One of the world’s most recognizable figures in the field of astronomy, as well as British television, passed away on the morning of December 9, 2012. Sir Patrick Moore, 89, may have died at his home in Selsey in southern England, but his real home was out in the cosmos, proving to generations of people how interesting astronomy can be.
“Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in a few weeks ago,” the prepared statement said of Moore, who was allowed to spend his final days at home once it was determined further medical treatment would serve no purpose.
Among his many accomplishments in all walks of life, Moore, elected into the Royal Astronomical Society in 1977 and knighted in 2001, is most famous for his stalwart dedication as a presenter for his monthly BBC show, The Sky at Night, since 1957, itself a Guinness World Record, up until the time of his death. (The one time he failed to host the show, he was fighting food poisoning.) He compiled the Caldwell Catalogue, which presented a detailed classification of deep space objects. He is the author of nearly 100 books, spanning all areas of astronomy, as well as fiction. If you don’t own one, you definitely know someone who does. He appeared in Doctor Who and the radio show for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He was one of the most interesting and knowledgeable people out there, and his absence will be mourned by many.
Also, even if he had nothing to do with the planets and stars, he was a self-taught xylophone player, hunted foxes, and wore a monocle. That automatically made him cooler than you and me. R.I.P., Sir Patrick. Giant Freakin’ Robot salutes you.