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Thursday 21 August 2014

Tributes pour in for Moore, the astronomer who became a star

Jennifer Cockerell London

Published 10/12/2012 | 05:00

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Patrick Moore, who has died aged 89. Photo: Getty Images

Tributes have been paid to the "irreplaceable" astronomer Patrick Moore, who has died aged 89.

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The eccentric broadcaster passed away peacefully yesterday at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, after being struck down by an infection.

His friend, Queen guitarist Brian May, said the world had "lost a priceless treasure that can never be replaced".

Moore inspired successive generations of star-gazers with his television series 'The Sky At Night', and wrote more than 60 books on astronomy.

He celebrated the 55th anniversary of the BBC programme in April, with it becoming the longest-running television series with the same presenter.

Moore only missed one episode since it began in 1957. The last programme was broadcast just last Monday.

Pacemaker

Speaking at a party to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the programme, he said he hoped the star-gazing series would continue "indefinitely".

Moore, who read his first book on astronomy at the age of six and published his first paper on the topic at the age of 13, went on to win a BAFTA for services to television, and was a member of the Royal Society.

He received a knighthood in 2001.

He lived alone and never married after the woman he was due to wed was killed in an air raid during World War Two.

The star-gazer, who had a pacemaker fitted in 2006, battled ill health in recent years and became wheelchair-bound and unable to look through a telescope.

His friends and staff announced his death in a statement.

It said: "He today passed on, in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy.

"Patrick was an inspiration to generations of astronomers."

Irish Independent

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