Sir Patrick Moore, BBC astronomy presenter, dies aged 89

by Matthew Cobb

Sir Patrick Moore, the presenter of one of the longest-running British TV shows, The Sky At Night, has died aged 89. As its name indicates, The Sky At Night is a programme about astronomy, and Moore’s indefatigable enthusiasm and knowledge inspired generations of astronomers, both amateur and professional. Amazingly, Moore had been presenting the programme with his astonishing cut-glass accent for over half a century!

The Daily Telegraph says:

“Sir Patrick reckoned that he was the only person to have met the first man to fly, Orville Wright, the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. He outlived them all.”

In a mail to Jerry, reader Pyers rightly summed up Moore’s influence:

To be honest, with the possible exception of David Attenborough, I can think of nobody who was instrumental in getting kids (of all ages) interested in science. Just to demonstrate the esteem he was held him, he was knighted and given one of the rarest of rare accolades: an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society.

Any WEIT readers who want to tell us how they were inspired by Moore, or have any striking memories, please post them below.

The BBC website has a series of glowing quotes from the great and the good:

Queen guitarist Brian May, who published a book on astronomy written with Sir Patrick, described him as a “dear friend, and a kind of father figure to me”.

He said: “Patrick will be mourned by the many to whom he was a caring uncle, and by all who loved the delightful wit and clarity of his writings, or enjoyed his fearlessly eccentric persona in public life.

“Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one.”

British space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock said she was first inspired to “look at the night sky” through Sir Patrick.

“Through his regular monthly programmes he was telling us what to look for and what was out there and that was a real inspiration.

“Why [The Sky At Night] was so successful is because of his passion. He branched an amazing era, he was broadcasting before we actually went into space and so he saw a change in our understanding of the universe and he took us all the way through that, right up to today.”

Television presenter and physicist Professor Brian Cox posted a message on Twitter saying: “Very sad news about Sir Patrick. Helped inspire my love of astronomy. I will miss him!”

Space scientist Dr David Whitehouse said Sir Patrick was “the monthly source of information for youngsters interested in astronomy”.

“We relied on Patrick to tell us about the moon landings, the probe to the planets, the developments in astronomy, before the internet age.”

And Dr Marek Kakula, public astronomer at Royal Observatory in Greenwich, described him as a “very charming and hospitable man”.

“When you came to his home he would always make sure you had enough to eat and drink. He was full of really entertaining and amusing stories.

“There are many many professional astronomers like me who can actually date their interest in astronomy to watching Patrick on TV, so his impact on the world of professional astronomy as well as amateur is hard to overstate.”

Here’s Moore looking back over some of the best things they have covered on the last 50 years of the programme.

Here he is in 1987, giving us advice on how to buy a telescope:

And here’s an extract from a BBC4 documentary about the programme:

63 Comments

  1. Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Along with Jacob Bronowski and David Attenborough one of the great inspirations towards science for my generation. He’s been an institution as long as I can remember.

  2. Bonzodog
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    He also played a duet with Einstein: Moore on piano, Einstein violin!

  3. Thanny
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Here’s one of the more silly things he inspired:

    http://weebls-stuff.com/songs/patrick+moore/

  4. Mateus
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    He was kind of a dick though.

    “homosexuals are mainly responsible for the spreading of AIDS (the Garden of Eden is home of Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve)”

    Taken from his autobiography.

    • NMcC
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      “We are being swamped by parasites. Call me a racist but I would send them all back to where they came from.”

      “We must take care. There may be another war. The Germans will try again, given another chance. A Kraut is a Kraut is a Kraut. And the only good Kraut is a dead Kraut.”

      A real gent, by all accounts.

      • Bonzodog
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        I think if you look at his personal history you might understand why he held those reactionary views. His fiancee was killed by a German bomb and I get the impression that he never got over it. For people like myself who now see a a liberal democracy Germany, it is difficult to understand those views; but then I didn’t live or serve in WW2

        • NMcC
          Posted December 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          Yeah? And tell me, what did the ‘parasites’ do to him?

