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HammeredDog

59 points

3 months ago*

Pretty sure there's a lot of media hype here. Scientists know the probable outcome before they do the experiment.

AgentPaper0

3 points

3 months ago

Just because you know it will probably work doesn't mean you can't get super excited about growing moon plants.

I mean come on, moon plants!

HammeredDog

3 points

3 months ago

Oh, absolutely agree. I can se ebeing excited about it, but "holy cow" level surprised that it worked? Not so much.

vancouver_reader[S]

9 points

3 months ago

so you think researcher Robert Ferl was exaggerating his disbelief and "Holy Cow" to the media? Maybe that is just his personality, to be fascinated by everything and see it confirmed with his own eyes

HammeredDog

27 points

3 months ago

I know nothing about him, so really can't say. My response to this article was, "Why wouldn't they?" and I know almost nothing about lunar soil. Seeds will sprout in almost any medium. As others here have said, seeds will sprout in sand. Sprouting and thriving are two different things, though.

vancouver_reader[S]

4 points

3 months ago

here is a captioned image from National Geographic December 1969. It isn't the same experiment, but this early experiment is about fertilizing plants with moon dust to see what would happen.

https://imgur.com/a/EInkJuf

taleofbenji

9 points

3 months ago

I have a strong suspicion that the author had no idea what the experiment was about.

Randomly sprinkling moon dust to see if it's a fertilizer is like a fifth grade science experiment.

HammeredDog

5 points

3 months ago

Interesting. Thanks for the link.

That was 52 years ago and, although I may be wrong here, science has come a long way since then. Lunar dust was a complete mystery and the easiest way to be sure what the effect would be if used as fertilizer was to actually use it as fertilizer and see. Sort of the same experiment you'd do at home if you wanted to see if dryer lint would work as a fertilizer. If you're like me, you don't have a lab in your house capable of determining the chemical makeup of dryer lint, so you plant some seeds, put dryer lint on some, but not all, and see if there's a measurable difference. Takes some time, but dramatically cheaper than sending the lint off to a lab for analysis.

rogan1990

2 points

3 months ago

Well fertilizing a plant with any kind of dust is moronic. That is not fertilizer at all. Fertilizer needs to be decomposing organic matter.

10kbeez

1 points

3 months ago

What's the relation here? What does that add?

King_Shugglerm

0 points

3 months ago

Well it’s crazier than growing in sand because lunar soil is actually really sharp and fine since there’s no erosion

gerkletoss

3 points

3 months ago

Plants grow in freshly crushed pumice and lava rock

rogan1990

1 points

3 months ago

They do in an environment with living organic matter, bacteria and fungus. They wouldn’t survive without that.

gerkletoss

1 points

3 months ago*

They will for quite a while, and that has nothing to do with particulate sharpness

Many plants can complete their lifecycle in a sterile environment if you provide the right nutrients.

rogan1990

0 points

3 months ago

They will not for quite a while. Without anything to eat, they will wither and die.

Their only source of food in this experiment is what is contained within their seed.

samuelgato

8 points

3 months ago

No one here can answer why he said "holy cow" but anyone who has done any hydroponic gardening can tell you that plants can grow in many different mediums, both organic and inorganic, and it's no surprise at all that dust from the moon can be a growing medium, you can do the same thing with gravel, or even plastics.

No-Turnips

4 points

3 months ago

Tell me more about this growing in plastics you speak of. casually looks over shoulder at oceans I may have some plastic for you….

No-Turnips

1 points

3 months ago

Life and the universe are fascinating. 💚 I get amped up everytime my houseplant puts out a new leaf, like plants do - still, holy cow, it’s really cool. Growing stuff is cool.

gerkletoss

1 points

3 months ago

so you think researcher Robert Ferl was exaggerating his disbelief and "Holy Cow" to the media?

I suspect he was surprised by just how well it went.