Sheila Jackson Lee Says Moon Is a ‘Planet’ That’s ‘Made Up of Mostly Gases,’ But Things Only Get Worse When She Tries to Correct It

Sheila Jackson Lee Says Moon Is a ‘Planet’ That’s ‘Made Up of Mostly Gases,’ But Things Only Get Worse When She Tries to Correct It

One would hope that elected officials would know more about astronomy than the average middle schooler.

Well, despite having served as the U.S. Representative for Texas’ 18th Congressional District since 1995, up to and including leading the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee, Sheila Jackson Lee apparently did not.

Instead she made a series of absurd statements about the sun and the moon during the April 8 solar eclipse that earned her widespread mockery on social media.

The day of the eclipse, Jackson Lee was addressing a group of high school students at Booker T. Washington High School in Houston, Texas, as seen in this video originally shared to the social media platform X.

To begin with, Jackson Lee told students that the moon provides “unique light and energy,” which it does not.

It should be common knowledge that the moon reflects the light off the sun, producing no light or energy of its own.

She then continued, saying that “You’ve heard the word ‘full moon.’ Sometimes, you need to take the opportunity just to come out and see a full moon is that a complete-rounded circle, which is made up mostly of gases.”

Was she talking about Jupiter or the moon?

Jackson Lee, however, oblivious to her egregious faux pas, continued, telling the students that “And that’s why the question is: Why or how could we as humans live on the moon? Are the gases such that we could do that?”


And, believe it or not, Jackson Lee’s subsequent statements only served to more amply demonstrate her astounding ignorance.

Jackson Lee told students that “The sun is a mighty powerful heat, but it’s almost impossible to go near the sun. The moon is more manageable,” and that “you will see … in a couple of years, that NASA is going back to the moon.”

Toward the end of the original clip, Jackson Lee then mentioned that the moon is “another planet which we’re going to see shortly.”

And, as Australian news site pointed out, the moon does not meet the three criteria to be a planet, as she claimed, since it doesn’t orbit a star, doesn’t clear away other objects in its orbit, and isn’t big enough to have a spherical shape.


In light of these spectacularly off-base comments (not a first from her, since, according to Fox News, she once lashed out at NASA staffers when they informed her there was no flag on Mars), Jackson Lee was rightly thrashed by the good folks on X.

Jackson Lee retweeted the video in an attempt to save face, claiming that she “misspoke and meant to say the sun, but as usual, Republicans are focused on stupid things instead of stuff that really matters,” before going off on how she cared about the usual liberal talking points like affordable housing and student loan debt.

Social media commenters were not letting her off the hook.

As many users pointed out, “How we gonna live on the sun, Sheila???,” and “So you were talking about humans living on the sun instead?”

Others likewise pointed out that “Like you misspoke as ranking member of the science and aeronautics committee if Mars Pathfinder took a photo of where Neil Armstrong placed the flag,” and “We are focused on the important issues, like having competent people representing us in Washington who are expected to vote on our behalf.”

Shouldn’t the people elected to Congress, especially those heading the space subcommittee, know that the moon is not made of gas and that the sun and the moon are not planets?

Those two celestial bodies should be easy to tell apart — one of them is essentially a large rock orbiting the earth, and the other is the center of our solar system, as well as the brightest object within it.

Shouldn’t Jackson Lee have known that at the bare minimum?

People like Jackson Lee have been the ones making decisions, creating laws and funding programs that include space operations.

One would hope that, at the least, they could understand these basic scientific facts before making decisions at the highest level of government.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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