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Share Your Story • Ben Haller • February 18, 2014

It started with a Moon

As a child I always loved science fiction and my toys, as well as my favorite movies, reflected that intensely. Despite my love for space it wasn't until I was maybe 10 years old that I actually looked towards the sky.

Sure I'd seen the Moon and stars before but one night in particular I had borrowed my father's binoculars which were fairly nice since he was and still is an avid bird watcher. I decided to go outside and noticed a nearly full Moon was up in the high eastern sky. I went over to the hood of the car and rested my elbows on the hood and peered at the Moon and saw it for the "first" time. What was once little more than a bright and bleached out disc in the sky was instantly transformed into a unique and diverse world of its own! Clearly now spherical and loaded with craters and smooth plains along with massive ridges that crested the horizon, I for the first time saw another world with my own eyes! I felt excitement from the realization of how real of a place the Moon was, and that my world became vastly bigger and more rich because of this observation.

When I decided to go back inside I immediately informed my parents I wanted a telescope for my next birthday and they came through several months later. I received a six inch Newtonian by Meade that year and it nurtured my love of the Moon and space for over 16 years. I still have that telescope today and use it when I can get the time to do so.

I am currently striving for my B.S. in Geology with an ultimate goal of obtaining a masters in Geochemistry. I knew all my life I would most certainly never get the chance to walk on the surface of another world so I decided I would understand them the best I could. Planetary geology has held my interest for many years but it wasn't until recently that I decided to make it my life's work. My great grandmother once said to me, "Love what you do."; and I intend to do just that.

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