A Workshop Celebrating the Career of John A. Galt


A workshop was held at Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) Sep 22-23 2014 to celebrate the career of John A. Galt (1925-2012) and to dedicate the 26-meter telescope in his honour. John was the first employee of the observatory in 1957 and was its director from 1962 to 1981.  Many former DRAO staff returned for the dedication ceremony to watch Greg Fahlman and John’s wife, Rena Galt, unveil a new sign on the tower of the 26-meter showing its new name, the “John A. Galt Telescope”. The new sign had been hidden behind a white sheet, held in place by a truly Galtian contraption of twine and paper clips.  Plaques describing John’s accomplishments were mounted nearby.


A number of distinguished visitors travelled to Penticton to provide an overview of the work that was done by John during his career as well as current work that has followed in the areas of John’s observational research. Topics covered included Zeeman splitting of the 21-cm line, the Dominion A catalogue of 20-cm sources, protection of the radio spectrum, pulsars, fast radio bursts, long baseline scintillometry, radio observations of comets, diffuse polarized Galactic emission, and the CHIME telescope. Some of the first-time visitors to the observatory have suggested novel projects for the telescopes on site, including the new John A. Galt Telescope, with one researcher even planning to publish a paper using John’s extensive hydroxyl observations of Comet Halley using the 26-meter.

John Galt Timeline

American Astronomical Society Obituary: John Alexander Galt (1925-2012)

A video interview with John Galt about his unrideable bicycles:

Joe Fletcher’s “Photos from the Early Days of Long Baseline Interferometry in Canada”

Workshop Program and Presentations

[Click on talk titles to download the presentations.]


A Workshop Celebrating the Career of John A. Galt

Monday September 22 2014
0900 [10m] Welcome
0910 [60m] Tim Robishaw (DRAO) :: John Galt: The First 21 cm Zeeman Hunter
1010 [60m] Chris Purton (DRAO) :: John Galt & the DRAO: An Historical Symbiosis
1110 [50m] Dedication of the John A. Galt Telescope
1200 [60m] Lunch
1300 [40m] Carl Heiles (Berkeley) :: Doing John Proud: The 21 cm Zeeman Hunt Pays Off
1340 [45m] Gary Hinshaw (UBC) :: Galactic and Extragalactic Foregrounds
1425 [60m] Duncan Lorimer (West Virginia) :: Fast Radio Bursts
1525 [35m] Coffee Break
1655 [45m] Ue-Li Pen (CITA) :: VLBI Scintillometry
1740 Site Tour
1930 Dinner at Villa Rosa restaurant in Penticton
Tuesday September 23 2014
0900 [30m] Kevin Douglas (Okanagan) :: The Galactic Arecibo L-band Feed Array HI Survey
1000 [30m] Coffee Break
1030 [45m] Ellen Howell (NAIC) :: OH Observations of Comets
1115 [45m] Laura Woodney (CSUSB) :: Millimeter Observations of Comets
1200 [60m] Lunch
1300 [30m] Maik Wolleben (Calgary) :: The DRAO 26 m Polarization Survey
1330 [30m] Tom Landecker (DRAO) :: The Galactic Magneto-Ionic Medium Survey
1420 [30m] Coffee Break 
1650 [10m] Wrap-Up

Workshop Photos


Top Row L-R: Wendell Shuster, Maik Wolleben, Rick Smegal, Laura Newburgh, Kevin Douglas, Laura Woodney, Xuan Du; Ground Level L-R: Chris Purton, Niels Oppermann, Andrew Gray, Bill McCutcheon, Roland Kothes, Jasper Wall, Ken Tapping, Tom Landecker, Tony Willis, Tim Robishaw, Carl Heiles, Paul Demorest, Ellen Howell, Gerald Schievan, Rob Roger, Duncan Lorimer

[Click on any thumbnail below to see a larger photo in a slide show viewer. Clicking on a photo in the slide show will display the full-resolution image.]

All photos courtesy of Lauren Meads, Gerald Schievan, Rob Messing, and Tim Robishaw.

The Unveiling…


Penticton Herald (Sep 23 2014): Special Dedication at DRAO