Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Remembering Sir Patrick Moore

Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore passed away peacefully in his house on Sunday 9 December 2012 at 8:25pm Singapore time, age 89.

Patrick Moore is the greatest British communicator of Astronomy to date, perhaps ever. He was also a man of many talents and interests. But he is most well known for hosting the TV series BBC Star at Night for more than 50 years and has written countless books and articles on astronomy. He is the current Guinness World Record holder for the World's longest TV series by the same presenter. He has influence thousands of professional and amateur astronomers over the decades and will definitely continue to do so for many more to come.

No single article can do justice to his accomplishment, humility, wit and talents. If you are really keen to find out more about him, google him online, watch YouTube videos of him and read his autobiography "Patrick Moore - 80 Not Out".

The tributes have been pouring in online since and here are some very good reads to understand this eccentric but highly loveable and charismatic promoter of astronomy. Remember to click and watch the video links in these articles:

- Sir Patrick Moore, astronomer and broadcaster, dies age 89 (BBC News UK)
- Obituary: Patrick Moore (BBC News UK)
- Tribute by Chris Lintott - astrophysicist and co-presenter of BBC Sky at Night.
- Tribute by Brian May - lead guitarist of Queen and an accomplished astronomer.
- Tribute by Dennis Barker (The Guardian)
- Obituary by The Telegraph
- Stargazing eccentric couldn't forgive the Germans for killing the only woman he ever loved
- A Knights Tale by Nick Howes
- Patrick Moore and why knowledge trumps the vacuous appeal of celebrity


Back in Singapore, I was getting ready to blog about last Saturday's successful free public talk at the library cum live stargazing session when I saw the heart-sinking tweets - "RIP Sir Patrick Moore". I recalled reading Brian May's tweet about visiting Patrick a few weeks ago and just assumed it was some minor illness. But unfortunately it wasn't and Patrick is no longer with us.

Anyone who has an interest in amateur astronomy will be fortunate to know him via his books or online video clips sooner or later. But really fortunate are those who have met Patrick. Mr Au Mun Chew is one of them.

Mr Au is a passionate and experience amateur astronomer and a tireless promoter of this hobby and its related science for many many years. In 2005, he was awarded the Cadi Scientific Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics Singapore for his outstanding contribution in generating public awareness of Physics through the medium of amateur astronomy.

Again, no single article can do justice to Mr Au's accomplishment and contribution to the local astronomy scene but hopefully I will get a chance to do a proper interview with him in the future.

Earlier this year, I had a fantastic one-on-one opportunity to observe with Mr Au under the clear dark skies in Johor, West Malaysia. We had a great long chat before the sky got dark. His recounting of his meeting with Patrick was most interesting.

In the early 1960s, Mr Au was receiving his professional training in London when he first saw Patrick's BBC Sky at Night programme. One night in 1963, Patrick showed Saturn on the TV screen and Mr Au was hooked ever since! Patrick was then frequently seen in the London Planetarium which was near Mr Au's office. When the both of them finally met in Royal Greenwich Observatory, Patrick brought him to zero degree longitude and said "on your left is West, on your right is East."

For all those of you (including myself) who have been inspired by Mr Au to get into amateur astronomy and its related science, you have been indirectly inspired by Patrick!

When I saw the RIP tweet, I immediately recalled this story and messaged Mr Au to inform of him the sad news. This was his reply - "Astronomers have truly lost a good friend. A very great loss indeed. Now Sir Patrick Moore does not need a telescope, he will be amongst the stars."

Can't remember when and where I have heard about Patrick's visit to Singapore. With the kind assistance from Mr Au and going through archived newspaper articles for the past few days, the following is what I have found so far.


In December 1989, Sir Patrick Moore was invited to Singapore by The British Council and Singapore Science Centre to conduct a series of public lectures and also to celebrate the official opening of the new Science Centre Observatory.

This was his schedule as printed in The Straits Times on 11 December 1989:

"Monday 11 December 1989
Astronomy Through the Planetarium  - Singapore Science Centre at 2pm
Armchair Astronomy And The Stars Above - The British Council at 8pm

Tuesday 12 December 1989
Future Exploration of the Planets - Singapore Science Centre at 3pm
The Search For Extra-terrestrial Life - - Singapore Science Centre at 8pm

Wednesday 13 December 1989
Astronomy vs Astrology - Singapore Polytechnic auditorium at 6pm

All lectures will be followed by a practical demonstration on the telescope"

The following photography was taken outside the Singapore Labour Foundation Building (now demolished) just beside the JTC Building. Used with permission from Mr Au.

