NASA-funded Halsey exhibit explores lunar history


From Galileo to Google Moon

Galileo created the first telescope in the 17th century, and now, 400 years later, we’ve got Google Moon, an application that allows users to get a live satellite view of the lunar surface. In 2009, scientists found water on the moon, and College of Charleston Professor Cassandra Runyon was one of the lead scientists in the discovery. The following spring, she received a NASA grant to mount a moon exhibition, and she asked Halsey director Mark Sloan to curate. The result is the Halsey’s large-scale exhibition, From the Moon: Mapping & Exploration, which offers viewers a comprehensive examination of our relationship with our “sister sphere.”

Materials on loan for the exhibition include photographs, historic maps, books, and globes from places like Brown University’s Northeast Planetary Data Center and NASA’s Lunar Science Institute, along with an early refracting telescope from the College of Charleston’s historic observatory in the dome of Randolph Hall. “The beauty of the photographs is stunning, and comparing those with Galileo’s painstakingly hand-drawn maps is amazing,” says Project Manager Laura Moses. There’s even an actual moon rock on hand: Lunar sample No. 15555, 462 (032) was brought back on Apollo 15 and is approximately 3.3 billion years old.

Part of the exhibit includes a 13-minute film montage called Homage to the Voyage to the Moon created by local videographer John Reynolds and composer Bill Carson. The “homage” refers to the 1902 silent French film Le Voyage Dans La Lune, which depicted a fantasy exploration by six men. The Halsey film has taken the original and interspersed it with NASA footage in a way that mimics the plot line of the French explorers. Inside the small, darkened viewing room of the science building, the excitement is freshly palpable, as if you’ve just landed there yourself.

Part two of the exhibition, “Myth & Mystery,” focuses more on the arts and humanities through religion, pop culture, and folklore and will follow in 2013. “The Halsey sees itself as an extension of the College,” Sloan says, “not just in the arts but in political science, environmentalism, and the sciences. It is the nexus on campus for the discussion of the interrelatedness of all these disciplines. There is a broad application of what the idea of art might be, and how it ties in with the liberal arts. This exhibition is an effort to show how the arts and sciences probe and answer tough questions.” — Amy Stockwell Mercer

Support the Charleston City Paper

We’ve been covering Charleston since 1997 and plan to be here with the latest and Best of Charleston for many years to come. In a time where local journalism is struggling, the City Paper is investing in the future of Charleston as a place where diverse, engaging views can flourish. We can't do it without our readers. If you'd like to support local, independent journalism:

UP NEXT FROM

FEATURE

Terrace Theater giving away 100 tickets each weekend for ‘The Croods’

Heath Ellison

The Terrace Theater will give away 100 tickets for family film The Croods 2: A New Age each weekend through Dec. 20.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

SC cases over 2,400 Friday, ‘a pivotal point,’ health officials say

As South Carolina notched the all-time high number of positive coronavirus cases on Friday, state health officials are calling this “a pivotal point in this pandemic” in the state and nationally. On Friday, 2,470 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported, with another 90 suspected cases and 29 deaths, according to the state Department of Health […]

Glizzy tells the truth on ‘Revelations’

Rapper Glizzy released the music video for her latest single, “Revelations” on Dec. 2.

12/4 COVID-19 update: 2,470 cases; 23.8% positive; 29 deaths

COVID-19 updates: South Carolina health officials reported 1,754 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 29 additional confirmed deaths. With 11,569 tests reported Friday, 21.4% were positive. As of 4:11 p.m. Dec. 4, via S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control: Confirmed cases in S.C.: 210,995 (+1,754)Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 20,459 (+99)Negative tests in S.C.: 2,439,341Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 4,175 […]

‘Let’s figure this out’: Charleston businesswomen leverage social media during the pandemic

One group of Charleston entrepreneurs has been leveraging their connections through women’s s business groups on Instagram and Facebook to find the best ways to stay afloat amid the pandemic. “I just think, as a business owner, it’s nice to get an idea out there,” said Becki Bowman, the local business owner who has headed […]