Star gazer Patrick Moore dies
Astronomer and TV star Patrick Moore, who presented 'The Sky at Night' for more than 50 years, has passed away at his home in West Sussex after a short illness at the age of 89
Astronomer Sir Patrick Moore has died at the age of 89 after a short illness.
The respected broadcaster and star gazer - who is widely regarded as being responsible for popularising astronomy during his career which spanned almost 60 years - "passed away peacefully at 12.25pm this afternoon (09.12.12)" at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, according to his family, after developing an infection.
In an official statement, they 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."
The eccentric expert - whose health had deteriorated in recent years - is best known for presenting the popular BBC series 'The Sky at Night' for more than 50 years, which is the longest a television host has ever presented the same programme.
Queen guitarist Brian May - who published a book on astronomy written with Patrick - expressed his condolences and 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."
Patrick's final TV appearance is due to hit screens in January, when 'The Sky at Night' returns to focus on the moon, which he was an expert on.