          Millions of people have suffered in a million different ways through the actions of others, most of them don’t talk such nasty, idiotic rot.

          • aljones909
            Posted December 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            I reckon an awful lot of Patrick’s generation were racist and homophobic. My dad would have been born about the same time as Patrick. He was a kind man but incredibly racist. I don’t judge him too harshly for it.

            • Notagod
              Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

              I would. It is a very stupid idea that skin color could lead to an assessment of anything important about a person.

              • gravelinspector
                Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

                Considering the nasty company that he hung with on occasions, Moore’s racism wasn’t based on skin colour. He (and his racist associates in UKIP) are pretty much as distrustful and unwelcoming about Eastern Europeans as Eastern Africans or eastern Asians.
                If I’d ever had the opportunity to meet him, I’d have wanted to know what his opinion of his Polish and Czech airforce colleagues was. I suspect that it would have been an uncomfortable moment.
                Having said that, and fully aware of the nasty racist right-wing nutcase side of Moore’s personality (which he’s never made any effort to hide), I still mourn the passing of a truly inspirational character.

              • bg
                Posted December 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

                Skin colour was definitely one way he judged people back in 1974/5. He was infamous within the BBC for refusing to have a black woman make up artist assigned to work on him. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who knew him more recently as to whether he moderated this view and came to see that skin colour is irrelevant.

        • John Scanlon, FCD
          Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

          ‘A German bomb’?

          No, a bomb of German manufacture.

          (Thanks for consciousness-raising, Prof Dawkins)

      • John Scanlon, FCD
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        It’s probably superfluous to mention that, as BBC presenters go, there’ve been worse things than racism.

    • Posted December 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I hadn’t known about his garbage politics until reading some of the more impartial obituaries. Personally, my intellectual crush has always been for Attenborough, and he manages to be wonderfully inspiring while also being a rational and respectable man!

      • Posted January 4, 2013 at 5:22 am | Permalink

        He is indeed … on the whole .. but then he did state humans should stop having children (notably after he had his own!). I adore the man, but I will also miss Moore tremendously. You could say his views came from his personal experience (or even lack thereof), or were due to his generation; sadly, there are just as many young people with the same views today, despite actually having more experience in a more open world than Moore did.

  5. Dave
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    One of the great personalities of British factual TV for the whole of my conscious life (I’m 52). I remember him particularly as one of the resident experts on programmes covering the Apollo moon landings, which, for the 8-10 year old boy that I was, were the most exciting things I’d ever seen.

    I was lucky enough to see Sir Patrick give a talk about 15 years ago when he was on a speaking tour. He didn’t bother with notes, slides, overheads, powerpoints or any other modern contrivances, just strode up and down the stage chattering away on his chosen themes in his characteristic machine-gun style, then fielding questions from the audience for about half an hour. Hugely entertaining as well as informative.

    Definitely one of a kind, who will be sadly missed. I wonder who’ll take over “The Sky at Night”? I reckon Brian May would do a good job, and he has the star quality (excuse the pun!) to maintain the show’s profile.

    • nurnord
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      “Definitely one of a kind, who will be sadly missed. I wonder who’ll take over “The Sky at Night”? I reckon Brian May would do a good job, and he has the star quality (excuse the pun!) to maintain the show’s profile.”

      – …and hioghly qualified for the job, too ! Astrophysics PhD !

    • gravelinspector
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:17 am | Permalink

      I think that it’s been pretty plain for the last several years that Chris Lintott has been positioned to take over the presenter-ship for Sky at Night, but also that they’ve been deliberately avoiding having the programme hang so heavily from one presenter.
      Moore had a difficult to match range of properties : a respectable research history (lunar mapping, and the continuing question of active vulcanism on the Moon leans heavily on his reports of “Transient Lunar Phenomena”) ; a gigantic presentation record (large enough to be one of the presenters for the Moon landings) ; a personality large enough to overcome some unpopular political opinions (see above) ; and genuine eccentricity (when my optician suggested the I needed a monocle rather than spectacles, the only reason I considered it was Moore ; and who else could get away with performing “Anarchy in the UK” at a Royal Variety Performance?). Attempting to fill that baggily-suited place would be, literally (not figuratively), ridiculous. So, Auntie Beeb are going to have to split the job. And they’ve been doing that, for years. Hence that impressionist (the clown/ eccentric), Lintott (the researcher) ; I suppose the the guitarist guy is meant to cover a bit of both aspects.

