Geologist James Carter , expert on moon minerals, died yesterday


It is with sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr James Carter. Among other discoveries, Carter examined thousands of samples of moon dust that were brought back to earth and was the expert on how minerals were formed on the moon. Because of the very different history of the moon and the earth, he was able to discover new forms of minerals.

On last Friday we were privileged to have Carter speak to the ATEC ArtSciLab Watering Hole Seminar about his unfinished research projects. He electrified the audience, aged 16 to 70 about some minerals with strange forms that were still unexplained; he generously offered to share the data with the artists and scientists in the audience. We proposed to collaborate with him to understand the mysterious minerals shaped like small rectangular pillars , with spherical forms on top of them; using artscience collaboration. I hope they will be named after him once their formation and nature is understood. And new building structures and sculpures are made that are inspired by these un explained extraterrestial minerals

Here is a photos of James Carter taken at the salon at the home of Linda Anderson after the watering hole; the night before he died.

For me his talk was an emotional moment. He was a striking exemplar of the new sciences made possible thanks in large part to the Caltech rocket scientists led by Theodore Von Karman, Frank Malina and colleagues who went on to found NASA JPL and Aerojet General. The peaceful exploration of outer space by scientists was their goal. And now a new generation of civilian and citizen rocket scientists are at work.

Yes geology is now an extraterrestial science: Carter was like a new
Theophrastus , the aAthenian who made the greatest progress in antiquity in his work On Stones. He described many minerals and ores both from local mines such as those at Laurium near Athens, and further afield. He also quite naturally discussed types of marble and building materials like limestones, and attempted a primitive classification of the properties of minerals by their properties such as hardness.

Again with Carter’s studies of moon dust, geology is a new science.

Roger Malina
For more info on Carter’s career read below

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