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What would humans look like if they were genetically suited for life under a giant orange star like Iota Draconis ? These would be people who were genetically indistinguishable from humans from earth, but were altered to be better suited for their new homes.

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    $\begingroup$ "genetically indistinguishable from humans from earth, but were altered to be better suited for their new homes" sound like self contradicting $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Mar 16 at 5:18
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not going to post this as an answer because I can't find the reference to back it up, but I'm pretty sure there'd be no difference at all. That slight shift-to-red isn't as much of an issue as it seems. Brightness would have a greater effect. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 16 at 5:35
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    $\begingroup$ Why would they look different from regular humans? Please enumerate the environmental differences between Earth and the Iotan Draconic world. Do not forget that Earth includes Trondheim, Moscow, Jakarta and Timbuktu. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 16 at 6:52
  • $\begingroup$ L.Dutch, indistinguishable as in, they were regular humans from earth before they were modified to live elsewhere $\endgroup$ – Geoff Mar 16 at 16:34
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Iota Draconis is 55 times more luminous than the sun and as such it will produce much more ultraviolet radiation, on average. Melanin pigment protects the body from UV rays, and the more melanin in the skin the darker it will appear. Iota Draconis is so harsh that you'd want vantablack people at least, and I'm not sure even that would be enough.

My guess is that the luminosity of the star will be so high that biological countermeasures fail and the colonists would have to resort to artificial protective gear instead. Then again, maybe the poles wouldn't be so bad.

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  • $\begingroup$ If humans would instead develop a thick black fur to protect themselves from UV, would that negate the need for more extreme and less likely adaptations? $\endgroup$ – Christmas Snow Mar 16 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ So they'd need to have extremely dark skin, and the planet would have to have an extremely thick ozone layer. I haven't given much thought to what the planet is like, since while Iota Draconis has a planet in the habitable zone, it's a super-Jupiter, so I'm taking some creative liberties and making real exoplanets into something that suits the story. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Mar 16 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Geoff Yeah, that'd do it. $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Mar 16 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ @ChristmasSnow Maybe black skin covered by highly reflective silvery fur would work well. $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Mar 16 at 16:41
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Theory: more massive star -> warmer star -> higher black body radiation in higher frequencies -> more UV light.

So now we have Nilotic peoples... in space.

enter image description here

Practice: we're making risky assumptions that:

  • there is a breathable atmosphere, otherwise if people have to wear space suits its irrelevant;
  • amount of UV is within human tolerance level, otherwise would have to shield themselves anyway and its irrelevant;
  • space faring civilisations forgot formula for high quality sunscreen, because otherwise parents aesthetic choices would trump such minor adaptation.
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