One of my heroes British astronomer, broadcaster and author Sir Patrick Moore died at his home yesterday at the age of 89. Best known as the presenter of the long running The Sky at Night, which began in April 1957, Patrick Moore was born in 1923. He developed an interest in astronomy at the age of six and joined the British Astronomical Association at the age of eleven.
Moore lied about his age to join the RAF and fight in World War II at the age of sixteen, and from 1940 until 1945 he served as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command. He first received his flying training in Canada, during which time he met Albert Einstein and Orville Wright while on leave in New York. He later met German rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun and many astronauts and cosmonauts including Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin. Patrick said that if he could have gone back in time to meet someone then it would have been Edmond Halley, of comet fame. As well as being an astronomer and broadcaster he was also a prolific author and gifted musician.
There is a small 1951 link … in 1951 Patrick was a teacher at Holmewood House School in Kent. While he was here he wrote his first book Guide to the Moon and set up at his home a 12½ inch reflector telescope, which he kept with him into his old age.