This talk is sponsored by Living Assistance Services
October 13, 2022 (10am to 12 noon)
It was 50 years ago that University of Toronto Professor Tom Bolton provided the first definitive proof that Black Holes really do exist. But before 1972 when Professor Bolton published his landmark paper, most scientists were skeptical. The extreme predicted properties for Black Holes – their ability to effectively erase the existence of anything that ventures too close – seemed far too extreme for reality.
Join the speaker on a journey of discovery beginning with the earliest thoughts about Black Holes in the 1600s, followed by the discoveries using radio telescopes and the very first Space Telescopes in the 1960s and 70s (decades before the Hubble Space Telescope) that inspired young Tom Bolton to turn his attention to study Cygnus X-1. You’ll learn how Tom used pre-digital era photographs taken with the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) 74-inch telescope in Richmond Hill to prove Cygnus X-1 contains a Black Hole. We conclude by seeing how well theory matches reality as revealed in the very first images of a Black Hole obtained just three years ago.
Dr. Shelton is a professional astronomer working in the field of stellar astrophysics. He has conducted research and been involved in the commissioning and operation of telescopes ranging in size from the 0.25-meter Astrograph at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to the 8.3-metre Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. He has been teaching Astronomy at the University of Toronto for over 30 years and also provides courses at Toronto Metropolitan (aka Ryerson) University and Seneca College. Dr. Shelton is probably best known for his discovery of Supernova 1987A, which has become one of the most closely studied objects in the known Universe.
Ian spends much of his time working with his wife Dr. Tuba Koktay actively sharing their love for astronomy and the natural world through their work with the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) Defenders. This not-for-profit group helped save the Observatory for future generations and is delivering a wide range of Public Outreach and Science Education programs at the David Dunlap Observatory in partnership with the City of Richmond Hill. The DDO is home to the largest optical telescope in Canada and where Ian worked with Professor Bolton.