For some odd reason, I have this image of Sir Patrick Moore as being stuffy, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite the fact that I have seen him as the narrator in Return to the Forbidden Planet. And we have him giving the Orders to see a production of the play:
He did a very funny parody of himself in the Goodies episode The Goodies Rule–O.K.? as well.
Still, he is somewhat intimidating due to that headmasterish demeanour. Of course, headmasters can have senses of humour, but he is the authority. He is a man who has led more people into astronomy since he started presenting the Sky at Night in 1957–a momentous year in astronomy and space! Perhaps it is the authority that leaves me in awe of him.
I should add that Astronomy Magazine’s (USA) current issue (November 2012) has an Article about Sir Patrick. The article mentions Sir Patrick’s eccentricity.
The Telegraph reported that “he sometimes wishes he had died 10 years ago because illness means he can no longer operate his telescope”. There are ways he could use a telescope via a computer, and I am sure there are souls out there who would happily set him up.
Sir Patrick has been a larger than life personage on the Worldwide Astronomy scene and will be missed when that day comes.
I’ll finish this with something from Sir Patrick’s Website.
The deep futility of ephemeral things;
Which stir the soul to unimagined dreams;
Of Brussels sprouts, and spinach in the snow.
The birds’ shrill call in the translucent dawn;
To embryonic beetles, and pale moths;
Which hide their heads in shallow troughs of earth,
Naked and fearful, as the world awakes;
To thought transcendent life, and cosmic death.
The earthworm, crawling to its nameless tomb;
All energy dispersed, to form new creeds;
New auras of the spirits of the wild,
In the deep pool of life, which ceaseless flows;
Through endless time and space, in rhythmic praise;
Of all creative impulses, which dwarf;
The puny concepts of the human mind.
All, all, shall pass into oblivion…