Sir Patrick Moore, astronomer, has died

England's Sir Patrick Moore has died at the age of 89. For 55 years, the entertaining, monocled people's astronomer introduced viewers to the wonders of the night sky as host of the popular series, The Sky at Night, making this the longest-running TV series in the world with the same host. And oh, what a host. Moore delighted with his ill-fitting suits, his raised eyebrow, and his fervent discourses on astronomy, which he could deliver at 300 word per minute.

His passion began at the age of 7 with a book on the solar system. By the age of 13 the self-taught Moore was publishing papers on the moon's surface based on detailed observations made through his first 3-inch telescope. After serving with the RAF during WWII, he built his own telescope and made further detailed drawings of the moon which were later used by NASA as part of the preparations made for the 1960s-70s moon landings. A first book on the moon soon followed, after which writing took over his life. He produced some 70 books in his lifetime, including this year's The New Astronomy Guide: Star Gazing in the Digital Age.

Beyond astronomy, Moore held a deep passion for cricket and music - notably the xylophone, which he often played in public. And in one historic encounter, Moore played piano while his musical partner, Albert Einstein, played the violin.