UK & World News
Sir Patrick Moore, 89, Dies At Home
Astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore has died at his home at the age of 89.
The broadcaster "passed away peacefully" on Sunday afternoon, in Selsey, West Sussex, his friends and staff said in a statement.
It added: "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, who celebrated the 55th anniversary of his programme, The Sky At Night, in April, had battled ill health in recent years.
The stargazer had been using a wheelchair and had become unable to look through a telescope.
He died after battling an infection.
The statement went on: "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.
"He was able to perform on his world record-holding TV Programme The Sky at Night right up until the most recent episode.
"His executors and close friends plan to fulfil his wishes for a quiet ceremony of interment, but a farewell event is planned for what would have been Patrick's 90th birthday in March 2013."
Queen guitarist Brian May, himself an avid astronomer with a doctorate in astrophysics, paid tribute to 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."
Speaking at a party to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the BBC programme, Sir Patrick said he hoped the stargazing series would continue "indefinitely".
The last programme was broadcast on Monday.
Sir Patrick has only missed one episode since it began in 1957 when he was struck down by food poisoning.
His trademark monocle, unique delivery and occasional performances on the xylophone made him a familiar target for satirists and impressionists, but his scientific credentials were never in doubt.
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Sad news a British icon gone :( R.I.P
RIP irreplaceable..... :-(
R.I.P Patrick a true British icon,remember watching Sky At Night brill
One of the few "Sirs", who deserve the title. R.I.P...Sir Patrick,
My eldest son and my self met Patrick Moore some years ago when he came to Derby Assembly Rooms, on one of his many talks. And we had our photo taken with him .He will be missed . R I P.
i would have loved to have met him Audrey. Always took an interest in this lovely gentle man. His story of why he never marriied after losing his sweetheart during WW2 was very very touching
Marc Colin Delaunay
Very sad !!!!!
He had a good long life and was very sad recently because his mobility was so limited and he couldn't be independent
Does anyone remember him in GamesMaster with Dominik Diamond
Awesome program ,Then dexter fletcher took over
Yes he did Dominik was better,Patrick was great in it.Used ro watch it with my children
Slightly excentric but very likable, he will be sadly missed. " Farthings " and " Ptolomy " ?
Love those names for the puddies. He adored those cats!
Sorry meant puddy/house
Sadly another British Great has passed on RIP
Rest in Peace Patrick. You were brilliant. A very humane, gentle inteligent and likeable gentleman. Rock on eccentricity and one less fabby person in this world> xxx
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I feel Sir Patrick has been around all my life and the world will feel a little emptier without him now. RIP Sir Patrick
A great man in every respect and a giant in hids field. Is it true he didn't have a single qualification in astronomy and was entirely self-taught?
A great loss to popular science.
A true English eccentric and an inspirational broadcaster who will be sadly missed by viewers young and old.
RIP Patrick, Thanks for helping me to be interested in Astronomy and for all the great Sky at Nights. A one off and a Gentlemen. x
A true legend. Have a safe trip to the stars R.I.P Sir.
Very sad news. I loved the sky at night. R.I.P.
Patrick Moore will be missed a lovely eccentric and a very clever man. Also a musician, saw him at an open air concert at Jodrell Bank.