Photo caption: From left to right: Sir Patrick Moore, British Council Officer, Mr Jimmy Tan, Rev Father Paul Goh, Mr Au Mun Chew, Prof Leo Tan.

The following articles are from publications that belongs to Singapore Press Holding (SPH). I have spoken to and email corresponded with the SPH executive in-charge of web copyright and licensing. They can be published in this blog free-of-charge as long as it is and remains non-commercial (e.g. no Google Ads, no selling of products or services). Please take note, if you wish to re-produce them in your own online entities that has commercial or money-making related content, the fees are $500 per article per year. When in doubt, please contact SPH for more information.

11 December 1989 - The Straits Times, Page 2.

Moore of the stars
by Nancy Koh

Never mind if you cannot speak Venusian, or think Martians are some kind of milk-bar. Patrick Moore is here to prove you need not be a celebrity to enjoy the stars.

By way of introduction, Mr Moore describes himself as an "old coot" and "harmless astronomer who doubles as an amateur xylophonist, cricketer and tennis player".

He has been popularising astronomy with his monthly television programme, The Sky At Night, which has had an uninterrupted run in England for 32 years since 1957.

Although awarded an honorary doctorate for his contributions to the science, Mr Moore has had no formal training in the field and still considers himself an amateur.

He is here this week as a guest of the British Council and the Singapore Science Centre. His visit coincides with the opening of the centre's new observatory and he will be giving lectures from today till Wednesday (see box).

Taking his role as a "populariser" seriously, Mr Moore is expected to woo amateur astronomers and new enthusiasts with his sense of humour and easy, friendly style.

Many people, including children, have been to his English observatory to look through his telescopes, "and I am always glad to do what I can do to arouse interest", he says.

Mr Moore's passion for the constellations started at the age of 11, when he became the youngest member of the British Astronomical Association. he wrote his first paper - entitled Small Craterlets  In The Mare Crisium - when he was 13.

Since then, he has written several astronomy books and his lunar maps were used by the Soviets in the early unmanned missions around the moon in 1959. He was also involved in the United States' Apollo programme as a moon mapper.

Apart from the commentating on the Apollo flights for the BBC, he has covered eclipses all over the world (including in the Philippines last year), meteors and Halley's Comet in the course of his TV series.

He has met Albert Einstein, Orville Wright (who made the pioneer flight in a heavier-than-air machine at the turn of the century), Yuri Gagarin (the first man in space) and Neil Armstrong (the first man on the moon).

And he ahs interviewed great scientists such as Dr Harlow Shapley, who was the first man to measure the size of the galaxy; Dr Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the planet Pluto; and rocket researcher Wernher von Braun.

The astronomy series spun off a BBC programme called One Pair of Eyes, which featured people who were often unkindly called cranks but whom Mr Moore prefers to term "independent thinkers". These included what he describes as astrologers, flying-saucer enthusiasts, flat-earthers, hollow-globers, Atlantis devotees, and people who speak the language of Venus or Mars.

The production team also went down in the dead of the night to interview some witches on a blasted heath near Watford. Mr Moore recalls" "When we came back and played the tapes, we fell in heaps on the floor, but, alas, we couldn't broadcast them, and all we really managed in the end was the mewing of the cat."

But, he adds philosophically:"It takes all sorts to make a world, and life would be much more drab without those of unconventional thought."

Mr Moore himself can best be described as unconventional too. Though he has never had music lessons and describes himself as a "musical fake", he has produced records, and played the xylophone in the Royal Command Performance in 1982.

At 65, he still plays snooker, golf and cricket, as a spin bowler of his village team.

The idea of a nine-to-five job "filled me with horror", so he decided at an early stage that he would turn his hobby into some sort of a career.

With candour, he declares:"I haven't done a day's work since I left the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1945, and I never will."

Photo caption: Starry-eyed about his hobby, amateur astronomer Patrick Moore says:`I haven't done a day's work since I left the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1945, and I never will.'


12 December 1989 - The Straits Times, Home, Page 19.

Astronomer Moore dazzles JC students with tales of stars and planets

Do astronomers believe in Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs?

For British astronomer Patrick Moore, author of more than 60 books on astronomy, the answer is a resounding "no".

"What I once thought was a flying saucer turned out to be a pollen grain in front of my telescope," recalled the burly 66-year-old scientist at a pre-university seminar yesterday.

