surface is able to trace any point on the sky 24 hours a day. That's simple geometry :)

Even if you happen to build it on the pole (be it South or North) half the sky is beyond your reach.
 

1. What is syncing something with a pulsar?

Syncing something with a pulsar refers to the process of using the regular and precise signals emitted by a pulsar to synchronize or coordinate the timing of an external device or system. This is often used in scientific research and space exploration to accurately measure time and distance.

2. How does syncing with a pulsar work?

Pulsars are incredibly dense and rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit regular pulses of electromagnetic radiation. By using a pulsar's signals as a reference point, scientists can accurately measure the timing of these pulses and use them to sync an external device or system.

3. What types of devices can be synced with a pulsar?

Any device or system that requires precise timing can potentially be synced with a pulsar. This includes deep space probes, telescopes, atomic clocks, and other scientific instruments. Pulsar syncing is also used in navigation systems, such as GPS, to ensure accurate positioning.

4. What are the benefits of syncing with a pulsar?

The main benefit of syncing with a pulsar is the incredibly precise timing it provides. Pulsars have an extremely stable rotation rate, making their signals highly accurate for timekeeping. This allows for more accurate measurements and calculations in scientific research and space exploration.

5. Are there any challenges or limitations to syncing with a pulsar?

One of the main challenges of syncing with a pulsar is the distance between the pulsar and the device or system being synced. This can introduce a delay in the signals, making it more difficult to achieve precise synchronization. Additionally, pulsars can also experience glitches, which can affect the accuracy of their signals.

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