NASA moon rocks, meteorites come to Bertha Bartlett Public Library

Herald Staff
NASA-certified moon rocks and meteorites. Photo contributed by the Bertha Bartlett Public Library

Science geeks of all ages are invited to come to the Bertha Bartlett Public Library and inspect real moon rocks and meteorites up close and personal.

The lunar and meteorite samples are on loan directly from NASA. Patrons of all ages will be able to inspect the rocks in protective disks.

Your chance to view the cosmic relics is from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 9. The moon rock and meteorite viewing is free.

The Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program is intended for libraries, museums, K-12 classrooms and planetariums.

Bertha Bartlett Public Library is partnering with Virginia Swenson, a certified moon rock handler, for an open viewing of NASA moon rocks and meteorites brought back to Earth from the six Apollo missions.

Swenson, a mathematics teacher at DMACC West Campus, will be on hand to facilitate the viewing and answer questions about the samples.

Between 1969 and 1972, six Apollo missions returned with 842 pounds of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface.

The six space flights brought back 2,200 separate samples from six different exploration sites on the Moon, according to NASA. The samples are housed in a special sample building at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Nearly 400 pristine lunar samples are prepared and distributed each year for research and teaching projects.

Study of the lunar samples brought back by the Apollo missions continue to yield fascinating information about the moon, which is believed to be formed from debris knocked off the earth 4.4 billion years ago by a planetary body the size of Mars.

The Bertha Bartlett Public Library is located at 503 Broad St., Story City.