Dr Moore is known for his maps of the moon. These guided the Soviets in their early unmanned missions around the moon in 1959. And in the 60s, the Americans too used his maps in their Apollo space programme.

Yesterday afternoon, he answered questions from some of the 300 junior college astronomy buffs who turned up for his talk at the Singapore Science Centre.

Dr Moore calls himself "a free-lance amateur" as he is not attached to any astronomy research establishment.

His keynote talk was titled Astronomy through the Planetarium, also the name of the one-day seminar.

And even before his talk-cum-slide show could begin, he was questioned closely by his enthusiastic young listeners.

"What is the latest development in the stars, moon and planets?"

"Are there any humans on Neptune?"

"Will we be able to live on Mars in the future?"

All of which the host of his own monthly British television show, The Sky at Night, answered with equal enthusiasm.

For instance, Dr More told a young questioner that "you may live to see Man get onto Mars".

And the students seemed to take an instant liking to the astronomer.

One of them, Thomas Wong, 17, of National Junior College said: "I find him a fatherly figure who knows many things. He cleared my doubts on UFOs."

Dr Moore said his passion for watching heavenly bodies began at the age of six after he picked up one of his mother's books on astronomy.

"I just worked on from there," said the voluble scientist who wrote his first bestseller, Guide to the Moon, in his early 20s.

His talk at the Science Centre's Omniplanetarium took his audience on a guided tour of the solar system.

Using photographs taken by the American space probe Voyager 2, he enthralled his audience with close-ups of Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere, Saturn's majestic rings and Neptune's clouds.

Dr Moore's visit was organised by the Science Centre and the British Council to coincide with the recent opening of the centre's observatory.

Last evening, he spoke on Armchair Astronomy and the Stars Above at the British Council.

He will also speak on The Search for Extraterrestrial Life at the Science Centre's auditorium at 8 pm tonight.

Astronomy versus Astrology will be the subject of his talk at the Singapore Polytechnic at 6 pm tomorrow.

These talks are open to the public. Admission is free.

Photo caption: Instant rapport ... junior college students crowding around Dr Moore at the Singapore Science Centre yesterday.


14 December 1989 - The New Paper, Page 10.

Stargazer debunks astrology
by Loh Tuan Lee

At first, it looked as though a showdown was looming between astronomy and astrology.

But last night, it was clear that self-styled "amateur" astronomer Patrick Moore was not about to waste his breath on "superstition".

Mr Moore, 65, had billed his public lecture last night as Astronomy vs Astrology, but he made it plain where he stood.

"Astronomy is an exact science... Astrology is superstition," he said.

Why so?

Astrology is a random linking up of stars into different symbols and each culture has its own symbols and interpretation.

"The Greeks linked the stars into stars into signs of the zodiac. But the Chinese and the Egyptians did not have the same symbols.

"Constellations can be what you make of them. They are disconnected stars arbitrarily given an identity," he said, using the constellations of Orion and Leo to illustrate his explanations.

Orion, for example, is made up of stars that are different light years away from Earth. One star, Rigel, is 880 light years away from Earth, but both Bellatrix and Betelgeuse, in the same constellation, are only about 500 light years away.

Seen from our planet, the stars appear to be on a two-dimensional plane, but in reality they are far apart from one another.

In Leo constellation, two of the "stars" that give the Lion its shape are not even stars. They are the planets Jupiter and Mars.

During his 1 1/2-hour presentation at the Singapore Polytechnic, he muttered disparagingly about "cats and hippos" in the sky.

Mr Moore not only disbelieves in the predictive potential of stars, moon and planets, he said the only way these heavenly bodies can affect the Earth is by gravity.

And these bodies, with the exception of the moon, are so far away from us that their gravitational pull is minimal. So there.

His polished presentation reflected his 32 years of experience as host of the highly popular British television programme, The Sky at Night.

He had the stars at the tip of his tongue and an array of figures about the solar system at his fingertips.

Yesterday was the last of a three-day presentation by Mr Moore. He was due to leave for England this morning.

Photo caption: Mr Moore: Astrology is superstition, he says.


16 December 1989 - The Straits Times, Section Two, Page One.

Stars get in his eyes
by Nancy Koh

Nancy Koh meets astronomer extraordinaire Patrick Moore, who was here this week to celebrate the opening

"OH SHUCKS!"...someone squeaked when the emcee asked for one last question. Sodden with mirth during the hour-long talk, the audience dissolved easily into gales of laughter.