  6. nurnord
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    For those that are unaware, and because his comment appears in the post…

    Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics and is currently Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. As well as a world-class guitarist and member of my favourite band, Queen.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

      Liverpool John Moores University.

      … who have long promoted a range of “distance learning” courses in astronomy, which have had me contemplating “freeing the wallet moths” for several years.
      Link

      • nurnord
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        gravel, whatever your views on that university, it has no bearing on Brian May’s PhD ! He did it IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON ! He has a PhD in astrophysics, the end.

        • gravelinspector
          Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

          Sorry, did I sound disparaging of Liverpool John Moores University? But as I said, I’ve been contemplating (for some time) paying cold hard (electronic) cash for some of their “distance learning” courses in Astronomy. Particularly with the massive increase in fees for Open University courses recently (which is likely to emasculate the largest university in the UK).
          I’d thought that the guitarist’s PhD was from one of the Manchester universities, but I hadn’t given it a moment’s consideration. I knew that it was a “proper” PhD, not one of the type that I get several spams a week advertising.
          Do you not have moths in your wallet, or is that just an Aberdeen-ism?

          • nurnord
            Posted December 11, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            Hello again gravel…I replied with the above whilst eating my cornflakes this morning. On second reading, I see your actual point. About ‘the guitarist’s’, this is Brian May for crying out loud !

            …and the moths, yes, I now see your actual point, there, too ! (and I do know the phrase).

            • gravelinspector
              Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

              About ‘the guitarist’s’, this is Brian May for crying out loud !

              I think the only proper response is “clunk”? I’ve never been a fan of music. The wife dragged me along to a concert a couple of nights ago – a complete WOMBAT (in the “Waste of Money Brains And Time” sense). I’ll not bother again – despite the boss having sent me several hundred squidlets-worth of concert and theatre vouchers for my long-service award.
              (That said, I do have a modest collection of punk – the lyrics can be interesting and/or amusing. If Atilla The Stockbroker performs in town, I’ll go along just to enjoy screaming along to “Contribuatary Negligence” and some of the old classics.)

  7. Pete Cockerell
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    What a sad loss. I have many memories of Patrick Moore both from The Sky at Night and other programmes, and I enjoyed several of his books as a youngster. But it’s listening to him describe the Apollo 11 descent and landing that sticks in my mind. He definitely played a significant role in developing my interest in astronomy and all things scientific (and by extension atheism, if course!)

  8. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Never heard of him. But BBC astronomy programs are non-existent over here.

    • Pete Cockerell
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      The important thing, though, is that you took the time to share you non-recollection of someone you’ve never heard of with us. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ray Moscow
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I actually met him once briefly after one of his talks. I loved his show.

  10. HaggisForBrains
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    A great British eccentric – one of a kind.

    Here he is playing his own composition on xylophone.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      No idea what happened there, try again here

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        OK, something really weird is happening to my links. This is the link the simple way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=703AFmOd80o

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          Can anyone tell me why WordPress added that WEIT string onto the beginning of my YouTube link. When I put it inside the “a href” quotes it was just what you see directly above, but without the http bit.

          • Posted December 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            Might be an attempt to track offsite links in the site statistics, although it clearly isn’t working properly.

          • Pete Cockerell
            Posted December 10, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

            It looks like the “http://” was missing from the first two attempts to publish the link. Did you include it in the href?

            • HaggisForBrains
              Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

              No Pete, I always try to leave it off, so that the video doesn’t embed, as per the rulz.

