9 December 2012
Last updated at 15:09
On 24 April 1957, Sir Patrick Moore presented the first episode of The Sky at Night. He believed it would 'only last a few months', but the programme went on to run for more than five decades.
The Sky at Night was a source of information for budding amateur astronomers, and many of today's space scientists say it was a source of inspiration. Here, Sir Patrick and comedian Michael Bentine wear space suits to discuss the potential problems of manned space flight in 1968.
Sir Patrick was central to the BBC's coverage of the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s. Here, with science historian James Burke (l) and presenter Cliff Michelmore (centre), he fronted coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing, when man first walked on the lunar surface.
Sir Patrick never had any formal training and always described himself as an amateur astronomer. He had telescopic equipment in the garden of his Sussex home from which he monitored the night's sky.
Sir Patrick was a keen player of the xylophone, which he played often in public despite never taking a lesson. He also loved cricket and politics. He was briefly the finance minister for the Monster Raving Loony Party and later a member of UKIP.
Sir Patrick's enthusiasm for astronomy was contagious and unstoppable and he was keen to inspire the next generation of astronomers by appearances on programmes such as Blue Peter.
A regular contributor to BBC science programme Tomorrow's World, Sir Patrick took part in a campaign in 1996 to highlight how light pollution is making the observation of the night's sky increasingly difficult.
Sir Patrick's services to astronomy and broadcasting were recognised with a knighthood. He was knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace on 2 March 2001. Later that year he received a special Bafta television award from the British Academy.
The 50th anniversary of The Sky at Night was celebrated with a special edition, where Sir Patrick travelled back in time to meet his younger self, played by impressionist Jon Culshaw. Here, he is pictured with Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, with whom he co-wrote a history of the universe.
Sir Patrick died at his home in Sussex after a short spell in hospital at the start of December. He passed away 'in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy', his friends said.