A group of researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have successfully grown edible food crops in soils that simulate the soil composition of the Moon and Mars. Garden cress, radish, spinach, quinoa, tomato, rye, chives, leek and peas were all harvested in this most recent study. Crops did better in the Martian soil than the lunar soil and spinach didn’t like either soil simulant. An earth soil ‘control’ was used.
The most intriguing finding from the study is that common crops can grow in Moon/mars soils simulants augmented with a compost-like supplement.
October 21st is the 96th anniversary of the first-ever planetarium show at the Deutches Museum in Munich, Germany.
Fels Planetarium was the second planetarium to open in the United States in January 1934.
October 22nd is the 4,155th anniversary of the first record of a solar eclipse. In China where prediction of eclipses for the legitimacy of the Emperor, according to legend, two court astronomers were beheaded because they failed to predict an eclipse in 2136 BCE. Today mathematicians have calculated every eclipse from 1990 BCE to 3000! The next solar eclipse in the US is April 8, 2024. However, there won’t be another solar eclipse visible in Philadelphia until 2079. The last total eclipse in Philadelphia took place in 1478.
The Orionid meteor shower peak arrives Tuesday morning. They’re very fast not so bright but leave persistent trails for several seconds. 10-20/hour and there are occasional bight ones that break up into fragments. Jupiter and Saturn are still holding court in the evening, with Venus just poking up from the west after sunset. In the pre-dawn sky, Mars weakly shows in the East around 6:30am.