              • Pete Cockerell
                Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:47 am | Permalink

                Strange the because the HTML for your first attempt (as shown in the comment) is:

                <a href=”www.youtube.com/watch?v=703AFmOd80o” rel=”nofollow”>here</a>

                which will just look to the browser like a relative URL. Clearly there’s no such page on the WEIT site as http://www.youtube... so you end up at that random page. You can test this by entering the equivalent URL into your browser directly:

                http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/sir-patrick-moore-bbc-astronomy-presenter-dies-aged-89/www.youtube.com/watch?v=703AFmOd80o

                and you end up at the same page.

                The question is why WordPress is generating this HTML, I guess.

              • Pete Cockerell
                Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

                Grrr! WordPress linkified my string www.youtube... in my previous comment. I didn’t type it with the http:// at the start! (I stopped it from doing it this time by using . for the periods…)

  11. Veroxitatis
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Yes, definitely a one off and never one to have the slightest regard to pc. I agree with the references to Attenborough and Bronowski. May I add Carl Sagan. I do however wonder whether Sagan’s influence in the States was comparable to Sir Patrick’s influence in the UK.

  12. Stephen P
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    When I was a small boy we didn’t have a television, but we did have a pretty good view of the night sky, thanks to being in a village with few street lights. The small travelling library had a couple of books by Patrick Moore, which I borrowed more than once. By the time I was ten I could recognise most of the northern hemisphere constellations. Yes, I think it’s fair to say Moore made a big contribution to my interest in science.

    And we got a television just in time for the Apollo 11 landing.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

      And we got a television just in time for the Apollo 11 landing.

      We got a TV after Apollo 11 because our parents realised that there were significant things that we (the children) were missing which you just didn’t get from reading the newspaper or listening to the radio. Not that my reading was up to handling fine newsprint until I got my short sight diagnosed – and a monocle recommended!

  13. fragmeister
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Very sad that another one of my heroes has gone. I shall treasure the two times I saw him. The first was at the centenary of the Greenwich Meridian in 1984. I was living around the corner from Greenwich at the time and walked over to enjoy the day. It gorgeously sunny and Patrick gave a talk to the crowd without notes from the outside of a marquee. Afterwards, he sat and signed what were probably hundreds of autographs. At 21 I was a bit too cool to queue. At 45 I wasn’t and got his autograph a few years ago at an autograph show.

    Like many others, my first memory of him is on the BBC converage of the Moon landings. So evocative a time. Sad that he didn’t get to report on men going back. This week marks 40 years since Apollo 17.

  14. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    I read one of Moore’s books in my early teens and he thoroughly impressed me with the beauty and joy of astronomy. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  15. BigBob
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I remember watching Sir Patrick on ‘The Sky at Night’ with my Dad throught the 60s and 70s. I’m one of the many, many Brits inspired by Sir Patrick, so it’s a very sad day for me – partly because we’ll never again hear his take on what is a very exciting time in astronomy and space flight, but also because I’ve lost another link with my Dad, who died in 2001.
    Bob

  16. Ray Moscow
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I remember after one of his public talks someone asked a question about ‘God’ in relation to astronomy, and he replied, ‘I don’t do god.’

  17. Posted December 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    And don’t forget his book, “Bureaucrats: How to Annoy Them”, written under the pseudonym R.T.Fishall.

    Fond memories of watching him on TV when little, going out under the stars at night with his book, and attending a lecture by him and having a chat afterwards.

  18. aljones909
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    His hair ‘style’ was awe inspiring. And he must have been one of the last humans to use a monocle. Wonderfully eccentric.

  19. Dave
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    And he was a cat lover too. He is survived by his current feline companion Ptolemy.

  20. lars
    Posted December 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    A fellow that I used to know was a dedicated amateur astronomer and used to write up observations for publication in a non-professional journal, the editor of which was Patrick Moore (this was some decades ago). My friend told me once that he saw one of his notes in press and noted a slight editorial change, which he thought improved the piece. He contacted Moore to tell him this and was informed that actually, there wasn’t a sentence in his original manuscript that had made it into press untouched – it had been done with such a sure hand that even the author hadn’t noticed any but the most obvious change.

