Chinese scientists have released this image of the cotton plant germinated in its moon reservoir on the Chang's # 4 trigger. The picture was taken on January 7, 2019.
Credit: Chongqing University [1
Yes, the plants were stinking compared to plants for land control. But they had just survived the cosmos and had a difficult journey to the moon and grew in the low gravity and high radiation of the extraterrestrial space. They were the first plants ever to have grown on the moon surface. None of the other species that made the journey with them showed similar signs of life.
Now they are dead.
At a press conference today (January 16th), Project Leader Liang Halong explained the death of plants in their small, distant country, Hong Kong Times reports. fell in the area on the far side of the moon, where Chang-e-4 sits, temperatures fell to 5.7-lbs. (2.6 kilograms) of a mini biosphere. Hanlong says the camera's temperature has fallen to minus 62 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 52 degrees Celsius) and can continue to drop to minus 292 degrees F (minus 180 degrees C). The experiment is actually completed as there is no mechanism in the cabin to heat the experiment without sunlight.
So, what exactly would happen to alien growth when temperatures collapsed? more cold than others, as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says in a publication. When days shorten and temperatures fall, plants flood their cells with sugar and other chemicals to lower the freezing point of the water inside. This process is important because it keeps intracellular water from turning into ice crystals that expand and tear the cells inside. Other plants also heal cell membranes, or – in extreme environments, the plants survive freezing by dehydration, literally pumping the water out of the cells.
However, according to the FAO, all these "hardening" techniques require, for several days the environment sends signals that the winter is coming. That's why sudden frosts can kill even the cold climatic plants on Earth. And cotton that is born in warm regions of the Earth is not particularly well suited to cold in the first place.
Lunar night cold would be nothing like the gradual seasonal shift to which the plants are adapted. During two-day daylight, the temperature of the moon surface may reach 212 degrees F (100 degrees C). But when the night falls, they can quickly drop to minus 279 degrees F (minus 173 degrees C).
So the cold shock for cotton was probably brutal and sudden. The water in the newly formed cells would quickly become ice, stripping them from the inside. All buds and leaves would go first, according to a study published in 2001 in the journal Annals of Botany. A close look below them under the microscopes would reveal wrinkled and membrane-folded membranes like cracked water balloons. Stronger stems would be frozen shortly afterward.
At the same time, when the cells froze, it was found that water between the cells would also freeze. This process would suck out more water from the cells before it could freeze, killing cotton by dehydration as much as physical destruction.
Although it is not known that the earth plant survives at temperatures colder than the middle of Antarctica, cotton would probably not fight to prevent its death without any change in light to signal the change in temperature.
The end of these cotton sprouts was probably bad. But at least it was fast. We congratulate the botanical researchers now frozen in their moon graves.
Originally posted on Live Science .