Jocelyn Bell

Do you want to
know more?
Click here
Jocelyn Bell

The Bell Star

Jocelyn Bell was born in 1943 in Belfast. As a child, her father took her on an outing to the Armagh Observatory, and it was then she decided to become a radio astronomer. She learned a lot from her physics professor, who told her: “You don’t have to learn lots and lots … of facts; you just learn a few key things, and … then you can apply and build and develop from those.”

She did her doctorate at Cambridge in the team of researchers, under Hewish, working on building a radio telescope to study quasars. While doing so, she noticed high-speed flashes in the sky emitting radio signals. After in-depth studies, she concluded that she had discovered a new type of star: pulsars. This discovery received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1974, which should have been awarded to Jocelyn Bell, but it went to Hewish, the head of her team, instead.