4th March, 1923 – 9th December, 2012
We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sir Patrick Moore whose broadcasts and hospitality we very much enjoyed. UKSEDS offers its sincerest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Sir Patrick will be sorely missed by astronomers and space scientists in the UK and around the world, many of whose careers were inspired by his extraordinary passion for the wider universe.
As I write this, I see the very many Facebook posts and Tweets which show the shockwaves which are passing through the astronomical community. He will be greatly missed by the whole space community. #RIPSirPatrickMoore is currently trending on Twitter, showing the impact he had on not just the space community but the wider public. There is another star in the sky tonight, among which he dearly loved.
Aged 89, he “passed away peacefully at 12:25 this afternoon” at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, his friends and staff said in a statement. “After a short spell in hospital last week, it was determined that no further treatment would benefit him, and it was his wish to spend his last days in his own home, Farthings, where he today passed on, in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy.”
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.
This year The Sky at Night team were presented a special Sir Arthur Clarke Award marking their 55th anniversary, for which some of the committee had the privilege to see presented to Sir Patrick’s colleagues, Pete Lawrence and Paul Abel.
Earlier in the year, many of UKSEDS’ Committee had the great honour of visiting Sir Patrick at his home in ‘Farthings’, Selsey. We enjoyed a picnic with him, along with the British Interplanetary Society. It is so very sad to think we will no longer see him.
He will live on in many people’s hearts … what a contribution to life he made. Many generations grew up with Sir Patrick Moore as their guide and he proved hugely influential. This “man with the monocle” had touched people who had never even thought of stargazing.
The best memorial to Sir Patrick is for each of us who were saddened by his loss and who were inspired by him into astronomy, to continue his work. This is the best memorial to him. For each of us inspire people into astronomy and teach it to the best of our ability. This is something I believe he would have wanted.
A web page has been set up by Sir Patrick’s Friends and colleagues for tributes to the great man on this Sir Patrick Moore Memorial Website http://www.banguniverse.com/sirpatrickmoore/