Wanted to create Flora (and maybe organisms overall) that evolved near stark white coloration due to the high output of radiation from it’s, at the time, high energy F-Type star.

It’s a star and of it’s specific class at that so i’m aware it’ll always be around a relatively similar energy output, but could a star eventually after it’s original formation cool or become more stable (less solar flares for example) enough that plants could evolve color changing and bioluminescent cells to handle the varying degrees of radiation.

I’d been concerned around the concept of “Would these cells still be necessary if the star is less intense”? But then thought, if a period of enough variation during the stars more high energy state while transitioning to a more stable one would these cells then become prolific and only still be present now due to evolutionary selection during a majority of the planets history and the general time scales in question.

There terrestrial bound multi-cellular organisms that receive energy partially through an distinct form of photosynthesis and physical charges due to the high amount of (volcanic soil laden with silicate iron and obsidian) on the planet. I wanted the concept of electromagnetism to be common, to the extent where there’s form of dynamism within the cells that evolved partially non-organic matter, like a living neodymium magnet.

(The Systems star being around 1.7 billion years old and planet 1 billion, with its planet orbiting around 2.0 AU and the atmosphere primarily comprised of and nearly equal parts mix of hydrogen, helium and oxygen with a density similar to that of earth)

  • $\begingroup$ “Jumped ahead” No kidding, and apologies in any case, because of course I’d be happy to elaborate, specifically due to the fact that I may have not been entirely clear in where the plants exist. There terrestrial bound multi-cellular organisms the receive energy partially through an distinct form of photosynthesis and physical charges due to the high amount of (volcanic soil) on the planet. I wanted the concept of electromagnetism to be common, to the extent where are form of dynamism within the cells that evolved partially non-organic matter, like a living neodymium magnet. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, makes sense. Can you edit the question with details. Whilst you're at it, take our wonderful tour and check-out the help center for future reference re guidance to how we work. EDIT> Ah, you have. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ Done and done, especially with the latter, seeing as how that this was problem to begin with, one could only hope I’d familiarize myself with such rules. But in any case thank you very much. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ This might be a very difficult question to answer. Humanity has only just begun to scratch the surface of understanding evolution. We certainly don't have the ability to predict evolutionary changes on our own planet - much less in an alien environment. Therefore I propose two rules to guide you (and I apologize that they won't help). (1) Given enough time, anything can evolve. (2) Evolution is unlikely to embrace high levels of inorganic compounds as life generally takes the path of least resistance (which is why it takes so long to evolve). $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 19:05

3 Answers 3


With the amount of energy that the plants would get from the star being so high even after it cooled off an appreciative amount they wouldn’t be able to use normal photosynthesis that uses a chlorophyll adjacent chemical and would instead probably have to make an inorganic photo cell the feasibility of which has been shown to exist in engineered bacteria and nano particles of cadmium sulfide, the researchers have shown that bacteria can self assemble the nano particles into complex structures in a bio mineralization process for controlled optical properties, it is not to far of a stretch that the plants on your planet would be able to adapt and use a similar process to create energy from the sulk gut they receive, the photosynthesis process for them would require more steps but it would be no less efficient or viable than normal processes the extra steps would be required due to the extreme environmental conditions that the plants are subjected to, the electricity that the photocells produce would be used in an electro synthesis process to produce the required chemicals needed for growth and energy storage unless the planet’s ecosystem stored the electricity produced rather than using chemical energy storage. The plants would then have to be able to produce conductive materials but that has already been shown in certain species of common soil bacteria growing bio filaments that are nearly as conductive as copper with active research into improving the conductivity and potential of mass production.

In conclusion the idea of the plants turning a part of themselves into inorganic photocells is both feasible and entirely likely that in such an environment they would develop such at the first opportunity as it allows for massive benefits when compared to conventional photosynthesis in such a high energy environment. The idea is great and would allow for a very unique and possibly symbiotic ecosystem run on electricity.





These sources are what I could find on the specific things mentioned and I’m not sure if this is the only material on the subject as I don’t really understand research jargon, it is interesting nonetheless


It is hard to predict what possible forms life can take based on the one planet we know has life on it. It is hard to see how life could exist without carbon, as this element has a unique ability to bond to itself and to other elements to create complex compounds. Silicon, and silicon-oxygen compounds can form a few multi-atom compounds, but silicon-based life is thought unlikely if water is present, as silicon compounds will easily turn to stable silica, and are unlikely to change back. Sulphur can bond to itself, but it con only support two bonds so it can't do anything much.

