Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Other Life

The star Sigma Bootis, for example, is much hotter than the sun and produces most of its visible radiation at blue wavelengths. The researchers predict plants on that planet would be yellow or orange. Another star, AD Leo, produces peaks of radiation in the UV spectrum. The team predict that plants on a planet bathed in this high-energy glow would be purple.
James Randerson

Different spectrums of light on distant stars would give rise to a different dominant colour among its' respective planet's native plants is the way the arguement goes in a story in the Guardian today. The dominant theme green on our planet not necessarily a constant across the universe.

As it happens, plants are not only alive in their own right. They are also the basis of virtually all life on earth, including ours. The core feature of planthood is autotrophy, that is, the happy ability to make one’s own food. Plants essentially eat the sun, transforming solar energy into sugars and starch through the stepwise enzymatic stitchery of photosynthesis.

In the New York Times Natalie Angier has written a wonderful piece on our our often much neglected plant bretheren who seem to look after us even as we are not aware of it.

A very good web site on getting better acqainted with our plant friends available here.

Scientists believe there are over 260,000 species of plants. Some plants are so small they can barely be seen. Others are taller than people or animals. One of the largest living plants on the earth are the sequoia trees of California. Some stand over 290 feet (88 meters) high and measure over 30 feet (9 meters) wide.
Some more information on the imporantance of plants just in case you were not convinced.

"I was determined to know beans." Walden

No comments: