10/365 Moon Rocks


Last night.  Full moon at perigee.

Wish I had captured it lower on the horizon so that it was bigger in the frame, but impressed with detail.

A history lesson…..

To those of you that have known me or have been reading me for awhile, it is no surprise/news that I am a little obsessed astronomy.  Truth be told, I am not really as  “obsessed” with astronomy (I haven’t kept up with recent discoveries and news as much as I would have liked)  as I am with discovery,  astronomy history, and space exploration.  I am even more interested in geology.  So, last night, taking pictures of the moon, my thoughts turned to Lee Silver (not Lee Silver the controversial author of Challenging Nature and Remaking Eden, Lee Silver Caltech Geologist).

Lee Silver was a Caltech geologist that was a former professor of Jack Schmitt, an astronaut.  Schmitt approached Silver and asked him if he would be willing to teach astronauts geology for the upcoming lunar missions.  Geology was a huge part of the Apollo missions.  One of the goals was to find out the origin of the moon.  Geology was THE way to do that.  Silver agreed, although Jim Lovell and Fred Haise ( of Apollo 13) began training under him with hesitation.

Silver quickly engaged the astronauts.  You see, in addition to being a brilliant geologist, Silver was an even better teacher. He realized that he wasn’t dealing with geologists.  He was dealing with test pilots, test pilots at the top of their game and trained in the sciences, but test pilots nonetheless.  Instead of throwing terms and geologic chemistry at them, he took them to the field. He showed them how to observe and what to look for when on the moon.  He engaged them, entertained them, and trained them to be some fine planetary geologists.  Unfortunately, Lovell and Haise never made it to the surface of the moon  (you all know the story).  However, David Scott and James Irwin, who were also trained by Silver, did.  And they returned with the “genesis rock” per Silver’s training.

The Lee Silver story fascinates me in so many ways.  But first and foremost, he strikes me as a teacher.  A teacher who was able to break through and make make guys with their head in the clouds love what they could find beneath their feet. Everyday as a teacher, I strived to do just that.  Everyday, as a mother, I continue to try to instill that sense of wonder and enthusiasm into my own children.  Hopefully, I succeed as well as he did.

If you really want to see this inspirational story played out, rent From the Earth to the Moon series.  The Lee Silver/Apollo 15 mission is called “Galileo Was Right”.  I GUARENTEE that you will be movedHell, if you are like me, you might even shed a tear.

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4 Responses to “10/365 Moon Rocks”

  1. followthatdog 10 January 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    I love that photo, it’s beautiful as it is. And I’m going to check out your recommendation.

    followthatdog’s last blog post..Other things that make my stomach ache.


  2. Heather 10 January 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    Wow, that shot is beautiful.

    Heather’s last blog post..


  3. Kerry 11 January 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    Wasn’t that moon amazing?

    Kerry’s last blog post..


  4. [...] campers from a bee attack on my way to an awaiting rocket.  I blast off to fulfill my dream of teaching geology from the moon, sending my photos of the heavens home to Earth, inspiring world peace and [...]

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