CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

May 6, 2012

Moon Rocks


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MOON ROCKS

     The rock fragments, encased in Lucite, were passed around classrooms in eleven Fayette County, Pennsylvania, classrooms. I was fortunate to be present when students at Geibel Elementary School explored them.

     In 2002 the rocks were on loan from the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. They were released to Captain Tony Henderson, head of Geibel School’s science department and a captain and aerospace officer of the US Air Force Auxiliary.

The rocks were so valuable that Henderson had to keep them in her possession at all times.

“I even have to take them to the bathroom with me,” she joked,* and noted that the rock fragments were small because it takes a lot of fuel to run the space shuttle, so it couldn’t carry large rocks.

     Henderson explained how moon rocks and earth rocks differ: Moon rocks have no fossils because there is no life as far as we know it on the moon…and they contain no water because no water exists on the moon. The Lucite surrounding the rock samples is intended to prevent air exposure that would change the rock’s composition.

     The light color of the rocks is due to northocite, which is 4.6 billion years old. The name refers to the first book of the Bible, Genesis.

     The moon has three minerals: tranquillityite, pyroxferrate, and armalcomile. The latter is named for the first three men on the moon—Niel Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, according to Henderson. Titanium, unique and common to the moon, gives the moon soil its orange color.

     From earth man can only see one side of the moon, according to Henderson, due to the way it rotates.

     The lunar landing site was the Taurus-Littrow highlands and valley area, (a) site picked for Apollo 17 as a location where rocks both older and younger than those previously returned from other Apollo missions and from the Luna 16 and 20 missions might be found.**

     If you look into the moon’s face, and find its left eye, that is Taurus Literow, according to Henderson. That is basically where the rocks came from.

     Although earth people cannot see the backside of the moon, Henderson said We have been on the dark side of the moon.  It has a lot more potholes and craters.

     Henderson said that when the first men in Apollo 11 mission, launched July 16, 1969, landed on the moon, there was one minute of total silence…It was thought communication was lost.

“Aldrin was so elated God got him there he turned off communication,” she said. “During that minute he had communion on the moon with freeze dried wine and bread. And a chalice designed like the moon.

     It was elating to view and examine rocks from the moon, just one opportunity I was handed while being a free lance writer for numerous newspapers.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

AMERICA’S FIRST MANNED HOT AIR BALLOON

THE AMAZING BEAVER

‘Find the Herb & Spice’ Quiz

Is Your Table Big Enough? If not, add a leaf…: https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/is-your-table-big-enough-if-not-add-a-leaf/

Smiles Wanted!https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/smiles-wanted/

~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

SOURCES:

*News article submitted to, and ultimately published, the Fay-West section of the Tribune Review, Greensburg, PA, February 2, 2002

** lunar landing site was the Taurus-Littrow highlands and valley area. This site was picked for Apollo 17 as a location where rocks both older and younger than those previously returned from other Apollo missions and from the Luna 16 and 20 missions might be found.

** http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/history/apollo/apollo-17/apollo-17.html

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