The Book of Moon
The Book of Moon Jamie Molaro

It’s a tradition among many grad students to burn a copy of their Ph.D. thesis after successfully defending it. When planetary scientist and artist Jamie Molaro finished her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona, she opted for a different form of catharsis. “My thesis focused on how rocks weather and break down on the Moon, so from the pages, I carved a cratered lunar landscape,” said Molaro. She used data from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to carve accurate, detailed lunar topography into her thesis, page by page. “It juxtaposes the science behind the breakdown process with the beauty of the landscape it helps to produce. You can also see the text and figures on the pages peek through the topography. So, the pages of the thesis also reveal the scientific process, juxtaposing the creation of knowledge with the creation of art.”