Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Letter
  • Published:

Variable Source of Radio Frequency Radiation in the Constellation of Cygnus


COSMIC or galactic noise was discovered by Jansky1 in 1931 ; but its exact origin has remained uncertain. It is generally supposed to originate from collisions in interstellar matter2; but there are divergencies between existing theory and experimental results, particularly at lower radio frequencies3. Hey, Parsons and Phillips4 discovered variations in the intensity of galactic noise from the direction of the constellation of Cygnus, with a period of about one minute—suggesting that this particular radiation has its origin in a discrete source.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Proc. Inst. Radio Eng., 20, 1920 (1932).

  • Astrophys. J., 91, 625 (1940).

  • Astrophys. J., 105, 235 (1947).

  • Nature, 158, 234 (1946).

  • Nature, 157, 158 (1946).

  • Nature, 157, 297 (1946).

  • Nature, 158, 758 (1946).

  • Nature, 159, 26 (1947).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

BOLTON, J., STANLEY, G. Variable Source of Radio Frequency Radiation in the Constellation of Cygnus. Nature 161, 312–313 (1948).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing