Soil on the Moon
Now that we know more about soil on Earth, what about soil on the Moon? There are two types of terrain on the Moon: areas filled with craters (called the highlands) and smooth areas (called the maria). Craters are bowl-shaped marks on the Moon's surface that were made after the Moon was hit by large objects, such as meteors. The maria are craters that were flooded and filled with molten lava. The surface of the moon is mostly covered with regolith, a mixture of fine dust and rocky debris made by meteor impacts. Regolith can be called the "soil" of the Moon. The look and feel of regolith is different from place to place on the Moon and is deeper in some places than in others.
What about Moon rocks? The rocks of the Moon were formed when lava cooled and hardened many years ago. How are rocks on the Moon different than on Earth? Remember, the Moon has no atmosphere or weather. So rocks on the Moon are not eroded by wind, water, or ice.
To soil or not to soil
Do plants really need to have soil in order to get water, air and nutrients? Maybe not. Many new vegetable farms are using a system to grow plants called hydroponics. In hydroponics, plants can get some things they need to live without the use of soil. The plant food in a hydroponic garden is given to the plants by mixing natural fertilizers in water to make a 'nutrient solution'. The plant roots may be put on a block or tube that allows air to flow around the roots. In aeroponics the roots are constantly sprayed with a nutrient-rich solution.
Entry 20: In your Agronaut log, write down what you think some of the advantages and disadvantages are to growing plants without soil.
Unscramble the words below to find three things plants need that are provided in the soil. Make sure to write these three things in the table in your Agronaut Log (Entry 17)
1) rtwea __________________________
2) ira ___________________
3) stnuiernt __________________________
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