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Space Science

Worlds With Two Suns May Sport Black Plants 211

sciencehabit writes "If Tatooine were real, it would probably be filled with black plants and trees. A new study finds that, to maximize energy absorption for photosynthesis, the flora on worlds that orbit two suns may have evolved to use one or more types of light-absorbing pigments that absorb across a broad range of wavelengths, which would tend to make the plant appear black or gray. Although the idea that planets that could host such life may sound far-fetched, such orbs may not be so rare: The team's computer simulations indicate that Earth-like planets can exist in several types of stable orbits in multistar systems. More than one-fourth of the sunlike stars in our galaxy and about half of the long-lived but dim, cool stars called red dwarfs are found in solar systems containing two or more stars, the researchers note."
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Worlds With Two Suns May Sport Black Plants

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  • Stupid astronomers (Score:4, Informative)

    by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @07:05PM (#35874792)

    Plants don't "maximize energy absorption for photosynthesis" on Earth so why leap to the assumption that they would elsewhere. In fact Green is just about the worst color (lets ignore white) they could use on Earth. And retinal exists and is much better than chlorophyll in terms of using the "right" part of the spectrum to get more energy from sunlight (though I think it's then less efficient at harnassing it).

    And of course absorbing too much energy can be a bad thing, heat is an unavoidable product (the atronomers should know that at least, thermodnamics is pretty important to their field...).

    Evolution does not produce perfection, it creeps toward local maximas in the fitness space - OK now the biologists can call me stupid :)

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