Sir Patrick Moore, the veteran astronomer and TV presenter, died on Sunday aged 89, a group of his friends and staff said.
The broadcaster "passed away peacefully at 12.25pm this afternoon", at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, they said in a statement.
It added: "After a short spell in hospital last week, it was determined that no further treatment would benefit him, and it was his wish to spend his last days in his own home, Farthings, where he today passed on, in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy."
Moore was born on 4 March 1923 in Middlesex and gained in interest in astronomy at an early age, running a small observatory at just 14.
Moore lied about his age in order to join the RAF in World War II and served as navigator in bomber command aged 16.
The only love of his life, his fiance, Loma, was killed during the war when a bomb hit the ambulance she worked in as a nurse.
Speaking to the Evening Standard in 2007, Moore explained why he never remarried.
He said: "There was no one else for me. Second best is no good for me. I would have liked a wife and family, but it was not to be."
After the war he returned to astronomy and wrote his first book on the subject, Patrick Moore on the Moon, in 1952.
Moore presented the first episode of 'The Sky At Night' on 26 April 1957.
The monthly show went on to become the longest running TV show with the same presenter in history.
The last programme was broadcast on Monday.
Moore has only missed one episode since it began in 1957 when he was struck down by food poisoning.
His trademark monocle, unique delivery and occasional performances on the xylophone made him a familiar target for satirists and impressionists, but his scientific credentials were never in doubt.
The show's guests have included many prominent scientists as well as Goon Show star Michael Bentine and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
But the demands of live television have led to the occasional blooper, with Sir Patrick famously once swallowing a fly live on air.
Moore became famous with a younger generation as the talking head in 'Gamesmaster', dishing out tips and cheats to eager viewers each week.
The show ran from 1992-98.
Moore had battled ill health in recent years.
The stargazer had become wheelchair-bound and unable to look through a telescope.
Speaking to the Telegraph earlier this year, Moore said: "I can't operate my telescope anymore. My active life came to an abrupt full stop.
"I get up, drink my usual four coffees, have a look at the obituaries in The Times, and if I'm not in them, I'll get on with the day's work.
“I'm not scared of dying. I believe in some form of afterlife: I just hope my uncle George isn't there — silly, baldheaded old coot."
He died after failing to fight an infection.
The statement went on: "Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in, a few weeks ago.
"He was able to perform on his world record-holding TV Programme 'The Sky at Night' right up until the most recent episode.
"His executors and close friends plan to fulfil his wishes for a quiet ceremony of interment, but a farewell event is planned for what would have been Patrick's 90th birthday in March 2013."
Queen guitarist Brian May paid tribute to a "dear friend and a kind of father figure to me".
He said: "Patrick will be mourned by the many to whom he was a caring uncle, and by all who loved the delightful wit and clarity of his writings, or enjoyed his fearlessly eccentric persona in public life.
"Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one."
Moore, who had a pacemaker fitted in 2006, received his knighthood in 2001, won a Bafta for services to television and was a member of the Royal Society.
He wrote more than 60 books on astronomy and The Sky At Night has inspired successive generations of stargazers.
Physicist and fellow television presenter Brian Cox wrote on Twitter: "Very sad news about Sir Patrick. Helped inspire my love of astronomy. I will miss him!"
Sir Patrick Moore dies
File photo dated 16/04/12 of the British astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore at a reception to mark the 55th episode of the Sky at Night, Sir Patrick Moore has died at his home at the age of 89.
The Sky At Night
Sir Patrick Moore (left) with Brian May as he hosts a reception at the BBC Broadcasting house to mark the Sky at night 55th anniversary episode which will be screened on May 6th.
Literature - Foyles Luncheon - Dorchester Hotel, London
The Duke of Edinburgh talking to artist David Shepherd, left, and TV astronomer Patrick Moore, at a Foyles lunch given in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate publication of 'The Environmental revolution', a collection of his speeches on the environment.
Moore Brilliant Prodigies
Astronomer Sir Patrick Moore during Britain's Brilliant Prodigies 2003 awards, at the LWT Studios in London.
