Tom Bolton (astronomer)
Bolton received his Bachelor’s in 1966 from the University of Illinois, followed by a 1968 Master’s and a 1970 doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. Bolton then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the David Dunlap Observatory, teaching there until 1972. He taught at Scarborough College from 1971 to 1972, and at Erindale College from 1972 to 1973, but since 1973, has been affiliated with the University of Toronto astronomy department, where he is now an emeritus professor.
In 1971, as a post-doctoral fellow and part-time faculty member studying binary systems at the Dunlap Observatory, Bolton observed star HDE 226868 wobble as if it was orbiting around an invisible but massive companion emitting powerful X-rays, independently of the work by Louise Webster and Paul Murdin, at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Further analysis gave an estimate about the amount of mass needed for the gravitational pull, which proved to be too much for a neutron star. After further observations confirmed the results, by 1973, the astronomical community generally recognized black hole Cygnus X-1, lying in the plane of the Milky Way galaxy at a galactic latitude of about 3 degrees.
In 2008, controversy erupted over the University of Toronto's decision to sell the David Dunlap Observatory, the largest single mirror in Canada, but considered small by modern standards. Bolton and the Richmond Hill Naturalists contend the Observatory and 190 acres (0.77 km2) of parkland and arboretum should all be designated as a Provincial Heritage site and not allowed for suburban housing or apartment development. Despite a pending hearing to make arguments in front of the Province of Ontario's Conservation Review Board under the Province's Heritage Act, on July 2, 2008, the University announced an imminent sale of the land to local developers and kicked Bolton out. Frustrated, Bolton watched as helpers carried out boxes with 37 years of his work.
- "Charles Thomas Bolton (1943- )". Virtual Museum of Canada. Retrieved 2007-07-05.
- Black, Harry (2008). "Tom Bolton, Astronomer: Discoverer of the First Black Hole". Canadian Scientists and Inventors: Biographies of People Who Shaped Our World. Pembroke Publishers Limited. pp. 24–27. ISBN 978-1-55138-222-7..
- Faculty profile, U. of Toronto Astronomy and Astrophysics Dept.
- Culp, Kritine. "The proof is out there". University of Toronto Magazine. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
- "Black holes: The Canadian connection". Quirks and Quarks (CBC). 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- Bolton, C. T. (1972). "Identification of Cygnus X-1 with HDE 226868". Nature 235 (2): 271–273. Bibcode:1972Natur.235..271B. doi:10.1038/235271b0. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Webster, B. Louise; Murdin, Paul (1972). "Cygnus X-1—a Spectroscopic Binary with a Heavy Companion?". Nature 235 (2): 37–38. Bibcode:1972Natur.235...37W. doi:10.1038/235037a0. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- Rolston, Bruce (November 10, 1997). "The First Black Hole". University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Shipman, H. L. (1975). "The implausible history of triple star models for Cygnus X-1 Evidence for a black hole". Astrophysical Letters 16 (1): 9–12. Bibcode:1975ApL....16....9S. doi:10.1016/S0304-8853(99)00384-4.
- Gursky, H.; Gorenstein, P.; Kerr, F. J.; Grayzeck, E. J. (1971). "The Estimated Distance to Cygnus X-1 Based on its Low-Energy X-Ray Spectrum". Astrophysical Journal 167: L15. Bibcode:1971ApJ...167L..15G. doi:10.1086/180751.
- "Richmond Hill Naturalists".
- Wagler, Jenny (2008-07-03). "Dunlap Observatory closing sparks anger, frustration". National Post. Retrieved 2007-07-05.