Neil Bone, 1959-2009
Our dear friend, Neil Bone, passed away peacefully in his sleep the morning of 23 April after battling against cancer. He was 50.
A proud Scotsman, Neil first began contributing to Astronomy Now way back in May 1987 with our second ever issue, and is our longest serving active contributor. His first article was about one of his passions, the study of noctilucent clouds, but many readers will also be familiar with his love of double stars and meteors, and the night sky in general. However, perhaps he did his greatest work for the magazine through his Society News column, with which he successfully promoted astronomical societies across the country, helping and encouraging many societies to start up and gain many new members. Neil was also a well-loved regular on the lecture circuit, touring astronomical societies around the country, even continuing to do so in spite of his illness.
In recognition of his work for the astronomical community, this February Neil was awarded an asteroid, (7102) Neilbone. Here on Earth, those who knew him will remember him for his unbounded enthusiasm, his cheerful humour and willingness to share the Universe with others, and the astronomical world will be a much poorer place without him.
All of us at Astronomy Now would like to pass on our deepest sympathies, and our heartfelt gratitude for everything Neil did for the magazine, to his wife and children. He will be sorely missed.