A star emerged from TCU’s Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Gallery when the director of the gallery appeared on the pilot episode of a new science TV show. Teresa Moss, director of the Monnig Meteorite Gallery, appeared on the first episode of “Wired Science,” a PBS series that debuted nationally Jan. 3.
“Wired Science” is “a new show about science, technology, adventure and innovation,” according to a PBS press release.
Moss appeared in the “Meteorite Hunters” segment of the show.
Senior Producer David Axelrod said he chose the Monnig Meteorite Gallery because “it has one of the best collections of pallasite meteorites, which come from Brehnam, (Kan.,) the type of meteor they were hunting.”
Axelrod also said they had a choice of planetariums in Chicago and New York, but they chose TCU because they were filming in Dallas.
In the segment, Moss took the host of the show, Senior Editor Adam Rogers, into the gallery and explained the different types of meteorites and how they differ.
Previously, the Monnig Meteorite Gallery has been featured on local news shows, newspapers and other publications, Moss said.
Moss said, since the pilot episode aired, the gallery has received a large number of phone calls and e-mails from people who think they have meteorites.
“People are coming out of the woodwork, thinking they have meteorites,” gallery Curator Arthur Ehlmann said.
In the past 10 years, he said he has only received two real meteorites out of hundreds of possibilities.
Axelrod said the program had failures with their cameras while shooting at TCU.
“If the university hadn’t lent us a camera, then the shoot at Monnig probably wouldn’t have been in the show,” Axelrod said.
Axelrod worked with executive producer Tod Mesirow, who also produced Myth Busters” and “Monster Garage.”
“It’s an honor to represent the gallery,” Moss said. “It’s nerve racking because I don’t like cameras, but it’s an honor to represent Oscar Monnig and his love for science.”
Oscar E. Monnig is one of the pioneers of meteorite collecting, Moss said. Monnig donated his meteorite gallery to TCU in the mid-70s.
The gallery, located in the Sid Richardson Building, is the second largest collection among American universities and the 13th largest in the world.