Is it possible for a planet to have very little visible-light energy and receive enough energy to support life from ionising radiation?
Dim light, including starlight and ionized-air glow is acceptable.
A planet in orbit around a binary star-black hole system:
- High x-ray radiation
- A star system could credibly have planets.
- The creation of the black hole probably involved a supernova which could lead to planet creation.
- Star will emit light.
- The creation of the black hole probably involved a supernova which can destroy planets.
A rogue planet in a galaxy containing a Quasar
- Possibly high radiation.
- Planet can be in high period stable orbit within galaxy.
- Quasars emit a lot of light.
- Galaxies usually contain quasars in the early stages of their existence, when heavy elements are in short supply.
The planet could be covered in a thick atmosphere that blocks visible light but not high-energy radiation.
My question is; what scenario will maximize high-energy radiation but minimize visible light?
A related question is; what kind of life can evolve on such a planet?
EDIT: Since it seems to be impossible for the sky to be dark but flooded with radiation; what situation maximises the radiation-to-light quotient?
The situation I have in mind now is:
- The planet was created in the aftermath of a supernova which turned one of the stars into a neutron star.
- The neutron star has magnetic beams near (and heavily overlapping) the equatorial plane.
- The neutron star slowly accretes matter from the other star, causing its magnetic poles to glow brightly in the x-ray and gamma-ray spectra.
- The neutron star revolves every few seconds, sweeping the planet with regular bursts of radiation.
- The planet revolves in an orbit aligned with the equatorial plane and relatively far from the parent stars.
- The star looks relatively dim from that distance (to dim for photosynthesis).
- Every few seconds, the atmosphere pulsates a blue light from air ionisation glow and the surface (including oceans) emits a bright flash of blue light from Cherenkov radiation.
- Life first appears in the ocean, shielded by the protective layer of water.
- Before the primordial soup runs dry, radiation resistant cells start to radiosynthesize and form thick curds on the surface.
- Some life forms live underwater and come up to the surface in the night-time to graze on those curds, over many millions of years, they become quite complex.
- Some radiation resistant life forms come to land to avoid overcrowding and predation.
- Some of the more complex life forms venture onto land during the night-time and hide underwater before the next round of radiation.
- Some of those life forms hide underground (in caves or artificial borrows) during the daytime, they are now fully terrestrial.
- Intelligent life may or may not evolve.
How credible is this scenario?
One of the problems with my scenario is; how long will that setup last?