Museum exhibiting moon rock collected by Apollo 15

It weighs only four ounces, but a new-on-exhibit moon rock looms large at Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville.

Tellus claims its long-sought lunar sample is the largest moon rock on exhibit in Georgia. Collected by Astronaut Dave Scott during the Apollo 15 lunar mission in 1971, the original rock weighed about 21 pounds. Officially designated Lunar Sample 15555, it was nicknamed “Great Scott” in honor of its collector.

The mother rock was sliced for analysis and to create exhibits like the one in Cartersville. The sample given to Tellus was prepared in the Lunar Sample Receiving Lab at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, and transported by museum staffers Amy Gramsey and Julian Gray.

On permanent exhibit in Tellus’ Science in Motion Gallery, the moon rock is being shown alongside three Apollo artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum: an Apollo Lunar Module ascent rocket engine, a lunar sample return container and a geological hammer.

Brownish-gray in color and containing many small cavities, the sample is basalt, an igneous rock composed of pyroxene, plagioclase feldspar and olivine. Through radiogenicmethods, it has been dated at 3.3 billion years old.

The Apollo 15 mission was the first to use the Lunar Rover, a vehicle that allowed the astronauts to explore parts of the landing site a distance from their base camp. The crew, which traveled 17 miles during three EVAs (extravehicular activities or moonwalks), brought back a record haul of rocks, soil and core samples, totaling 169 pounds.

The museum is at 100 Tellus Drive (Exit 293 off I-75), Cartersville. 770-606-5700,


ASO to ring in gift of bronze church bells

As an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra percussionist from 1954 to 2003, Eugene Allen Rehm Jr. had an impressively long impact on the ensemble’s sound — and his gifts keep giving.

Two enormous bronze church bells commissioned by Rehm’s estate, will debut during ASO concerts Jan. 23-26 at Symphony Hall.

Rehm, whose career extended long enough for him to have performed and recorded under the batons of ASO maestros Robert Shaw, Yoel Levi and Robert Spano, made principal percussionist Tom Sherwood his estate’s executor before his death in 2010. Sherwood decided to commit the funds to Rehm’s two passions: percussion and cats.

“Knowing he was a percussionist, I thought it was fitting to center that gift around buying percussion equipment which would make our section substantive,” Sherwood said.

Weighing roughly 1,400 and 550 pounds, the bells were cast in the Netherlands by Petit & Fritsen, a foundry dating to 1660. Becoming one of only a few sets in the U.S., they will premiere during during Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

The ASO also secured a five-octave marimba and a three-octave set of tuned gongs funded by Rehm’s estate. (The other donation went to Furkids, a non-kill animal shelter and rescue facility.)

Spano will conduct the three concerts, featuring the ASO debut of pianist Wu Han, Musical America’s 2012 Musician of the Year, playing Britten’s Piano Concerto.

Details, tickets:

Peach State to stage Mozart farce

Peach State Opera, founded in 2009 to provide performance opportunities for emerging singers and to bring productions to communities that otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience professional-caliber live opera, will present “Cosi fan tutte” on Jan. 11 at Avondale Estates First Baptist Church.

The company, an artist affiliate of Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston, also will give late January performances of the Mozart farce in Brunswick and Toccoa.

Following up on 2013’s well-attended “Madame Butterfly” concerts, artistic director Evelyn Hughes has cast singers from across the country for the fully staged and costumed “Cosi fan tutte.” It will be sung in English at the 3 p.m. Avondale Estates performance (47 Covington Road).

Tickets — $22, $20 ages 60 and older, $10 students — via Holiday special: get $5 off adult/senior tickets by entering the code "DISGUISE."


New shows on the boards in January

Their coffers replenished after productions of holiday favorites, a number of Atlanta theater groups are opening new shows as soon as the new year dawns. Here are just a few of the highlights from a busy January metro playbill:

  • "Stan the Lovesick Snowman," adapted and directed by artistic director Jon Ludwig from Hans Christian Andersen's short story "The Snow Man," runs Jan. 2 through Feb. 2 at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Husband and wife puppeteers Tim and Amy Sweeney portray 13 characters in the family show suitable for ages 4 and up. 1404 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-873-3391,
  • Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the New American Shakespeare Tavern opens "Timon of Athens" on Jan. 3 (through Jan. 25) and "The Taming of the Shrew" on Jan. 5 (through March 29). They will run in repertory with "Romeo and Juliet" and "Much Ado About Nothing." 499 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-874-5299,
  • Georgia Ensemble Theatre premieres Atlanta playwright Topher Payne's "The Only Light in Reno," Jan. 9 through 26. The comedy is set during filming of "The Misfits," the 1961 drama whose cast included Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-641-1260,
  • The Alliance Theatre premieres Atlanta playwright Janece Shaffer's "The Geller Girls," set during the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, a time of promise for the city as embodied by one fictional family. The run is Jan. 15 through Feb. 9. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-5000,