Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Can a plant photosynthesis at night, using light from the moon?

Just a little thing that came up in a seminar- no-one knew...

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The moonlight essentially is ..... the sun shining on the moon .. so basically it is a form of sun light.

    But, I think because the light intensity that we get reflected off the moon is an order of 100-1000 times too little to support photosynthesis in most terrestrial pot plants and plants we have in our garden.

    This article talks about how they simulated a moon like atmosphere and tried to see if the plants would photosynthesize and it seems they did .. but at a very low rate. "Influence on photosynthesis of starlight, moonlight, planetlight, and light pollution (reflections on photosynthetically active radiation in the universe)." by Raven JA, Cockell CS. Plant Research Unit, University of Dundee at SCRI, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, United Kingdom.

    Not associated .... but I got a hit on this paper when looking for your answer ... I think its pretty cool.... I really liked the content .....

    Biogenerative life-support system: farming on the moon. by Salisbury FB. Utah State University, Plant Science Department, Logan 84322-4820.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, it can.

    Photosynthesis uses the energy from photons of light to produce chemical energy in the form of carbohydrates. The plant doesn't know if a photon bounced off the moon before it came to Earth.

    Due to the faintness of the moon's light only a nearly immeasurably small amount of photosynthesis will occur. It wouldn't be enough to keep the plant alive without the daytime light.


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