End of an era for popular Astronomy: Patrick Moore joins the sky gods

Posted: December 9, 2012 by tallbloke in Astronomy, Astrophysics, books, humour, media, Philosophy, Solar physics, solar system dynamics

A well known and loved British science personality, Sir Patrick Moore, has died at the age of 89.  The voice of popular astronomy for more than half a century, his monocled presentation of ‘The Sky at Night’  on BBC TV was  a fixture in many astronomers almanacs. This article has just been posted on the BBC website:

patrick-mooreBritish astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore has died, aged 89, his friends and colleagues have said.

He “passed away peacefully at 12:25 this afternoon” at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, they said in a statement.

Sir Patrick presented the BBC programme The Sky At Night for over 50 years, making him the longest-running host of the same television show ever.

He wrote dozens of books on astronomy and his research was used by the US and the Russians in their space programmes.

Described by one of his close friends as “fearlessly eccentric”, Sir Patrick was notable for his habit of wearing a monocle on screen and his idiosyncratic style.

Sir Patrick presented the first edition of The Sky at Night on 24th April 1957. He last appeared in an episode broadcast on Monday.

Read the rest of the article here:

  1. tallbloke says:

    He’ll shine like a star in my memory every time I look through a telescope. R.I.P Sir Patrick.

  2. Stephen Wilde says:

    I had the privilege of visiting Patrick with my two young sons about 15 years ago and staying overnight in his home at Selsey.

    He was a perfect host and had a vast store of tales to tell.

    Patrick let me have a had a stab at his old manual typewriter and we were given a tour of the astronomical equipment in his garden.

    He even insisted on paying for all our evening meals at a local restaurant.

    A marvellous human being who will be sorely missed.

  3. tchannon says:

    For some reason I walked in where the television was on at the end of the last broadcast. Sir Patrick was saying a few words, end of program and I thought silently Goodbye Patrick, I won’t see you again.

    Perhaps he knew it was his last.

    I came across Sir Patrick just once. He had been invited to give a talk locally here and for some reason I was there, not the kind of event I would normally attend. It seems he was not expecting an audience and a crowded theatre, a mix up but this was Patrick.

    There was fussing by the stage. Kind of person I like, scruff of neck foghorn of a voice shook the hall in ripe terms about not needing some fool microphone. Those who know what the neck tie meant will understand nor are his views unusual.

    I expect the Sir held a mixed message.

    I hope the Daily Mail keeps this article available which contains the famous quote
    “The Germans will try again, given another chance’ said Sir Patrick, adding for good measure: ‘A Kraut is a Kraut is a Kraut. And the only good Kraut is a dead Kraut’. He grudgingly concedes that there may be some good Germans, but witheringly adds ‘I haven’t met any’.”


  4. Stephen Richards says:

    Have watched sky at night for many years (almost since it started ) and watched the last episode this last week. Watching Sir Patrick fade as the emission progressed I turned to my wife and said “not long now”. Sadly I was right.
    I would have prefered that he had handed over the program to some young buck ( not bloody Cox though). Chris Linttot should be OK. It’s possible, but I know not for sure, that I met his family. I worked on Ion Implanters in the ’70s that were made by Linttot and in the right part of the world. I met the team and the MD but can’t remember their names. Sad, dementia yeh know.

    RIP Patrick. There won’t be another.

  5. Caz says:

    Yes a good bloke, a brilliant brain and ex RAF navigator. Sadly he was of late dissed by the BBC because he agreed with UKIP.

  6. cosmic says:

    A very sad loss.

    I remember him interviewing a man who claimed to be able to speak Venusian

  7. cosmic says:

    Damn, I didn’t put in the link properly.

    It’s the fourth along the playlist.

    [co-mod: sorry, I can’t fix this but has highlighted a bizarre issue. Your preview shows html 5 which I can see but going to youtube the same video is flash only, as is the 4th on the list so I can’t touch it. Ideas welcome, this is nuts. Would be useful to know why. –Tim]

  8. Arfur Bryant says:

    Sir Patrick Moore was, to me as a young child, the person who sparked an interest in Astronomy and who ‘persuaded’ me to ask for a telescope for my 8th birthday. He was a charming and passionate presenter who introduced the subject to young and old alike. He radiated intense enthusiasm, but always aimed his presenting at a layman’s level. I am very jealous of Stephen Wilde who had the pleasure of meeting him at his home!

    Thank you Patrick, you’re a star!

  9. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Damn, I didn’t put in the link properly.”

    Racquel looks a little better than Patrick though. I’m sure he would have agreed 🙂

  10. Bloke down the pub says:

    Few people have touched as many lives as Sir Patrick managed in his long career. He’ll be missed.

  11. Stephen Richards says:

    Sadly he was of late dissed by the BBC because he agreed with UKIP.

    And he gave them hell for changing the broadcast slot of his program.

  12. Brian H says:

    Obviously a failure as an astronomer, though. He missed the forcing role CO2 plays in the excess heating resulting in supernovas! (95% likelihood, doncha know.) ;p

  13. One of those ‘once in a lifetime’ heroes, my early years were greatly influenced with fond memories of his The Sky at Night series, RIP Sir Patrick