To me, the Moon is obviously the most famous recognizable celestial body in the skies among the stars. Just gazing into the evening and night skies, it is exciting to see the phases of the Moon, the lunar eclipses, the solar eclipses, the super Moons, the blood Moons, and many other phases for the Moons among the stars.
I have worked at NASA JSC for 45 years in the Lunar Curatorial Laboratories with the samples that the Apollo astronauts brought back from the Moon from July 1969 (Apollo 11) through December 1972 (Apollo 17). The samples opened our minds to understanding how the Moon was formed and cleared many misconceptions about the formation of the Earth as well. Prior to the return of these rocks, little truth was known about the formation of the Moon.
We have lunar sample disks that are used for educational outreach including three rock samples (basalt, breccia, and anorthosite) and three soil (mare, highland, and orange) samples. I taught my nieces and nephews (at young ages), the descriptions and where they were located on the surface of the Moon. We would go outside and look into the skies at the Moon. They would always say “Ann, there’s your Moon”. I accepted that and now 40ish years later, when we are stargazing, they still call it ‘my Moon’.
Now, by working with samples that have not been opened since their return during the Apollo missions, ‘my Moon’ is even more special. Being a part of the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) team by assisting with the extrusion and dissection of samples is awesome! By touching the team that will be returning humans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond and returning more exterritorial materials to Earth is phenomenal. To Infinity and Beyond!