Should we be looking for a ‘pale purple dot’ ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Tyrogthekreeper
When it comes to imagining what life on other worlds may be like, it’s easy to get caught up in picturing a world not dissimilar to our own with landmasses swathed in green trees and grass.
But what if extraterrestrial life was a color other than green ? How would an alien world look then ?
In a recent study, two scientists attempted to answer this question by looking back in to our own planet’s distant past to a time when life on Earth may have exhibited a distinctively purple tinge.
The organisms responsible for this, which may have thrived very early on in Earth’s history, capture solar energy with a molecule called retinal ( plants and photosynthesizing algae use chlorophyll. )
If this can happen on our own planet, then perhaps purple life forms could dominate elsewhere as well.
“If these organisms were present in sufficient densities on an exoplanet, those reflection properties would be imprinted on that planet’s reflected light spectrum,” said co-author Edward Schwieterman.
Perhaps keeping an eye out for a purple alien planet is not such a strange idea after all.
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Source: Live Science
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