John Mosley

Notice from Ken Wilson via dome-L:

Just in case those of you who knew John Mosley have not heard the news, I was just informed by his wife Barbara that John passed away in hospice care on November 5 of this year [2023]. Those of you who've been in the planetarium business for a while will recall that John was the executive editor for many years of the IPS journal, The Planetarian, a thankless job that John did superbly. A fellow University of Michigan grad, John's first planetarium position was at the old Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from 1970 to 1977.followed by his position as Program Supervisor at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, USA. from 1977 to 2006 when he retired to St. George, Utah. John was an expert on the Star of Bethlehem and was the author of 5 books. He also wrote and produced over 50 planetarium shows.

From David Falk, Instructor of Astronomy (retired), Los Angeles Valley College: I am very sorry to hear of John Mosley's passing. He was kind enough to meet with me in 1985 to offer suggestions on how to "break into the business" of working in the Planetarium/Astronomy field. I followed his advice, and four years later landed a job at the Taylor Planetarium in Montana. Later, after my return to California, John hired me to assist in show production at Griffith Observatory, thus fulfilling my dream to work there. I was impressed that he was willing to share his Planetarium show scripts from Griffith with other planetariums. His advice and these experiences eventually led me to a 25-year career teaching Astronomy and managing the Planetarium and Observatory at Los Angeles Valley College. I will always remember his advice. He will be missed.

From Mario Di Maggio: Even though I never met John Mosley, I'm saddened by his passing. I used "The Christmas Star" as the basis of a very successful planetarium show at the Glasgow Planetarium in December 2003 & 2004 ( And coincidentally, tomorrow, I'm going to be delivering the very same show for the first time in one of my mobile domes ... something I'm planning on making an annual event. I'll be dedicating the shows this week to John Mosley....

From Alan Gould: Two of my valued memories of John Mosley:

1. I recall him giving a talk in which he expressed that it's pointless to try to persuade a true believer of astrology that their belief is wrong or misguided. No amount of logic or scientific knowledge seems to be at all effective.  I've found that this general principle applies in other human interactions where evidence-free belief is involved. 

2. As the IPS Planetarian editor, John made a point of indexing all the articles. This was no doubt a dreary task that he took on in service of Planetarian readers. His indexing (1972-2008) remains on the IPS website at