An exhibition for a piece of moon rock opened at the National Museum in Phnom Penh yesterday to help visitors understand science.
The goodwill measure was launched by the American embassy in Cambodia and the museum.
Embassy cultural affairs officer Monica Davis said the exhibition aimed to spark the imagination of young Cambodians and encourage them to like science.
“We want Cambodian youth to understand science,” she said. “America was the first country to the moon in 1969.”
National Museum director Kong Vireak said the Goodwill Moon Rock Exhibition would attract many visitors.
“We want to encourage Cambodian people, especially youth, to expand their minds and understand why people would travel to the moon,” he said.
The embassy said the rock at the National Museum was collected during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 led by Eugene Cernan.
He, along with his fellow astronaut Harrison Schmitt, landed in the Taurus-Littrow Valley, southeast of the Mare Serenitatis, from where they dedicated their collection of lunar samples to the young people of the world.
High school student Chum Kanal, 18, said he was excited to see the moon rock in person rather than just in images on the internet.
“It is very hard for scientists to travel to the moon and bring it to earth. I want to see it with my eyes because it is rare to see it,” he said.
The rock on show is composed of basalt. Unlike basalt from earth, which is about 200 million years old, this sample is much older at about 3.7 billion years old.