One day in early 2007 undergraduate student David Narkevic came to us with some news. He was a physics major at West Virginia University, where the two of us had just begun our first year as assistant professors. We had tasked him with inspecting archival observations of the Magellanic Clouds—small satellite galaxies of the Milky Way about 200,000 light-years away from Earth. Narkevic had an understated manner, and that day was no exception. “I've found something that looks quite interesting,” he said nonchalantly, holding up a graph of a signal that was more than 100 times stronger than the background hiss of the telescope electronics. At first, it seemed that he had identified just what we were looking for: a very small, bright type of star known as a pulsar.