British astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore has died. He was 89.
The eccentric monocle-wearing stargazer presented the BBC program “The Sky at Night” for more than 50 years, which the BBC said made him the longest running host of the same television show ever.
Moore died peacefully at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, today after failing to beat an infection, The Sun reported, citing a statement released by friends and colleagues.
“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,” they said.
Tributes poured in for Moore whose passion for astronomy inspired generations of professional and amateur stargazers, including Queen guitarist Brian May, The Guardian reported.
May, who holds a PhD in astrophysics, said in a statement that the world had "lost a priceless treasure that can never be replaced" and he had lost a "dear friend and kind of father figure."
"Patrick was the last of a lost generation, a true gentleman, the most generous in nature that I ever knew, and an inspiration to thousands in his personal life, and to millions through his 50 years of unique broadcasting,” May said in the statement.
"It's no exaggeration to say that Patrick, in his tireless and ebullient communication of the magic of astronomy, inspired every British astronomer, amateur and professional, for half a century.”
Listen to a Sky News interview with author and astronomer David Whitehouse on Moore's life and career.