Sir Patrick Moore, the world-renowned British astronomer whose works advanced the study of space and encouraged the common folk to "look up," died Sunday at his West Sussex home. He was 89.
Queen Elizabeth knighted Sir Patrick in 2001 for "services to the popularisation of science and to broadcasting." He wrote 60 books in astronomy.
Sir Patrick, who helped map the moon, is known for his unconventional ways of sharing his vast amount of knowledge in astronomy. His followers know very well he was a skilled xylophone player. He presented the monthly BBC program "The Sky At Night" for over five decades. He holds a Guinness World Records title as the world's longest serving TV presenter.
"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," reads a statement released by friends and colleagues of Sir Patrick. The statement noted he was surrounded by close friends and his cat, Ptolemy, at the time of his death.
A true icon of astronomy broadcasting, Sir Patrick met and spoke to Orville Wright, Yuri Gagarin, and Neil Armstrong -- all of whom made significant contributions to science generations apart. They were the first man to fly, first man in space, and first man on the moon, respectively.
Twitter Trending Topic: RIP Patrick Moore
A series of tributes flooded Twitter and Tumblr following the announcement of Sir Patrick's death:
Playing the xylophone in heaven. RIP Patrick Moore. Master of games. - Josh
RIP Patrick Moore (I'll admit I watched Gamesmaster a lot more than The Sky at Night, but I guess that shows how wide his influence was) x- Tom Mead
RIP Patrick Moore, astronomer, broadcaster, record holder (longest-running host of the same television show ever) - John Breslin
RIP Patrick Moore - you spent your life studying stars now you are with them - susanne