The mechanism of emission from the pulsating radio sources reported by Hewish et al.1 seems to be quite different from that of any other celestial radio source, particularly because of the wide frequency band over which intense radiation is emitted simultaneously2. An analogy may be found, however, in the radio pulse emitted by a cosmic ray shower3,4, in which a sheet of particles moving relativistically may emit linearly polarized radiation when they are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field. It seemed appropriate therefore to search for linear polarization in the pulsating stars, and we here report the successful detection of linear polarization in all of the four known sources.
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