Monday, January 14, 2013

The Sky At Night...

There is always an obituary on the last page of the sports section in one of our daily papers, The Globe and Mail. The article is usually about someone who has made a significant contribution in their field or someone who was rich and famous now or sometime in the past.  Most are not sports' figures and I often wonder how they feel about being a footnote in a sport's section.

Well, this week one of the obits was about Patrick Moore a BBC personality who hosted "The Sky At Night." He was an amateur astronomer and had the world's longest running TV series by one presenter.  I don't think that I ever saw his show, but my husband had. Anyway, I loved his cat quotation,
"A catless house is a soulless house." I was going to stop there and then I started reading the obit and I thought, what an amazing person.  Here is what he accomplished in his life in spite of many cloudy nights no doubt.

Cloudy Sky at Night

1. His long running BBC series started in 1957 and went for 720 episodes. The last episode was broadcast on the evening of his death - Dec 9, 2012, at the age of 89.

2. He wrote more than 70 books.  His maps of the moon contributed to the US & USSR lunar explorations.

3. He personally met Orville Wright, Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong.

4. He was also an accomplished cricketeer, golfer, chess player, actor, piano and xylophone player, who once performed a duet for piano and violin with Albert Einstein.

5. He wrote more than 100 pieces of music, many of which were recorded.

6. He has an asteroid named in his honour and he was knighted by the Queen.

7. Another "Queen" associate - Brian May, guitarist of the rock group Queen and fellow astrophysicist, was also a close friend.

8. He lived all his life, except for a few brief postings elsewhere, in a 16th century home in Sussex England, called "Farthings," which he shared with his mother until her death in 1981.

9. In 2008, Brian May purchased "Farthings" and rented it back to Moore for a peppercorn.

Sadly Patrick Moore never married.  His fiancĂ©, a nurse, was killed in 1943 when a bomb hit her ambulance. Still he was a man who followed his passion, astronomy, turned it into a career and made many friends as a result - a life well lived.

Have a fulfilling day!!


  1. Very interesting. I've never heard of the man but I enjoy that he turned his hobby into his life work. Much like many of us are trying to do.

  2. Wow! What a fascinating fella!

    Thanks for writing about him!