  21. Pete Cockerell
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    The comments pointing our Patrick Moore’s distasteful racist and homophobic pronouncements are interesting to me because they raise a couple of important questions. The first is: do his objectionable views somehow detract from, or even nullify, the totally orthogonal work he did on educating and inspiring multiple generations to love science and astronomy? I say “orthogonal” because as far as I know, he never used his science educator platform to promulgate his political views. To be honest, I didn’t even know about the latter until this thread. If the answer to my question is “no”, then I guess the follow-up question is, “So what’s your point?”

    The second question is one that has occurred to me several times when reading commenters’ (and even Jerry’s) postings here, and that is, “So I guess you believe in free will, then?” This crossed my mind recently during thread about the Jesus Camp lady corrupting young Christians’ minds. If you don’t believe in free will, then that woman’s (and Patrick Moore’s, and for that matter, Jimmy Saville’s and Adolph Hitler’s) beliefs and actions are entirely determined by: genetic make-up, the circumstances into which they were born, and the sum of every experience that affected them from the moment of birth (or maybe conception if you extend “experience” to encompass chemical processes in the womb) until the present moment (or death). Unless you’re positing a dualistic existence or a little controlling homunculus, any criticism of the person is somewhat misdirected. Although I don’t believe that religious-type free will exists, this kind of infinite regress of where to place “blame” does concern me. I certainly don’t think it means we can do away with severe consequences for antisocial actions (there being plenty of non-punitive reasons for having them), but it does seem to render comments lacerating individuals simply for who they are somewhat misguided.

    • Ray Perrins
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      You can criticize actions without believing in free will. I was inspired by Patrick Moore regarding science, but very disappointed about his comments on Germans and “women running the BBC” being a bad thing. I am sure he had his reasons for these beliefs but we can still condemn them. So “my point” would be simply: being homophobic, sexist and racist are bad things and Patrick Moore displayed some of these qualities, as well as many admirable qualities in terms of science promotion and education. Why not give a full picture of someone after they have died, rather than a falsely glowing one? My overall impression would be that Moore had an overwhelmingly positive affect on the world, but not exclusively positive.

      • Pete Cockerell
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink

        Oh, I absolutely agree Moore’s less savory side shouldn’t be swept under the rug. It’s just that the more I think about what the absence of free will means, the harder I find it to condemn someone for who they turn out to be. In the case of Patrick Moore I think this comes down to not dismissing all the positive effects he had just because of his political beliefs (and you seem to agree – I notice you said condemn the beliefs, not the man who held them).

        I must admit, my thoughts on all this are far from being fully formed, and I by no means have any formal training is ethics or philosophy. I’m just throwing some thoughts out there as they occur to me :)

      • Bonzodog
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:30 am | Permalink

        In 1953 André François-Poncet was elected to the Academie Francais taking the seat left vacant by the death of Petain. In what has been described as the most difficult speech made by any Frenchman (the tradition is that an eulogy is given to the previous occupant of the seat) he said “Marshal Petain wrote pages in our history, some of which remain bright and the other open to interpretation that face again and raise passions still alive. We must celebrate the first. We can not ignore the second.”

        We cannot shove Patrick Moore’s political views (although I understand – but not condone – some of them given the personal experiences he had) under the carpet, but we really must celebrate what he did for astronomy and science generally.

      • Dominic
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

        I think that you have to view these things in a generational way. Times change but we do not always ‘move with the times’.

    • Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:47 am | Permalink

      Actually, even if there is no free will, and people are not “responsible” in some sense, this in no way means that we shouldn’t care. By definition, someone who has no free will decides based on nature and nurture, i.e. genetic makeup and environment. So, even without free will, we can change the environment to encourage certain actions and discourage others. For example, punishment for crime does deter crime (in most cases), even if the criminals have no free will. Having no free will doesn’t mean “I will do this no matter what”, but rather “I will do this given these circumstances”. So, if society changes the circumstances, society can change the behaviour of people without free will. Even if people inherit (culturally, not genetically) prejudice, say, this does not mean that education cannot change it.

