Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore has died at the age of 89.

The star passed away on Sunday (09Dec12) at his home in West Sussex, England after failing to recover from an infection.

A statement from Moore's family reads "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... in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy...Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in a few weeks ago".

Moore was a close friend of Queen guitarist and keen astronomer Brian May, who paid tribute to his pal in a statement, which reads, "(He was a) dear friend and a kind of father figure to me... Patrick will be mourned by the many to whom he was a caring uncle, and by all who loved the delightful wit and clarity of his writings, or enjoyed his fearlessly eccentric persona in public life.

"Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one".

Moore wrote numerous scientific books and research papers throughout his career, and his work was even used by staff at Nasa (America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

However, he was most famous for presenting famed BBC astronomy documentary TV series The Sky at Night, which ran for more than 40 years and won him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Moore hosted all but one episode of The Sky at Night since 1957, making him the most prolific presenter in the world, according to Guinness officials.

After a private family funeral, Moore's loved ones plan to host a "farewell event" to coincide with what would have been his 90th birthday in March next year (13).