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In 1968 (10 November), Lovelace and his collaborators discovered period \(P\approx 33\) ms of the Crab Pulsar.[1][2] As a graduate student working at Arecibo Observatory, Lovelace developed a version of the Fast Fourier transform program [3] which was adapted to run on the Arecibo Observatory's CDC 3200 computer [4]. This program helped to separate the periodic pulsar signal from the noise, and one night he discovered the period of the Crab pulsar, which is approximately 33 ms. [5][6] A month earlier, observers from the Jodrell Bank Observatory reported that two pulsating sources

were found near the Crab Nebula and could be coincident with it, and that both sources were sporadic, and no periodicities were evident.[7][8]. A few days later, Lovelace and collaborators, found that only one pulsar is present (the NP 0532 Crab Pulsar), and estimated its period  with a high precision: 33.09 ms. They also found the position of the pulsar on the sky with a high precision of 10'[5].

Two new pulsating radio sources, designated NP 0527 and NP 0532, were found near the Crab Nebula and could be coincident with it. Both sources are sporadic, and no periodicities are evident. The pulse dispersions indicate that 1.58 ± 0.03 and 1.74 ± 0.02 × 1020 electrons per square centimeter lie in the direction of NP 0527 and NP 0532, respectively.



  1. “Pulsar NP 0532 Near Crab Nebula” R. V. E. Lovelace, J. M. Sutton, and H. D. Craft 1968, November, IAU Circ., No. 2113, #1 (1968)
  2. "Out of the Zenith. Jodrell Bank 1957-1970" Sir. Bernard Lovell, 1973, London: Oxford University Press, pp 1-255 (see page159).
  3. "Digital Search Methods for Pulsars" 1969, R. V. E. Lovelace, J. M. Sutton, E. E. Salpeter, Nature 222 (5190), 231-233.
  4. "On the Discovery of the Period of the Crab Nebula Pulsar" R.V.E. Lovelace & G. Leonard Tyler, 2012, The Observatory, V. 132, p. 186-188
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Crab nebula pulsar NP 0532" 1969, J. M. Comella, H. D. Craft, R. V. E. Lovelace, J. M. Sutton, G. L. Tyler, Nature 221 (5179), 453-454.
  6. "Astrophysical Formulae. Space, Time, Matter and Cosmology" Kenneth R. Lang 2014, Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
  7. "Pulsating radio sources near Crab Nebula" Howard, W. E., Staelin, D. H., Reifenstein, E. C. 1968, IAU Circ., No. 2110, #2 (1968) Bibcode: 1968IAUC.2110....2H
  8. "Pulsating Radio Sources near the Crab Nebula" Staelin, David H. and Reifenstein, Edward C., III, December 1968, Science, Volume 162, Issue 3861, pp. 1481-1483