From Monday to Wednesday this week, an elbow-to-elbow audience, candescent with expectation, had an appointment with the future, past and present, and nobody, but nobody, had quite enough of astronomer Patrick Moore.

Polar bear-like, with a few strands of platinum hair perpetually upright and a menacing monocle dangling from his chest, and dressed in a natty grey suit which barely hid his portly girth, Dr Moore gave giggle-splashed perspective of the stars.

He unravelled the secrets of the universe with irrepressible enthusiasm, combining a mega presence with potent chemistry: authority, humour and a singular style. No wonder an audience of 4 million per episode has tuned in to his 20-minute astronomy programme, The Sky At Night, in England for the last 33 years!

"What do the stars tell about us? Nothing! I think it's a waste of time. Astrology merely proves one scientific fact: there's one born every minute," he pooh-poohed with the trace of a shudder and laughed.

There is non of  Carl Sagan's glitz or Magnus Pyke's whimsical showmanship. Just plain facts with liberal does of slides and funny anecdotes. One need not dramatise, he firmly feels, as astronomy is sufficiently fascinating.

"He can talk for hours on astronomy and any subject," beamed Singapore Science Centre director Dr Leo Tan, no less an eloquent man and popular evangelist of science, as the audience milled around Dr Moore after one of his talks. However, Dr Moore said, in jest, he is reticent about three things: religion, politics and football.

His visit, as guest of the British Council and the Singapore Science Centre, coincided with the centre's new observatory in Jurong. He left on Thursday for Kuala Lumpur to advise the Malaysians on a planetarium they plan to build.

While here, audiences and reporters alike baited him with the question of extra-terrestrial life.

Heaving a deep breath, he chatted in the most congenial manner: "In our own solar system, I don't believe there is any lifeform, but only a certain amount of very low-type plants on Mars. Trouble is, the atmosphere is all wrong: Venus has too much, Mars has too little and the moon hasn't got any.

"Our sun is one of a 100 thousand million stars in our galaxy and we can see a thousand million other galaxies.

"The total number is absolutely staggering and I absolutely refuse to believe our sun is the only one to have an inhabited planet going round it. Saying it is one thing, but proving it is quite another and I have no proof at all."

Much to his chagrin, some of the 30 letters he receives daily are about sightings of flying saucers and bug-eyed monsters.

One woman wrote about an Unidentified Flying Object which flapped by her window. "My theory is that it's a seagull." he says with a guffaw.

His replies to oft-asked questions, though polished like that of a well-spun record, showed clearly that he does not sacrifice personal conviction for public applause and his credibility has grown with celebrity.

Dr Moore, 66, ("call me Patrick") makes no bones about his being a self-taught amateur, even though he was awarded an honorary doctorate for his moon-maps, which were used by the Soviets, as well as the Americans for the Apollo odyssey which climaxed in the historical lunar landing in 1969.

Like most "old coots" as he describes himself, he peppered his conversations with "When I was a boy ..." and vivid memories trammelled out gave a glimpse of a career illustrious enough to have made it into the International Whos's Who.

Picked up astronomy at the age of six from mother's book; left school at 16 when the war broke out; navigator with the Royal Air Force 1940-1945; stars hosting BBC television series, The Sky At Night, in 1957; Director of Armagh Planetarium in Ireland 1965-1968; composed and performed in Perseus And Andromeda (opera) 1975 and Theseus 1982; president of the British Astronomical Association 1982-84; honorary doctorate in science (Lancaster) in 1974; minor planet no. 2602 named in his honour, C.B.E.

He has also published more than 60 books, mainly astronomical guides (including Atlas Of The Universe, Stargazing, The A-Z Of Astronomy, Astronomy For The Under-10s) and cut records featuring his compositions and performances on the xylophone.

Dr Moore, who did not want to settle for second best and remained single after "the girl I was going to marry was killed in the war", lives alone next to his own observatory on the coast of Sussex, overlooking the sea and the village tennis club. He plays tennis and cricket, and still performs on the xylophone, as he did last week at a charity for handicapped children. He does not have any pets "but a small cat has me".

For one so loquacious, he finds it hard to explain his passion for astronomy.

"Why do some people collect stamps, which bore me to tears? But, of course, astronomy (the sun, moon, stars) is all around us and it is the basis of all time-keeping and navigation.

"Man is a naturally inquisitive creature and he wants to find out more, and that may be the answer." says he.

