3
$\begingroup$

What would happen if a planet like Earth were to be tidal locked to the sun?

What effects could it have on lifeforms like plants? Would they always produce oxygen?

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Earth is always exposed to a star's lisght, many in fact =). Now you you want a (stationary?) planet with all sides always exposed to multiple stars...temperature ill just raise and raise...Also are the blue algae the real oxygen producers, forget about rain forests $\endgroup$
    – jean
    Oct 30 '15 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @jean Or maybe a planet who always has the same face illuminated by a star, like the Moon, always facing the same way to the Earth. $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '15 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Please edit your question to clarify you are asking about a tidal locked planet with one side always iluminated and another always in darkness if that is the real question in your mind $\endgroup$
    – jean
    Nov 3 '15 at 9:30
5
$\begingroup$

It wouldn't necessarily be different from our own plants.

Some Earth plants can survive in perpetual daylight, even thrive. The dark cycle, or Calvin cycle, does not require dark, it just does not need light.

A planet where that occurs, most likely tidally locked, also does not need to lack seasons. A tidally locked planet can still have the precession that causes seasons on Earth, that is, the planet could present librations relative to its star. For instance, our moon is tidally locked to Earth, but presents librations.

Characteristics of plants which evolved on such a world would be hard to guess at, but if we found them to be rather similar to Earth plants it would not be entirely surprising.

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ It would also have to be plant that doesn't require a certain length of night to flower... Also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '15 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ Good answer. To resume the linked article plants have a great diversity in Photoperiodism. Some ill thrive others ill die in continuous light experiments $\endgroup$
    – jean
    Nov 3 '15 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ There are seasons on the Moon. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Nov 3 '15 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ I imagine that if you took all of earth's plants and put them in this environment, then a lot of species would die out. Some would thrive, i imagine a lot of new species might appear as well due to the huge environmental changes. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 '15 at 10:35
0
$\begingroup$

I am assuming you mean the environment of a daylight-facing side of a tidally locked planet.

If the plants originate naturally on that planet, they would have a different time-keeping mechanism, other than day-night cycle.

If you take earth plants to that environment, they would boom in the early part their life cycle and then die out as they exhaust themselves out, storing energy in the form of glucose and cellulose and not getting any time for respiration.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ You are saying that those plants would have a different type of photosynthesis? $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '15 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ No. A different setup for enhanced periods of respiration (night time) versus periods of slow respiration (day time) cycles. $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '15 at 22:44
0
$\begingroup$

During summer the northern areas of the planet have daylight nearly all day. Of course, that is not year round, but if you do some research you might find some plants in the north that only thrive in summer. Figure out what they are and base your new planet's plant-life on them. Sorry, I'm not a plant guy, but maybe some Alaskan can just step outside and look. Haha. Bottom line is, I'm pretty sure plants would thrive there, they just wouldn't be exactly the same plants we have on Earth.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.