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Sidmouth stargazers pay tribute to Sir Patrick Moore

09:56 20 December 2012

Stargazers in Sidmouth have paid tribute to an ‘inspiration’ after the loss of Sir Patrick Moore on Sunday.

The eccentric astronomer formally opened the planetarium at the Norman Lockyer Observatory (NLO) in 1995, and the site’s chairman has spoken of his influence.

“He inspired the last generation of astronomers – everyone in the last 50 years,” said David Strange.

“He linked us to the old school boffin types, but could communicate in a way a layman could understand.”

In his teens, David was moved to write to the acclaimed amateur astronomer and television presenter, and received a postcard written on Sir Patrick’s distinctive typewriter he hopes he has retained.

He added: “I don’t think there will ever be another Patrick Moore – everyone knows what a remarkable character he was.”

The ‘Sky at Night’ presenter is also said to have signed Save Our Sidmouth’s petition, concerned about the effect of light pollution on the NLO.

The observatory will join in a national programme of memorial events, which will probably be held in March, on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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