A generous performance bonus to Sir Patrick Moore (RIP)

9 Dec

I was never much interested in astronomy, but it is amazing how many of those who are, including some very distinguished names, attribute their inspiration to Sir Patrick Moore.

To the rest of us, he himself may have been the most interesting thing about the subject, with his unruly eyebrows, monocle and eccentric delivery. There was something wonderful about having the mysteries of outer space explained to you by someone who looked like he might be speaking from first hand experience. There was also something soothing about the continuity he represented, slowly expanding before our eyes over fifty-five years, eventually acquiring the dimensions of a medium-sized planet, while “The Sky at Night” became a reassuring old friend, the TV equivalent of the shipping forecast on the radio or a cup of hot chocolate and digestive biscuit before turning out the light.

Queen guitarist and astronomical collaborator Brian May put it best: “Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one.”

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