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NASA Predicts Non-Green Plants on Other Planets April 11, 2007

Posted by showmescifi in NASA, Science, science fiction, sciencefiction, scifi.

from the fact is stranger than fiction dept..

Apparently Earth is likely the exception when it comes to having green plants. Green, yellow or even red-dominant plants may live on extra-solar planets.

As you probably remember from biology it’s chlorophyll that makes plants green. In most plants on Earth they absorb blue and red light and less green light. Therefore, chlorophyll appears green. Though some green color is absorbed, it is less than the other colors.
According to NASA scientists, our Sun has a specific distribution of colors of light, emitting more of some colors than others.

Gases in Earth’s air also filter sunlight, absorbing different colors. As a result, more red light particles reach Earth’s surface than blue or green light particles, so plants use red light for photosynthesis. There is plenty of light for land plants, so they do not need to use extra green light. But not all stars have the same distribution of light colors as our Sun. Study scientists say they now realize that photosynthesis on extrasolar planets will not necessarily look the same as on Earth.

Read the full story on the NASA site.


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