ASTRONOMER Patrick Moore became a star in his own right when he visited Manchester and swopped his telescope for a xylophone. He teamed up with two top pop stars and performed on his favourite musical instrument in front of 200 cheering schoolchildren. Patrick better known for his knowledge of planets and pulsars than percussion, gave a masterful performance. "I've never had a lesson in my life, but I have played at a Royal Command Performance," he said. He was at Manchester University for an event to promote science among youngsters - and show them it can be fun. He teamed up with ex-member of chart group D:REAM, Brian Cox, a particle physics graduate from Manchester University, and record producer and 808 State member Graham Massey. Before his musical interlude Patrick gave the students - from schools all over the north west - a potted history of the universe and introduced them to a series of experiments showing how the earth is bombarded with high energy particles from space. The two-day event at the Schuster Laboratory brings together in unlikely harmony the worlds of particle physics, astronomy and modern music. It is aimed at encouraging more children to take science A-levels, and go on to study the subject at university. It was given the title Party Up The World - the New Face of Science, after the title of D:REAM's latest single.

Patrick said: "I totally approve of what they are trying to do."

And Brian, who gave up the world of pop to become a research student, added: "I want to present young people with my view of the world of physics, a world populated by colourful characters and ideas at the very forefront of our understanding of the universe."

Manchester Evening News, 10th October 1995