STARGAZERS have launched a campaign to name a star after Britain’s most beloved astronomer, the late Sir Patrick Moore.
7 October 2015 by Joel Watson
Astronomer Sir Patrick Moore might have his name written in the stars if the campaign succeeds A group of astrological enthusiasts are lobbying a top space body to name a star after The Sky at Night presenter, who passed away at the age of 89 in 2012.
Sir Patrick, who served as the president of the British Astronomical Association, had a record-breaking run presenting his monthly astrology show, as it was the longest running show in television history with the same presenter.
The astronomer presented The Sky at Night for more than 50 years, and wrote 70 books on the galactic subject.
Allan McIntyre from the Ayrshire Astronomical Society, based in Ayrshire, Scotland who are campaigning for the star to be named after Moore, said they were through to the final of the competition and that every vote counted.
Ex-Queen guitarist Brian May also wrote a book on astronomy and was friends with Sir Patrick.
Mr McIntyre said: “We recently entered a competition run by the International Astronomical Union to name a star and its exoplanets.
“We have chosen to name the star Upsilon Andromedae ‘Moore’ as we felt this would be a fitting tribute to a man who devoted his life to astronomy. Its three exoplanets we have named Sagan after the astronomer Carl Sagan, Clarke after Sir Arthur C Clarke and Schiehallion after the Scottish mountain used in 1774 by the-then Astronomer Royal in an experiment to calculate the mass of planet Earth.
The star that could be named after Sir Patrick is currently named Upsilon Andromedae. Catchy!
“With enough votes this will become a reality so we are trying to inform as many people as possible as voting closes on October 31.V Anyone’s help in this would be much appreciated and may put Sir Patrick’s name among the stars he enjoyed so much.”
Sir Patrick, although well known for his importance in the field of astronomy also came into the public eye for some of his political views. After fighting in Second World War, Sir Patrick became fiercely anti-European. He was quoted as saying in the Radio Times: “A Kraut is a Kraut is a Kraut. And the only good Kraut is a dead Kraut.”
Despite his controversial opinions, physicist Brian Cox and ex-Queen guitarist Brian May counted the national treasure amongst their friends and biggest influences.