Earl Milton

(1936-1999) An active observer and Edmonton Centre member; received the Chant Medal in 1959 at age 23.

EARL R.V. MILTON (1936- ) joined Montreal Centre as a teenager where he was active in meteor observing, the AAVSO nova search program and the Asteroid Club for Juniors. When he moved with his family to Edmonton in 1952, he brought his enthusiasm with him and soon interested a number of members of that Centre in auroral, planetary and meteor observations. While studying Chemistry at the University of Alberta, he started and headed a new observers group, and reported regularly on their activities at Centre meetings. He went on to graduate studies but managed to find the time to speak at Centre meetings, to keep up his active observing and to serve as Vice-President and President of the Centre.

Earl Milton was only 23 when he received the Chant Medal for his extensive observational world particularly in auroral and meteor programs. Subsequently he chaired the national Committee for Co-operation between Observing Centres and was the Aurora Co-ordinator for the National Committee on Observational Activities. He played a very important part in gathering eye-witness reports of the Bruderheim fireball of March 4, 1960, reports which narrowed down the search area and led to successful recovery of many fragments of the meteorite.

After obtaining his Ph.D. in Chemistry, he worked in Physics at the National Research Council in Ottawa and at the Regina campus of the University of Saskatchewan before accepting a post as Associate Professor of Physics at the newly-opened University of Lethbridge. In early 1966, he wrote a successful recommendation to the government of Saskatchewan to abstain from observing Daylight Saving Time. He continued to serve the Society on the National Council, and as Aurora Co-ordinator, and spoke occasionally to meetings of the Edmonton and Calgary Centres.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

Further Reading

  • Obituary, JRASC (December 1999, p.293)
  • The Edmonton Survey of the Aurora Borealis, JRASC (October 1962)
  • The Edmonton Survey of the Aurora Borealis, JRASC (October 1969)
Milton, Earl R.V.