7th Feb 2013
Badass Scientist of the Week: Sir Patrick Moore
Sir Patrick Moore (1923–2012) was a self-taught but distinguished British astronomer, famous for his television show The Sky at Night, his eccentric personality, and his occasional xylophone playing. Moore read his first astronomy book at age 6; at 11, he bought his first telescope and became the youngest member of the British Astronomical Association; and at 13, he published and presented his first scientific paper about the Mare Crisium, a crater on the moon. He started wearing a monocle and smoking a pipe at 16, and in this year he also joined the RAF and served from 1940 to 1945, through WWII. During this time he met Orville Wright and Albert Einstein (with whom he played piano), and he also lost fiancé when she was killed in a London air raid. He remained a bachelor for the rest of his life. After the war, he wrote and published his first book, Guide to the Moon, and began to teach and work as an amateur astronomer. He developed a particular interest in the far side of the Moon, and his work mapping its surface was used by the US and Russian space programs. Moore first appeared on television in the 1950s in a debate about the existence of flying saucers, and was soon invited to present his own live astronomy program. The Sky At Night was hugely popular because it appealed to the layman as well as the experts—Moore was known for his imaginative, understandable analogies, such as comparing the Milky Way to a fried egg, and so he undoubtedly inspired a generation of stargazers. He presented the program for over 50 years, right up until his death in 2012, and made the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running TV series with the same presenter, receiving his knighthood in 2001. Amazingly, he believed he was the only person to have met Orville Wright, the first man to fly, Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon. Moore passed away peacefully at age 89 after being struck down by infection. It was known that he always carried his organ donor card with him, which simply said: ‘You can have the lot.’

Badass Scientist of the Week: Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Moore (1923–2012) was a self-taught but distinguished British astronomer, famous for his television show The Sky at Night, his eccentric personality, and his occasional xylophone playing. Moore read his first astronomy book at age 6; at 11, he bought his first telescope and became the youngest member of the British Astronomical Association; and at 13, he published and presented his first scientific paper about the Mare Crisium, a crater on the moon. He started wearing a monocle and smoking a pipe at 16, and in this year he also joined the RAF and served from 1940 to 1945, through WWII. During this time he met Orville Wright and Albert Einstein (with whom he played piano), and he also lost fiancé when she was killed in a London air raid. He remained a bachelor for the rest of his life. After the war, he wrote and published his first book, Guide to the Moon, and began to teach and work as an amateur astronomer. He developed a particular interest in the far side of the Moon, and his work mapping its surface was used by the US and Russian space programs. Moore first appeared on television in the 1950s in a debate about the existence of flying saucers, and was soon invited to present his own live astronomy program. The Sky At Night was hugely popular because it appealed to the layman as well as the experts—Moore was known for his imaginative, understandable analogies, such as comparing the Milky Way to a fried egg, and so he undoubtedly inspired a generation of stargazers. He presented the program for over 50 years, right up until his death in 2012, and made the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running TV series with the same presenter, receiving his knighthood in 2001. Amazingly, he believed he was the only person to have met Orville Wright, the first man to fly, Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon. Moore passed away peacefully at age 89 after being struck down by infection. It was known that he always carried his organ donor card with him, which simply said: ‘You can have the lot.’

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    Simply put. Badass.
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    Salute.
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