Jocelyn Bell Burnell

By: Vanessa Gonzalez

When she was born and what she started

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was born on July 15, 1934 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Her father was an architect and an avid reader. Through his books, Jocelyn was introduced to the world of astronomy. Due to her parents strong belief in education she was sent to a boarding school after she failed the entrance exam for higher education. Through hard work she was admitted the following year.


In 1969 she completed her Ph.D. in radio astronomy from the University of Cambridge, under supervision of Antony Hewish. She held a junior teaching fellowship from 1970 to 1973 at the University of Southampton.

As a student she discovered evidence of something called a pulsar. A pulsar is a pulsating radio star. These signals were first noticed by Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The signals became known as pulsars which is a pulsating radio star or rapidly pulsating a radio sources. Although Burnell was the one who discovered the pulsar signals her colleagues were the ones to win the Nobel Prize.

Loves science still

At age 69, Bell Burnell was still active in the research and is among the most respected scientists in the world. Jocelyn Bell Burnell is 75 years old. She still loves science.

Likes to tell people about her

Some say that Jocelyn Bell Burnell made the greatest discovery concerning astronomy in the 20th Century. Her discovery of noticing regular patterns of radio waves coming from rapidly spinning neutron stars became a huge sensation. She is a famous scientist and she likes to tell people about science and she wants them to learn more.

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