Bernard Yarnton Mills

Bernard Yarnton Mills

Australian astronomer.
Date of Birth: 08.08.1920
Country: Australia

Biography of Bernard Yarnton Mills

Bernard Yarnton Mills is an Australian astronomer who has made significant contributions to the field of radio astronomy. He was born in Australia near Sydney, in the province of New South Wales. Mills graduated from the University of Sydney in 1940 and went on to work at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research until 1960. During his time there, he was involved in the development of military radar systems.

Bernard Yarnton Mills

In 1960, Mills joined the University of Sydney and became a professor of physics and astrophysics in 1965. He established the radio astronomy group at the university and conducted groundbreaking research in this field. Mills proposed the cross-shaped radio telescope system, which is an efficient and simple interferometric system consisting of two antenna arrays oriented in the north-south and east-west directions. This system has a distinctive "pencil beam" pattern (known as the Mills Cross) and has been used in the construction of several radio telescopes.

Mills conducted radio surveys of the southern sky, measuring the positions of many discrete sources and identifying them with optical objects. He also determined their angular sizes. In 1952, he analyzed the distribution of discrete sources across the sky and made an important discovery about the existence of both galactic sources concentrated towards the Galactic plane and extragalactic sources uniformly distributed across the sky.

Mills also studied pulsars and their distribution in the Galaxy. In 1970, he found that pulsars are concentrated closer to the local arm and the Sagittarius arm, and that their average distance from the Galactic plane coincides with the distance of supernova remnants from the same plane.

In addition to his research, Mills participated in observations of radio sources included in four catalogs of the Molonglo Observatory and contributed to the analysis of these catalogs. He conducted detailed studies of various extended sources in the southern sky, including the Magellanic Clouds.

Mills is a member of the Australian Academy of Science since 1959 and the Royal Society of London since 1963. He has received numerous awards for his contributions, including the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 1957 and the Grote Reber Medal in 2006.