The leading Australian astronomer of his generation, John Bolton (1922–93), was born in Sheffield and educated at Cambridge University. After wartime service in the Royal Navy, he arrived in Sydney and joined the CSIRO Radiophysics Laboratory. In the late 1940s he discovered and identified the first discrete radio sources, unusual objects at vast distances with intense emission at radio frequencies. These discoveries marked the birth of a new field – extragalactic radio astronomy.
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