Art and science collide in a new exhibit presented by ASU, True North Studio and Downtown Phoenix’s monOrchid gallery.
The free exhibition will display beautiful black and white images captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), a series of three cameras mounted on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The LRO is a NASA spacecraft that launched in 2009 and was designed to support a human return to the moon. LROC is tasked with identifying potential human landing sites, studying the light conditions at polar-craters and gaining a better understanding of radiation hazards.
The images will be on display from Friday, July 19 through Friday, August 16. On Saturday, July 20, a panel will take place, in which experts will lead a discussion about space exploration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Space Mission.
Dr. Mark Robinson of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration is the principal investigator of LROC. Every Friday during the exhibition, Robinson will conduct a walking tour of the display from 7 to 8 p.m.
“What started as an experiment, nearly 10 years ago, has turned into an incredible success story of space discovery that we are excited to bring to the monOrchid,” says Robinson. “The cameras have allowed us to create the first detailed ultraviolet maps of the moon and we’ve gained new insights into the physics of impact crater formation, the discovery of very young volcanic features and even confirmation that the moon is shrinking.”
The photographs also reveal the dramatic diversity and ethereal mystery of the moon’s landscape.
“To me, the moon is an alluring destination, somewhere I want to go and explore,” says Robinson. “It is my hope that the LROC images will reveal a moon that you never knew existed, a place that you too might like to visit. There is no doubt in my mind that humans will someday return to the moon, and then move outward to Mars and beyond. The big questions are — when and by whom?”
Opening night is Friday, July 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. Starting Saturday, July 20, the exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
214 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, 602-253-0339, monorchid.com