In Memory of Scott Mellish

We are saddened to inform you that skilled observer and astronomical sketcher, Scott Mellish, passed away last week. He was 46 years old. His contributions to amateur astronomy and to the Astronomy Sketch of the Day will be greatly missed. Today’s image features a collage of some of Scott’s incredible sketches. To view more of the work we have been privileged to feature here, please browse the gallery at this link: Scott Mellish Sketch Gallery.
We wish to extend our condolences to all of his family and friends.

Richard Handy and Jeremy Perez
Astronomy Sketch of the Day

The following message was posted to members of the ASNSW by Paul Hatchman.
Dear Members,

It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that Scott Mellish passed away late last week.

Scott had been an active member for over 25 years and was awarded life membership in 2008 for his invaluable contributions to the society. He was well known for his beautiful sketches of deep sky objects, many of them done at Wiruna, which he attended regularly and deeply loved. A sample of his sketches can be found on Astronomy Sketch of the Day at the following link

Scott’s knowledge of the night sky was remarkable and he would often observe some of the most obscure objects from Abell planetary nebulae to the Fourcade-Figueroa object. For this he was awarded the Mike Kerr Award for Observational Astronomy in 2010. He served on the committee as observations officer and was a regular contributor to “Universe” with observation reports, movie reviews, articles on string theory and many other topics, receiving the Editor’s Award on many occasions.

Scott had a great many friends in the Society who will all miss him deeply and the Society will be that much poorer without him.

The funeral arrangements are not know at this time, but I will let you know once they are available.


Paul Hatchman
President ASNSW

13 thoughts on “In Memory of Scott Mellish”

  1. I’m a quite numb after hearing this news and very reflective as a result. Scott has left a unique & personal legacy in his astronomical art which is a valuable asset to others who study the splendours of the universe. I hope Scott’s work continues to be widely published and enjoyed across the world for many years to come.

    With respect to Scott’s memory and the loss felt by his family and friends, Dale

    Pax Stellarum

  2. I had known Scott only a short time. Yet my experience of him, and those of people who knew him all said the same thing – a true gentleman, modest and quietly spoken, but fiercely loyal to his family, friends and his beloved Wiruna.

    You will be sorely missed, mate.


  3. I am new to this site, and I decided to join in with you here.

    I knew Scott fairly well, I watched him develop as a skilled and well informed amateur.

    His sketches have been made a great impression on visual observers; mostly for their accuracy and often significant beauty. I will always remember him because of our common interest in southern planetary nebulae, including conversations of some of his very earlier sketches of these objects.

    Where my computer sits, and where I doing all my astronomy work, sits in a wooden frame on single black card are two images drawn by Scott on 12th and 13th September 1999, showing the far southern planetary nebulae of He2-434 in southern Pavo and NGC 1535 in Eridanus. He2-434 is virtually unknown by amateurs, and this little planetary has always been a favourite of mine. Both these images are hand drawn originals that he personally gave to me, and setting above me on the shelf has often given me inspiration when writing on these objects.

    I also have only one other, being the Musca southern planetary, NGC 4071, which sits among my pages of my observation book. He was kind enough to add this to his observing program, and wrote and sent his observation just a few days later.

    The published text on this object read;

    I asked Scott Mellish to kindly make an observation for me, which he so gratefully provided, with a description and field sketch. (Figure 2) Observed on the 18th February 1999 from a dark-sky site in the Warrumbungle National Park, and using fellow ASNSW member Mick McCullagh’s 18″ f/4.5 Dobsonian, he says of NGC 4071;

    “Use of an O-III filter makes a big difference. NGC 4071 has a couple of stars superimposed across it surface. Using averted vision I thought it does appear slightly mottled. Overall, this is a nice soft nebulous smudge.”

    His kindness and observational abilities will be missed by everyone who knew him. My words cannot adequately describe what I feel, except that he was compassionate and generous to me.

    I am certain he appreciated sharing his work with other astro-sketchers, whoever they may be. At least we have something to share of his legacy.

    I just thought it appropriate to share some kind thoughts will you all.

  4. I feel really sad, so young, so many times we appreciate and enjoy his beautiful sketches.

    A very good example for everybody.

    Rest in peace!


  5. Shocking to leave the earth so young.
    He was like a brother to us all here at ASOD.
    Seeing his sketches here made your mind smile.
    I am very sad at his passing and extend my deepest sympathy to his family and friends.


  6. I cannot believe that it has happened so early in his (valuable) life, I’m really sad. His remarkable job will be always a great contribution.

  7. Though I did not know him personally, I appreciate and I’m inspired by his wonderful sketches. My deepest condolences to his family, my prayers go out to them.

  8. I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Scott Mellish. We all have appreciated his outstanding observations of deep sky objects on ASOD for some time. Scott’s enthusiasm for deep sky observing and sharing his knowledge and observations was greatly appreciated by all of us and everyone around him. His passing will be sorely missed by the astronomical community and the members of ASOD around the world. My condolences to his family and friends.

    I pray that Scott has great views of all of the heavenly objects for all time.


  9. Thank you all so much for your very kind words about Scott. All of us at the ASNSW will miss him very much, both for his amazing talents and loyal friendship.

    And thank you Richard and Jeremy for putting together this compilation of his sketches. It is really wonderful and very moving.

    Scott was a very humble man, but I know he had great pride that his work was exhibited on this site and that he enjoyed reading all of your comments.

    Paul Hatchman
    President ASNSW

  10. The great loss of Scott Mellish drawned us in sheer sadness.
    Unbobtely his loss will be irreparable for the community of astronomers.
    A great friend was Scott Mellisdh.
    I wish to extend our condolences to all of his family and friends.
    Pasha Majidi

  11. I read the news and felt a deep sadness. We will miss his wonderful sketches and comments.

    He leído la noticia y he sentido una profunda tristeza. Echaremos en falta sus magníficos dibujos y comentarios. Haber compartido con Scott esta página de ASOD ha sido todo un honor.

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