The sky at night has lost a guiding star.
Sir Patrick Moore died today, 9 December 2012, aged 89.
Patrick Moore was the presenter of The Sky At Night for over 50 years, winning a world record as a prolific presenter (Guinness Book of Records) in the process. He famously missed only a single episode of the show due to a case of salmonella poisoning. Of course, few people growing up in the 90’s can forget that he played the Games Master in the children’s computer game show of the same name.
Patrick Moore was the voice of Astronomy, the inspiration of a generation. In his grandfatherly presence, we were encouraged to turn our eyes up towards the heavens and search for the next great challenge of our age. With out-stretched fingers we aspired towards knowledge and towards wonder. From the volcanos of Mars to the storms of Jupiter, the solar system was quietly revealed piece by piece, and revealed only new questions. For such is the reward of exploration and of science.
We have lost a guide today, but we are not lost, for his presence will live on in those he inspired to aspire.