General Election Moore
Astronomer and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore at a General Election rally for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) at the Methodist Central Hall, central London. The party is fielding 421 candidates at the Election and claims to be the fourth largest party.
Baftas Patrick Moore
Astronomer and broadcaster Patrick Moore after receiving a special award at the British Academy Television Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Patrick Moore 80 Not Out
Astronomer and presenter of 'The Sky At Night' Patrick Moore at the Athenaeum Club in London's Pall Mall to launch his autobiography '80 Not Out', the day after his 80th Birthday.
Space Centre Moore and Sellers
Sir Patrick Moore welcomes British-born astronaut Dr. Piers Sellers during a visit to the National Space Centre, Leicester. * Dr Piers Sellers and five crew members, which recently flew to the International Space Station, are the first full flight crew from NASA to tour the UK. 1/2/03: British-born astronaut Dr. Piers Sellers, who spoke of his shock at hearing that Nasa feared the Shuttle Columbia was lost. The 47-year-old, who is originally from Crowborough, East Sussex, was watching events unfold in the skies just months after returning from a similar mission on board the shuttle Atlantis.
Honours Sir Patrick Moore
Astronomer Patrick Moore, aged 77, who has been given a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list, at his home in Selsey, West Sussex. Moore has been presenting The Sky At Night for 43 years. * ...and is honoured for his services to the popularisation of science and to broadcasting. 23/10/02 : Sir Patrick Moore at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, who spoke of his belief that immigration rules are not strict enough in this country. The Sky at Night presenter made his comments during a speech to a meeting of the charity Age Concern in Winchester, Hants. Confirming his views, Sir Patrick added today: "We are definitely over-populated and immigration should definitely be stricter."
Anti-Hunt petition Moore
Astronomer and dedicated anti-hunt campaigner, Sir Patrick Moore, delivers a petition to No 10 Downing Street renewing calls for a total ban on fox hunting. Aided by two walking sticks, a frail Sir Patrick, 78, walked up Downing Street flanked by other anti-hunt supporters *... to deliver the petition signed by 82,251individuals. Handing over the petition, the presenter of BBC's astronomy programme The Sky at Night said the public should not allow the Hunting Bill to be "sabotaged" by a group of unelected dinosaurs.
Anti-Hunt petition Moore
Astronomer and dedicated anti-hunt campaigner, Sir Patrick Moore, delivers a petition to No 10 Downing Street renewing calls for a total ban on fox hunting. Aided by two walking sticks, a frail Sir Patrick, 78, walked up Downing Street flanked by other anti-hunt supporters * ... to deliver the petition signed by 82,251individuals. Handing over the petition, the presenter of BBC's astronomy programme The Sky at Night said the public should not allow the Hunting Bill to be "sabotaged" by a group of unelected dinosaurs.
Investiture Sir Patrick Moore
Stargazer Sir Patrick Moore with his knighthood that he received from The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, in London.
TORNADO Patrick Moore
Astronomer Sir Patrick Moore stands in his garden in Selsey today (Thursday) beside his beloved telescopic observer which was badly damaged by the tornado which swept through the coastal town in West Sussex during the early hours of this morning. See PA story WEATHER Tornado. Photo by Adam Butler/PA
Astronomer Patrick Moore, flanked by GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips (right) and Wendy Turner (sister of Anthea Turner) at today's (Thursday) 1997 Arthur's Cat Awards in London. Patrick is clutching, Prudence, from Birmingham, winner of the West Midlands category with Wendy and Fiona holding Tom and Jerry, who have taken over from Pebbles and Barbie as the new mouse catchers at Barbican Tube Station. Pebbles and Barbie were unable to attend to collect their Special Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo by Ben Curtis. See PA Story AWARDS Cat.
Astronomer Patrick Moore takes a picture of the reconstructed 30 foot telescope at St Michael's RC primary school, Liverpool, as he waits for darkness to fall. The telescope is a reconstruction of the one used by William Lassell exactly 150 years ago to discover Triton, the largest of the planet Neptune's satellites. The school now stands on the site of Lassell's home in Guion Street. See PA Story SCIENCE Telescope/Pic Dave Kendall/PA.