trouvelot-crater

Outcrops at the edge of an impact crater on the floor of the much-larger Trouvelot Crater on the planet Mars, named for French astronomer, amateur entomologist, and artist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot. Though he spent his latter years producing thousands of astronomical illustrations, M. Trouvelot is more (in)famous for his role in accidentally introducing the European gypsy moth to North America. In the late 1860s he imported gypsy moth eggs to his home in Medford, Massachusetts, intending to cross-breed silk-producing moths with the disease resistant pests. Some of the insects escaped from his backyard and began to spread and multiply. By now, the pests cause an estimated $868 million per year in damage to trees of North America.

M. Trouvelot’s misfortune in his entomological endeavours led him to pursue a new career in astronomical observation and illustration, beginning in the 1870s (image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona).

At the edge of the Vallis Alpes on the Moon lies Trouvelot Crater (center right in this image), named for French astronomer, amateur entomologist, and artist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot. Though he spent his latter years producing thousands of astronomical illustrations, M. Trouvelot is more (in)famous for his role in accidentally introducing the European gypsy moth to North America. In the late 1860s he imported gypsy moth eggs to his home in Medford, Massachusetts, intending to cross-breed silk-producing moths with the disease resistant pests. Some of the insects escaped from his backyard and began to spread and multiply. By now, the pests cause an estimated $868 million per year in damage to trees of North America.

M. Trouvelot’s misfortune in his entomological endeavours led him to pursue a new career in astronomical observation and illustration, beginning in the 1870s (image credit: NASA/Lunar Orbiter 4/Lunar Planetary Institute).