If our life-forms are carbon-based (not proven, but seems likely) then an F-type star will give off more ultraviolet light. This has enough energy to break a single carbon-carbon bond. This is why we use suncream, but it is not necessarily harmful to life. Most of earth's current life-forms are descended from creatures that lived around volcanic vents, far from sunlight. There are bacteria living in the gaps in rocks miles below the earth's surface. One has evolved to live off the energy from the radioactive decay of uranium. Even if the life started on the planet surface, it may be under a thick, smoggy atmosphere, and the short wavelengths cannot penetrate. The difference between an F-type star and our Sun may not be significant.

Is there a reason for life to use photovoltaics? According to this article, single-crystal photovoltaic cells are about 10% efficient while photosynthesis is about 6%. However, photosynthesis absorbs a bigger fraction of the light. If life evolved photovoltaic cells, it would probably come up with some way of enlarging the surface area and trapping the reflections. But our single-crystal voltaic are not very compatible with carbon-based life forms.

It seems likely that opsins, the chemicals we use in our eyes to see, may have been a precursor to photosynthesis. They are able to absorb light, and turn it into internal molecular energy. We do not know of anything that uses opsin for gathering energy today, but the blue-sensitive opsin that we have in our S-cone cells is shared with some species where our common ancestor is so far back, it may predate multicellular life. What were single cells using opsins for if not for gathering energy? So, it seems creatures have evolved at least two carbon-based chemical schemes for converting light to energy, and there may be others.

If the life forms on your planet are not wholly strange, life may have begun in the darkness, or in deep water, or under clouds where the UV did not penetrate. It might evolve to use the energy from the sun. Sort wavelength light has more energy per photon, so any organic conversion of light to internal energy might use blue light, but avoid the UV which could be harmful. Harvesting energy from red light and IR is harder, but may be possible. There are other strategies: deciduous trees choose to have more efficient leaves with thin surfaces, but up with the extra damage, and scrap them and grow a fresh set each year.

Carbon can conduct electricity. Buckytubes may be able to superconduct. It is possible to store magnetic energy as a circulating current in aromatic ring molecules. The European Robin is believed to use quantum entanglement to detect tiny variations in magnetic field. It is not impossible to imagine some life-form producing a long photovoltaic fibre like a spider spinning thread.

Life will probably adapt to use some energy source when there is nothing better. We have torpedo fish and electric eels that can handle high voltages and currents. But we do not know of anything using photovoltaics. My guess is opsins or chlorophyll or other such molecular photon capture processes are an easier option than photovoltaics.


Here are some of my reasons and solutions to your problem. Remember, I am an artist, not a safety inspector or physicist, so I like when things catch on fire and/or explode.

  1. Stark White Coloration:

    • Flora might have initially evolved to be stark white as a natural defense mechanism against the intense radiation from the high-energy F-type star. White pigments or reflective structures could help dissipate excess energy and prevent damage to plant cells.
  2. Radiation Tolerance and Bioluminescence:

    • Plants may have developed bioluminescent cells as a way to cope with the high radiation levels. Bioluminescence could serve to dissipate excess energy and act as a secondary form of energy storage, providing a buffer against extreme radiation fluctuations.

Transition to a More Stable Star Phase:

  1. Color Adaptation and Evolution:

    • As the star transitions to a more stable phase with less intense radiation and solar flares, evolutionary pressures could favor flora that can adapt their coloration. Plants might evolve the ability to change color to optimize absorption of the reduced but still abundant light, maximizing photosynthesis efficiency.
  2. Preservation of Bioluminescence:

    • Even in the more stable phase, the ability for bioluminescence may persist due to its dual function as a radiation buffer and a potential means of communication or attracting pollinators during darker periods.

Electromagnetic Interaction and Non-organic Incorporation:

  1. Integration of Non-organic Matter:

    • Given the abundance of electromagnetic interaction due to the silicate iron and obsidian in the volcanic soil, evolutionary processes may lead to the integration of non-organic materials into the flora. Living neodymium-like magnets could be incorporated into the cellular structure, enhancing the electromagnetic properties of the organisms.
  2. Utilizing Electromagnetic Energy:

    • Flora and organisms could evolve to harness electromagnetic energy from the soil and other environmental sources, enhancing their overall energy acquisition and utilization.

Evolutionary Timelines and Selection:

  • Evolutionary selection during the planet's history and transitional phases of the star could indeed lead to the proliferation and retention of specific traits, like bioluminescence and color adaptation, even after the star stabilizes. Traits that were advantageous during high-energy phases may still confer benefits or versatility in the altered but stable conditions.

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