2006 Grote Reber Gold Medal awarded to Bernard Yarnton Mills, Professor emeritus at Sydney University

The 2006 Grote Reber Gold Medal will be awarded to Professor B. Y. Mills, one of the early pioneers of radio astronomy. Professor Mills is being honoured for his innovative contributions to the development of radio telescopes and for his pioneering investigations of the radio sky which led to the first estimates of the radio galaxy luminosity function and helped to define their spatial distribution. The medal will be presented at a special ceremony on 17 August, during the IAU General Assembly in Prague, Czech Republic.

Bernard Yarnton Mills

Professor Bernie Mills (Photo courtesy of Crys Mills).

Professor Mills' pioneering contributions to radio astronomy include the development of the cross-type telescope, subsequently known as the "Mills Cross", at Fleurs, west of Sydney, in 1953. With this instrument he and his colleagues at CSIRO Radiophysics undertook the first detailed radio survey of the southern sky, which had a major impact in establishing Australia as a leader in the then new science of radio astronomy. This first cross spawned copies in Australia, in the US, and in Italy.

After moving to Sydney University in 1960, Mills undertook the construction of the 408 MHz one-mile Molonglo Cross. As well as surveying the radio sky, this telescope proved to be one of the most successful pulsar discovery telescopes. Since then the telescope has been upgraded to operate as a synthesis radio telescope at 843 MHz and has been most successful in sensitively surveying the southern sky, the Magellanic Clouds and the southern Galactic plane.

Bernard Mills, after his retirement in 1985, continues to contemplate fundamental issues of astrophysics.

The Reber Medal was established by the Trustees of the Grote Reber Foundation to honour the achievements of Grote Reber and is administered by the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston, Tasmania in cooperation with National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the University of Tasmania, and the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility. Nominations for the 2007 Medal may be sent to Martin George, Queen Victoria Museum, Wellington St, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia or by e-mail to: martin@gvmag.tas.gov.au to be received no later than 15 November 2006.

Martin George, David Jauncey and Ken Kellermann