Democrat congresswoman incorrectly tells schoolchildren that moon is "made up mostly of gases"
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Quick Hit:

During an eclipse event at Booker T. Washington High School in Houston, Texas Monday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee made puzzling remarks about the moon’s composition, incorrectly suggesting it was "made up mostly of gases." This statement diverged sharply from established astronomical facts, sparking both amusement and concern over public understanding of basic space science.

Key Details:

  • The comments were made as Jackson Lee participated in a community event focused on Monday's eclipse, aiming to engage and educate attendees about astronomical phenomena.

  • Lee, a former member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, described the moon as a "complete rounded circle, which is made up mostly of gases," a description that inaccurately represents the moon's solid, rocky nature.

  • The incident underscores the importance of accurate scientific communication, especially by public figures, in educational settings where misconceptions can significantly impact public understanding and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Diving Deeper:

The celestial backdrop of a lunar eclipse at Booker T. Washington High School in Houston provided a unique opportunity for community engagement with space science. However, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's remarks about the moon's composition ventured into the realm of scientific inaccuracy, highlighting a surprising gap in common astronomical knowledge.

Contrary to the congresswoman's statements, the moon is a solid body composed of rock and minerals, not gases. It lacks an atmosphere capable of supporting life as we know it, which directly contradicts the possibility of human habitation based on its composition. The moon's solid surface, marked by craters, mountains, and plains, has been studied extensively through lunar missions and robotic explorers, providing a wealth of data about its geological makeup.


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