Sir Patrick Moore CBE was an English astronomer who attained prominence as a writer, researcher, and presenter of ‘The Sky At Night,’ the world’s longest-running television series with the same original presenter.
Now, however, Moore’s legacy is at stake after it was announced that not only would his West Sussex home not be turned into an educational center devoted to astronomy, but that ‘The Sky at Night’ TV show may also be cancelled by the end of the year.
Since Sir Patrick Moore died last year aged 89, his close friend and rock legend Brian May, who also happens to be a PhD in astro physics, had been working tirelessly to make Moore’s wish of having his longtime home turned into an astronomy centre in his name, a reality.
Unfortunately, the Queen guitarist now seems resigned to the fact that will not happen after the Royal Astronomical Society rejected the idea. As May, explains:
“I’m afraid there isn’t going to be a museum..It hasn’t worked out. We are going to commemorate Patrick in a section of the Science Museum. It will probably be called The Sir Patrick Moore Area..You’d think the Royal Astronomical Society would be interested, but they’re, like, ‘Oh, we’ve got an awful lot of stuff already.”
Meanwhile, there could be more dismay soon among Sir Patrick Moore fans as the BBC indicated it may cancel the iconic television show ‘The Sky At Night’ following the death of the show’s presenter. As a BBC spokesman said recently:
“The Sky at Night is on-air until the end of the year. Plans for subsequent series are being discussed.”
However, a national campaign is already underway to stop the astronomy show which first aired in 1957 from being cancelled. Commenting on the matter, Annette Newby from the York Astronomical Society, explained:
“The Sky at Night is a British institution and it is watched by astronomers everywhere. There is very little science on the BBC and even less astronomy. This programme is the mainstay of information and education on astronomy and without it the BBC will fail their remit of being a Public Service Broadcaster.”
The good news, though, is that the online petition found here has already collected 37,185 signature from supporters and since starting the campaign the BBC has said it once more reviewing the future of the programme.