I just received an email from Robert Dalby FRAS with the sad news that Nils Olof passed away yesterday. Robert asked me to post this in the Cloudy Nights forums, which Nils Olof enjoyed so much. Robert told me that Nils Olof, "...had taken ill with a reoccurrence of a longstanding heart condition and passed away while in the care of doctors at Lund University Hospital."
To say that Nils Olof will be "sorely missed" is an understatement. I would place his contributions to these forums somewhere between "this should be in the text book" and legendary. I will always remember his "magical" back of the envelope math-in-a-hurry, where, with a few select numbers, he would almost spontaneously deliver the solution that had been eluding everyone else--for days... It seemed to me that over the past few years, Nils Olof would kind of stroll into the fray with a quiet, yet perceptive, voice of reason, and, well, how can you argue with that?
Nils Olof’s insights regarding the autocollimator and Newtonian axial tolerances were particularly important to me for validating the alignment criteria in the fifth edition of "New Perspectives on Newtonian Collimation”. But even more important, at least in my mind, was with his help, finally uniting all of the theories and applications in such a way that everyone could agree, “This is it!” That was something I knew from the beginning, could not be done without Nils Olof nodding his head in the background.
Today, I'm thankful for the Cloudy Nights forums, where I feel like I actually got to know Nils Olof Carlin. Like many reading this, I will miss him, and I will never forget him!