Patrick Moore

From Academic Kids

This article is about Patrick Moore, the astronomer. See also Patrick Moore (environmentalist).

Sir Patrick Moore, CBE, FRS (born March 4, 1923) is an amateur astronomer, member and former president of the British Astronomical Association, author of over 70 books on astronomy, presenter of the long-running BBC series, The Sky at Night, and a well-known and well-loved figure on British television.



Moore was born in Pinner in Middlesex, and grew up in Sussex, where he was educated at home because of poor health. It was during this time that he first developed an interest in astronomy.

During the Second World War, he served as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command. Moore's only known relationship ended when his fiancée, a nurse, was killed when a bomb fell on her ambulance.

At the end of the War, Moore continued to observe the Moon using the home-made reflecting telescope in his garden, eventually leading him to become a specialist in lunar observation.

In 1957 he began presenting the television series that made him famous, and which has appeared every month since, with the exception of July 2004, making him the world's longest running television presenter.

In 1959, the Russians used his charts to correlate their first pictures of the far side of the Moon; he was involved in the lunar mapping used by the NASA Apollo space missions. His TV programme has popularised astronomy in the UK and beyond and, through his writing Patrick Moore has influenced several generations of astronomers.

From 1965 to 1968 Patrick Moore was the Director of the Armagh Planetarium.

For a time during the 1970s Moore was the Chairman of the anti-immigration United Country Party. He held this position until the party was absorbed by the New Britain Party in 1980.

Moore received the Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1977, and the Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1978.

In the early 1990s he appeared as the disembodied Gamesmaster in the Channel 4 video game gameshow GamesMaster.

Patrick Moore has written the occasional science fiction novel. In 1977 he published the first in his Scott Saunders Space Adventure series, aimed primarily at a younger audience (in a similar way to Asimov's Norby series). This series eventually ran to six novels. In 2001, Patrick Moore discussed his Scott Saunders novels in a notable appearance on the Channel 4 comedy programme, The Pooters, which also featured Charlie Skelton and Alan Connor.

In 2001 Patrick Moore received a knighthood from the Queen, became a fellow of the Royal Society and won a BAFTA for his services to television. Asteroid 2602 Moore is named after him.

In July 2004 he was named in the Radio Times list of the top 40 most eccentric TV presenters of all time.

Moore in popular culture

Moore's reputation for eccentricity stems mainly from his mode of speech, his trademark monocle, and his fondness for the xylophone. He is an accomplished musician and is not averse to performing novelty turns such as at the Royal Variety Performance and appearing in a song-and-dance act in a Morecambe and Wise Christmas spectacular. As a pianist, Patrick Moore once accompanied Albert Einstein playing 'Le Cygne' by Camille Saint-Saëns on the violin. However, no recording of the performance exists.

Moore appeared a number of times, usually in self-parodying roles, on The Goodies.

A song composed to accompany a Macromedia Flash animation created by Weebl and Rob Manuel states repeatedly that "Patrick Moore plays the xylophone".

Patrick Moore is also credited among various niches scattered about the Internet with being one of the few men to continue the time-honoured tradition of wearing a monocle.

Patrick Moore garnered an affectionate mention in a 2005 episode of the long running BBC series Doctor Who entitled Aliens of London. The Doctor's companion Rose Tyler jokingly suggests Patrick Moore is the world's pre-eminent expert on extra-terrestrial life.

Bibliography (incomplete)

Scott Saunders series

External links

nl:Patrick Moore sl:Patrick Moore


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