Although he has a macro view of the universe through the telescope, he reminds the skeptic that the Earth may be insignificant in the wider scheme of things but is still important to us, earthlings.

Some people regard him as an earthy realist, while others with a nodding acquaintance (such as those who have attended more than one of his talks this week) - tickled by his propensity for making fun of himself - forgive him for congenitally telling the same anecdotes, for example, swallowing a fly with a strangled gulp and continuing his TV astronomy programme as if nothing happened  a beetle dancing across the projection-lantern as he pronounces that Mars has no life form; describing the red, pock-marked Triton moon as pizza; and inviting the audience, with poker-face, to holiday in Venus if they want to be "fried, poisoned, squashed and corroded".

And for one who is proud that he has not done a day's work since he left the RAF except to dabble in his hobby, Dr Moore will be immersed in one or another of his numerous projects next year.

These include monitoring the launch of the Hubble space telescope in March by the Americans; commentating on the total eclipse of the sun for the Russians, who are sending out a Concorde to observe it in the North Pole; preparations fo rthe centenary of the British Astronomical Association (of which he is vice-president); polishing the publicity film he did for Europe's southern observatory in Chile; editing the monthly magazine, Astronomy now; and revising and updating the text for one of his bestsellers, Guide To The Planets.

How does he want to be remembered? "As someone who tried to introduce astronomy to people and encourage them to do things the best they can."

Fulfilment comes in the shape of amateur and well-known astronomers scientists who were inspired in one way or another by his programme.

Dr Moore sees possibilities for an ampler life and urges people to seize them - in other words, to reach out for the stars.

Photo caption: Dr Patrick Moore:`What do the stars tell about us? Nothing! I think it's a waste of time. Astrology merely proves one scientific fact: there's one born every minute.'


16 December 1989 - The Straits Times, Section Two, Page Six.

Star trek
by Nancy Koh

Star-gazing: How to get started

Do some reading and learn the basic facts. Get a pair of binoculars (no need for an expensive telescope) and learn your way around the night sky.

It is quite easy, just select one or two of the 88 constellations - Orion being a favourite - to use as pointers.

Visit the observatory at the Singapore Science Centre as well, and I think you will get hooked, like me. One thing you must never do, under any circumstances, is to look at the sun directly through the binoculars or telescope (even with a dark filter) as you are bound to damage your eyes. The moon may dazzle but it can't hurt you.

What you can see from Singapore

You can see it all from here because, being at the Equator, you have got the whole sky. I live in England at latitude of 50 deg north and anything more than 40 deg south, I lose.

The only disadvantage you have is a good many artificial lights around, which cause the sky to be less dark than it should be.

But you are lucky as you have a clean city, without dirt, smog and snow, which is the enemy of astronomers. It may not be awfully dark, but it's clear.

At the observatory on Monday, we saw the moon and Jupiter through the thin clouds.

How Singapore's observatory and planetarium can stir up interest

The observatory has a good dome. It is well-placed and well run by Dr Cheong Kam Khow, the head of Life Sciences and School Services Department, who is in charge of the observatory. It is a tremendous asset to Singapore and it will boost astronomical and scientific education, as well as regional scientific research.

Most things in the sky happen very slowly (for example, if you want to see Jupiter move from the present constellation, you have to wait for months), but you can produce things and speed everything up in the observatory.

You can replicate the night sky or an eclipse, show how stars move around, or project the Northern Lights (which only appeared once in Singapore 80 years ago).

How to make astronomy appealing to the young

Do not talk down to them. You don't have to dramatise because astronomy is a sufficiently fascinating and interesting subject. So many books are far too elementary, with words coming out of balloons. When I wrote Astronomy For Under-10, I showed it to a severe eight-year-old critic and told him to underline the words he was not happy with.

How sci-fi films and books help promote interest

Films produced by Steven Spielberg (who is collaborating with theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking on a film based on the professor's bestseller, A Brief History of Time) and other Hollywood producers are great fun!

I remember an important scientific meet was postponed by half an hour because it clashed with the last episode of a first-rate BBC sci-fi serial, The Quartermass Experiment. That was in 1952.

Sci-fi books come in two categories: some stick to the fact, others don't bother. There were two great writers in the past: Jules Vernes, who was not a scientist but who stuck to the facts as he knew them in the story, From Earth To Moon; and H.G. Wells, a qualified scientist who didn't bother with the facts when he wrote First Man On Moon.

