Sir Patrick Moore,
astronomer broadcaster and xylophone player, passed away on Sunday
9th December 2012.
Sir Patrick was a world-renowned and endlessly enthusiastic
stargazer whose passion for his chosen subject helped to inspire
millions of children and adults to join him in marvelling at the
wonders of the universe.
His interest in space begun at a young age when serious illnesss
stopped him from going to school. He was instead taught at
home and spent a lot of time reading.
One day his mother gave him a book about the solar system.
He never looked back!
Sir Patrick never went to university,
choosing to join the RAF instead. He lied about his age, signed up
and became a navigator at in RAF Bomber Command.
After the war his enthusiasm for
astronomy increased, leading him to build his own telescopes which
he use to make his own observations of the night sky. He
spent 8 years teaching in schools until he published his first
book, Guide to the Moon, in 1952.
After publishing several more books,
Sir Patrick began the work for which he will be most remembered,
the BBC programme The Sky at Night, which was first
broadcast in April 1957 and continues to this day.
Sir Patrick Moore presented the show
himself for more than 50 years, during which advances in technology
revealed more and more about the universe in which we live.
He communicated these new discoveries
to an eager public through his books, his involvement in
ground-breaking projects like the Armagh Planetarium and the
Herschel Museum of Astronomy and, of course, in hundreds of
episodes of The Sky at Night.
Sir Patrick's talents were not limited
to science. He was a musician, most famously a xylophone
player, spoke fluent French and was a keen cricketer.
As with almost everthing else in his
life, his spin bowling action was unorthodox - fitting for an
extraordinary man who always did everything in his own unique