British astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore has died at his home at the age of 89, a group of his friends and staff say. The broadcaster "passed away peacefully at 12.25pm this afternoon", in Selsey, West Sussex, they said in a statement.
Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore looked for all the world as if he would live forever on his BBC programme, The Sky At Night.
He passed away peacefully at his home in West Sussex, a statement from his friends and colleagues said.
Sir Patrick was a television eternal, a man who lit up our screens for over 50 years, illuminating us with his knowledge of the celestial bodies glittering in the night's sky and entertaining us with his uniquely eccentric style.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:05 PM
Sir Patrick is responsible for countless numbers of people becoming interested in astronomy, not just through his TV appearances but through the dozens of books he wrote.
In my case it was not Sir Patrick that got me interested in all things space related, it was watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon when I was three years old. It was, however, reading his books and watching the Sky at Night that kept that interest alive.
I have been lucky enough to have met Sir Patrick several times. The first thing you noticed was the size of the man, he was 6'3" and huge, but his personality was bigger still. In the talks and lectures I attended the only thing more impressive than his knowledge and enthusiasm was his sense of humour.
The world of astronomy lost a great today, not so much for his scientific contributions but more for the huge contributions made by those who he inspired to look to the skies.
Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 09 December 2012 - 11:06 PM.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001
A true legend, what he didn´t know about the moon could be written on the back of a postage stamp!
He will be sorely missed, I grew up following the "Sky At Night"... a Gentleman Scientist if ever there was one. and... self taught, but the USA and (then) USSR used his research and knowledge to help their own missions to the moon.
Me and a friend were lucky enough to have a private 'lecture' on a couple of occasions by the great Sir Patrick over the phone.
We were out at around 2-3am one morning with his 10" or 12" telescope checking the skies out, admittedly we had had a skinful that night as it was a weekend and had been in the pub earlier.
Anyway my mate decides to phone the big man up in the middle of the night. We figured he's an astronomer, of course he will be up looking at the sky, and sure enough he answered his phone and remembered my friend by name from a previous conversation they had in person a month or so before. (when he gave him his number)
The gentleman was a true legend. How many people would give out their private number to a complete stranger in his early 20's and tell him it is OK to call him anytime if he needs any help.
He was incredibly helpful, and went way beyond our initial questions. He came across as a really decent bloke, asked us how we were and what had we been observing, and everything seemed to be easy to understand. At one point I called him Mr Moore, and he kinda chuckled like a kid and said. "no, no, no, no, no. Patrick is fine!"
Yeah, he was a legend. I'll never forget the man!
I do hope that they celebrate his life properly at some point. I'd have no complaints if they renamed the Moon after Him!