Sci-fi has a habit of turning into fact. We now talk about inter-stellar travel and teleportation - well, it's no more sci-fi to us than TV was centuries ago!

How space research benefits mankind

You can't separate any branch of science any more than you can separate maths from algebra. There are medical reap-offs: heart specialist are anxious to know how the heart behaves under reduced or no gravity. The best way of treating cancer is by radiation, but the radiation coming from space is presently blocked by the Earth's atmosphere.

Space research has tremendous value, both scientifically and culturally, as it leads to full cooperation among nations.

On the Star of Bethlehem

The Star (which led the Three Wise Men to the manger in Bethlehem where Jesus Christ was born) was only referred to once in the Bible and nowhere else.

It certainly wasnt't a planet - if the astrologers were taken in by Jupiter, it certainly wasn't very wise! It certainly wasn't two planets together, because it didn't happen at that stage; had it been a bright nova or comet, it would have been mentioned by astronomy books at that time, and frankly, if you want my honest opinion, I don't think it was anything at all.

What the future holds

It's difficult to see into the future: I remember, as a boy, I was always saying we would have artificial satellites in 1960 - and we did; I also predicted the first human on the moon in the '80s, but we achieved it in 1969!

We have to have both astronauts and unmanned probes, as man can do what machines can't and vice versa. Voyager 2 discovered a great deal about the planets, but it only made one pass of each planet, so I can tell you what Jupiter looked like in 1979.

But we haven't got close-range pictures now, so we've got to wait for the new probe, Galileo, launched in August, which will reach Jupiter in 1995.

At the present state of knowledge, the only world we can hope to reach by manned craft is Mars (certainly in our children's time) because it's a less unfriendly planet.

The US will launch the Hubble space telescope in March, and it's the first really big space telescope. If all goes well, I think by the end of the century, we should have permanent moon bases. It's scope, if all goes well, I think by the end of the century, we should have permanent moon bases. It's diffcult to say, but I think prospects now are even better than a while ago.

Photo caption: Dr Patrick Moore: "If all goes well, I think by the end of the century, we should have permanent moon bases."


Patrick's visit to Singapore was also reported in the Malay newspaper Berita Harian on the 12th and 16th of December 1989.

As I do not understand the Malay language, I may get my friends to help me translate them and published here as an update. If you do and would like to volunteer, feel free to drop me an email at

I could not find any related reports in the main Chinese newspapers during that period.


I hope BBC will produce a single volume DVD/Blu-ray compilation of all episodes of Sky At Night hosted by Patrick so that generations of people can have easier access to this man's genius and love of astronomy and be inspired to be amateur or professional astronomers themselves.

Do you have a personal story to share about Patrick? Do you know anyone who does? Feel free to email me at I can try to include them in this blog if you do not mind. Else, I will still enjoy reading them if you only wish to share them with me privately.

Patrick would be have been celebrating his 90th birthday in March next year. Now that he has joined the stars, March 2013 will be a celebration of his life.

I hope those who have been inspired by him (especially during his stay in Singapore) can host or participate in events big or small in Singapore during March 2013 in memory and appreciation of his contribution to amateur astronomy as well as getting more members of the public interested in the hobby.

In conclusion, I would like to quote Winston Churchill who once said, "Never was so much owed by so many to so few."

Sir Patrick Moore definitely belongs to one of these elite few. Both in the context as a Royal Air Force navigator and as promoter of amateur astronomy.

Rest in peace, Sir Patrick Moore.


Update 5 July 2013

With the kind permission from Beng Yew, this is a rare group photo of Sir Patrick with the Anderson Junior college astronomy club back in 1989!

What a pity there is no more astronomy club in Anderson Junior college now as seen in their CCA webpage. Perhaps it's time to restart it again? Participating in School Astronomy Networking Dinner (SAND) may be a good start.

If you are in this photo and would to like to share your story of that historic day, please feel free to email me at


  1. When Sir Patrick Moore was in Singapore in 1989, I was very fortunate to have a chance to interact with him as I was a member of the AJC astro club and we were invited to present a topic during the seminar that was part of the observatory opening. I still have the group photo that we took with him.

    20+ years have gone but the memory seems like yesterday. Really sad to learn of his passing....

    1. Thanks for sharing your memories of Sir Patrick Moore when he was in Singapore! You are very fortunate indeed. If you would like to share your precious group photo with the readers here, you are most welcomed. Just send me an email at Sir Patrick will continue to inspire generations of amateur astronomers for many many years to come.