Rock award for The Sky At Night

Scientists have officially named an asteroid after TV’s The Sky At Night. The tribute was revealed this week at a party for its long-running presenter Sir Patrick Moore to mark 50 years of the BBC programme.

Sir Patrick with Brian MayThe distant space rock has been labelled Caelumnoctu – Latin for The Sky At Night – plus an identification number 57424 which corresponds with the date the show first went out, April 24, 1957.

The asteroid honour was fixed up by Professor Iwan Williams of Queen Mary, University of London. A different asteroid was previously named 2602 Moore after Sir Patrick in 1982.

The Sky At Night is the world’s longest running show with the same presenter. Sir Patrick has presented every one of more than 600 episodes – except for one where he suffered food poisoning from a dodgy goose egg.

As Chris Lintott reveals, the party for Sir Patrick at his Selsey home was a huge success, with British astronaut Piers Sellers the master of ceremonies.

Rock star and astronomer Brian May appeared in a special edition of The Sky At Night earlier this month to mark the anniversary. The BBC photo, above, shows them together.

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Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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