High-School Astronomy Sleuth Meets President Obama

Lucas Bolyard with President Obama

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host an astronomy event on the South Lawn of the White House, October 7, 2009. Participants include: Dr. John Holdren, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Caroline Moore, the youngest person to discover a supernova; and Lucas Bolyard, who recently discovered an anomalous pulsar with the GBT. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


Lucas Bolyard, the West Virginia high-school student who discovered a strange neutron star using data from NRAO's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), was a guest of honor at the White House star party Wednesday night, October 7. President Obama, in his opening remarks at the star party, introduced Bolyard, who stood next to the podium as the President said:

"And earlier this year, Lucas Bolyard ... A high school sophomore from West Virginia, discovered some unusual data that turned out to be an extremely rare kind of star called a pulsar. And Lucas was explaining to me just what a pulsar was so that I wasn't embarrassed when I came out here."

Bolyard, along with Caroline Moore, a student who is the youngest person to discover a supernova, watched closely as the President and First Lady took a look through one of the telescopes brought to the White House's South Lawn for the event.

A sophomore at South Harrison High School in Clarksburg, WV, Bolyard made the discovery as part of the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, a project of NRAO and West Virginia University, funded by the National Science Foundation. The project trained high-school student teams to search through a large repository of GBT data to make new discoveries.

Video of the President's Remarks

Video of Lucas Bolyard's Discovery

Video of the White House Star Party

Staff | Contact Us | Careers | Help | Policies | Diversity | Site Map