      Again using crime as an example, in many countries the idea of revenge isn’t even part of the criminal code. Punishment exists a) to protect society from known criminals, b) as a deterrent and c) to encourage reform in the criminal. What systems work best for each point is another question, but “there is no free will” is not an argument for abandoning any of them.

    • gravelinspector
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 4:34 am | Permalink

      I agree that Moore’s various political and “non-PC” opinions are entirely orthogonal to his astronomical and science education work.
      Do they deserve remembering? Well, hagiography is justly a dying art ; real people are not perfect (JAC being a rare exception [GRIN]). In fact, some of Moore’s astronomical activities show the orthogonality of his views to a remarkable extent.
      Despite Moore’s (“2602 Moore”) reported misogyny, a revealing comment I saw on last night’s news was from Heather Couper (“3922 Heather”, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Couper), who read out a typed letter she received from Moore as a youth, strongly encouraging her to follow her dreams of studying and working in astronomy. That didn’t sound like the work of a misogynist to me. So, if he did hold those opinions, then he kept them thoroughly orthogonal to his opinions about astronomy.
      A similar degree of orthogonality can be seen in his combination of strong right-wing opinions with opposition to hunting ; this is an extremely unusual combination (i.e. it fits well with an unusual person). (Image)

  22. Stuart
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Patrick Moore’s books and TV appearances helped inspire me as a young boy to pursue my university studies in Physics and Astronomy. I met him once in 1997 when he gave a lecture about Mars to a packed lecture hall at the University of Birmingham in England. Birmingham is renowned for its Indian curries and Patrick, being a curry lover, didn’t pass up the opportunity to sample them with some of the Physics department staff and students.

  23. Posted December 10, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    While far from the political reactionary which Patrick Moore was, Brian May is notable as one of the few famous rock stars who is politically conservative. (Others which spring to mind are Rick Wakeman and Ted Nugent.) He does oppose fox hunting, though.

    • Matthew Cobb
      Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

      As did Patrick Moore. And odd cove.

      • Matthew Cobb
        Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:46 am | Permalink

        An not And

  24. Dominic
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Nobel prize winner Sir Paul Nurse said Moore got him interested in science. When he inducted Moor into the Royal Society, he found Moor weeping, overwhelmed by the idea that he as a humble amateur, would be brought into that august institution.

    For me he was the face of the space age. In the 1960s & 70s he presented much of the space coverage on television, all the launches for the moon missions. A fantastic inspiration, & I salute him.

  25. NoAstronomer
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Sir Patrick was jointly responsible (together with Carl Sagan) for inspiring me to study astronomy at college.

    I recall growing up that I could never remember the proper name of The Patrick Moore Show. My father later informed that other people called it ‘The Sky at Night’.

    Mike.

  26. Posted December 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I remember watching the Sky at Night as a boy. Patrick Moore was famous for his odd pronunciation of Uranus which sounded like “you’re an us” and Betelgeuse (the red giant in Orion) sounding like “baytle jerz”. I’ve still got his Observer’s Book of Astronomy on my shelf. I once did a passable impersonation of him at a high-school show. The theme music to his show was a rather dour piece by Sibelius.

  27. gary sear
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    Whilst Sir Patrick’s views on the Germans are unfortunate, they are understandable. He helped fight for our countries freedom against them and lost his one and only love because of it. Its easy for us to judge him 70 years after the event, but how would we feel if that was us in his shoes? We were not made to go to war, and we dont know what he saw or went thorough. I have also read his book and some of his views do make uncomfortable reading, but he was from a less tolerent era, at least some things have changed for the better. I loved his chapter on cricket :) you can tell he loved his cricket almost as much as astronomey.


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