Bob Mizon

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    So sad to hear about Bob Mizon:

    It was just a week ago I took this picture of Bob and Bill at Winchester. Over the years Bob thought nothing of driving 200 miles [or more] to give a talk to a local astronomical society, and his knowledge about meteorites was vast. He turned up to most astronomy events with a load of stuff to sell for the CfDS and even on Sunday he gave a talk during the member’s session on the work he was doing to engage the government to look at forming legislation to control the installation of artificial lighting.

    I can’t imagine anyone will ever be as passionate or as dedicated about light pollution as Bob was.

    We all owe it to Bob to try and do our bit to continue the fight against light pollution.

    Nick Hewitt

    Such a great loss. Bob said he was feeling better last weekend so this news was doubly shocking. He was a true driving force in the battle against light pollution and a lovely, gentle man.


    I remember seeing Bob at Kelling and other Astronomy events.
    I never new him personally. And I was very shocked to read today’s news.

    He will be sadly missed.

    Dr Diane Clarke

    Like everybody I was deeply saddened to learn of Bob’s death, we had a chat or two at Winchester and Bob was in good spirits, he will be missed but not forgotten

    Alan Dowdell

    It was a great shock to hear that Bob had died He was in such good form at Winchester on Sunday and said was feeling better.He was the the power house behind the Commission for Dark Skies and in this role he will be greatly missed. I first got to know Bob in the early 1980s as a member of Wessex astronomical society and he became a good friend over the years. He took early retirement from being French school teacher at Poole Grammar to become a travelling plentarium show. He must become a friend to many over the years because he was such a likeable person. He will be greatly missed my thoughts are to his wife and family at this sad time

    Howard Lawrence

    Robert Edward (Bob) Mizon MBE FRAS, 1946 – 2023
    It is with heavy hearts that the committee of the BAA Commission for Dark Skies (CfDS) report the very sad news that Bob Mizon, whom many will know from his outstanding efforts to protect the night from the scourge of light pollution, died suddenly at home on 19th April.
    For the last few decades, Bob has been the National Co-ordinator of CfDS, which he helped to establish, but his astronomical interests ranged far wider than light pollution, as the many astronomical societies to whom he has given talks will attest.
    Bob was born in Dagenham in London and was educated at East Ham Grammar School (London) and Adams Grammar School (Newport, Shropshire). He became passionate about education and, after graduating from King’s College, London, where he read French and German, he had a 26-year career as a French teacher. He satisfied his love of astronomy by running the school’s astronomy club, translating astronomy books from French, and becoming an active member of the Wessex Astronomical Society. A major change came when, in 1996, he bought a mobile planetarium, which he named the Mizar Travelling Planetarium (Bob loved puns!), with which he took the wonders of dark night skies to nearly 150,000 children and adults all over Britain.
    The International Dark-Sky Association awarded Bob its prestigious Galileo Award in 2006 and the David L. Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. His work was formally recognised in the UK when he was awarded an MBE with the citation “For voluntary services to Astronomy and the Environment” in the 2010 Birthday Honours.
    More recently, Bob was one of the instigators of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dark Skies, and was one of the people behind the establishment of the UK Dark Skies Partnership. He was instrumental in helping Cranborne Chase AONB achieve its status as an International Dark Sky Reserve.
    Early in 2023, ill health had caused Bob to cease his planetarium shows, but he continued to advocate for responsible outdoor lighting and represented the CfDS at the BAA’s “Winchester Weekend” only the weekend before his death.
    His friends knew Bob as a kind, gentle man, who was dedicated to his family. Decades before the term “rewilding” entered common parlance, Bob had applied it to his garden, where he would enjoy the birds and insects that took advantage of this sanctuary that he had allowed to remain for them.
    He leaves his wife, Pam, their three children, and a granddaughter … and the many of us who were privileged to have had our lives touched by his. The stars have lost one of their greatest friends on planet Earth.

    David Strange

    Had many enjoyable astro-adventures with Bob over the years. One of the most memorable was a couple of nights on the JKT in La Palma with sixth form students from Thomas Hardye’s School some 20 years ago. Here is Bob with staff and students with our host Javier Mendez at the JKT for a night’s imaging. The other shot is Bob outside the fire exit from our lodgings in a Spanish hacienda!


    Dr Paul Leyland

    Hacienda San Jorge in Los Concajos perhaps?

    The architecture and colour scheme look rather familiar.

    Richard Miles

    Thanks Howard, David, Paul, etc. on recollections of Bob.

    Whenever local lighting issues came up, Bob was always the person we relied on for guidance and wisdom.
    I feel that the UK and anyone with aspirations to improve the lot for nature and dark skies have lost one of the country’s leading ambassadors for dark skies.
    Who amongst the younger folk will pick up the baton and run with it like Bob has done these past 30+ years?

    Dr Paul Leyland

    No thanks are due to me!

    I never met Bob, sadly, but have visited the Hacienda San Jorge many times. I was hoping to jog memories of people who were on that expedition.

    David Strange

    Paul, that was only a private school party that visited La Palma then, but it has triggered a few other hairy moments i shared with Bob.
    I remember that many of the hire cars then had completely bald tyres. On one occasion I ran over a large rock which smashed the oil sump, but was very grateful for a replacement car within half an hour. Another time myself and Bob were driving down fron Roque de los Muchachos one very foggy night early in the morning. The fog was so thick that Bob had to lean out the window and direct me in case I drove over the edge. As we rounded one corner a massive articulated truck rounded the bend on our side of the road, he had to to get his backend around! As it went by we realised it was the main body of the Liverpool Telescope being transported up the mountain!


    Richard Miles

    David – What a tale! – I know that windy road well but had not realised that you and Bob were joint partners in crime over there. very nice. If only Bob were here to give his side of the story!

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