Dear Dr Stappers,

We write in strong support of the Crab Pulsar monitoring program run by University of Manchester.

The Jodrell Bank Crab Pulsar Monthly Ephemeris is a unique record of the ongoing and rapid evolution of one of the youngest and brightest known pulsars.  However, it is also a vital part of the worldwide search for gravitational waves from neutron stars. 

Both the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration rely on these timing data to correct for spin-down and timing noise when searching for signals from the Crab ([1], [2]). Without the ongoing work at Jodrell Bank we would be unable to carry out year-long coherent observations of one of our most promising sources of gravitational radiation.  No other observatory offers data of this quality, and this is why we strongly endorse all efforts to maintain full operation of this outstanding facility into the future.

Please let us know if we can help your efforts in any way. 


Gabriela Gonzalez
LIGO Scientific Collaboration Spokesperson

Jean-Yves Vinet
Virgo Collaboration Spokesperson

[1] Beating the spin-down limit on gravitational wave emission from the Crab pulsar
Astrophys. J. Lett. 683 (2008) 45

[2] Searches for gravitational waves from known pulsars with S5 LIGO data
Astrophys. J. 713 (2010) 671