Questions tagged [photosynthesis]

For questions about the process by which autotrophic lifeforms convert Solar energy into usable energy.

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Could any photosynthesis occur at 5.5 AU on a warm planet?

I'm designing a habitable planet orbiting an M-dwarf, which is orbiting a G star at 5.5 AU. The orbit around the G star keeps the "night-side" (not technically an accurate term in this ...
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Black photosynthetic large active animals

Previous questions have addressed whether a large active animal could run off photosynthesis alone and the answer seems to be no and that it could only provide around 4% of the animals daily usage but ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Plausibility of an Ecosystem Based on Giant Diatoms?

In this wildly divergent Earth timeline, a group of diatoms evolved to be up to a few inches across (rather than 2mm or less). With this group presumably developing some similar traits to organisms ...
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Could an organism evolve photosynthesis using internal microscopic structures instead of using pigments?

I understand that most animals that look blue don't have blue pigment but instead have microscopic structures that scatter blue light. I was wondering if it would be possible for an organism to ...
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Could mermaids grow algae with bioluminescence?

Bioluminescence can cause photosynthesis, it has been confirmed. But is it feasible to grow algae, or some other plant, by the light of bioluminescence alone? Is it technically feasible with existing ...
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Photosynthetic life using gamma radiation

Okay, so I have a planet that gets from its star a solar flux of 1360 W/m^2. The catch? As the star is powered by matter-antimatter reactions, it's predominantly, if not entirely, gamma rays. There is ...
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Kinetically powered plant

This contributor to Deviantart had this idea that on eyeball Earths some plants might grow in the shadow of bigger plants and get energy from the wind, like a naturally occurring wind turbine. My ...
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Is it feasible to have an oxidizing planetary atmosphere without the presence of an organic photosynthesis of some kind on the planet?

With the emergence of cyanobacteria on earth 3.5 billion years ago, the shift from a reducing to an oxidizing atmosphere began. “The atmospheric O$_\textrm{2}$ levels (in PAL; i.e., normalized to the ...
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Society with photosynthesis-capable humans

What would motivate photosynthetic human beings to work on menial jobs like cleaning , dish washing etc. - jobs where earning for food is main motive? For such creatures, food could be prepared from ...
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An ecosystem based on anoxygenic photosynthesis?

The organisms in the oxygen based ecosystem we have today is perfectly adapted to each other. The ocean is filled with water, and on land it falls from the sky. Plants, algae and cyanobacteria split ...
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1 answer
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A desert planet with temperate polar regions could sustain how much plant-life? Any?

One proposed type of desert planet is one in which the equator and the "tropics" are harsh, hot deserts, but the polar regions are temperate, habitable, and lush with life. You can see an example of ...
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What would a silicone-based plant, especially a tree, look like?

This question's information is based on the answer in my previous question about what the aquatic creature need in order to live or survive in my acid water? The thing that's not in the description ...
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Alternative to Magnesium's Role in Photosynthesis

It is a known fact that magnesium is a very important part of photosynthesis and chlorophyll. I have looked everywhere to try to find out this question but I have never really gotten a solid answer. ...
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Algae using UV light from auroras for photosynthesis

I was reading some questions on Quora and I found this claim: The polar regions have a very odd reason for them to have so much oxygen production. You see the Polar aurora run day and night in the ...
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Nocturnal Photosynthesis

It's a basic fact that most plants need sunlight to generate growth. Sure, they also need water and nutrients, but their reliance on sunlight is the one sole thing that separates them from animals. ...
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Archipelago worlds build up atmospheric oxygen faster?

I've read super-earths might become archipelago planets. Picture shallow seas, under a thick atmosphere that alternates between muggy and clammy. Because a bigger share of the surface would be ...
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What could justify an animal photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis does not provide enough energy to allow animal activities on its own (see this post for example). But can we think of a species using photosynthesis as a secondary energy source? Here ...
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What light would my cloudy planet receive from a red dwarf star?

What light spectrum would hit the surface of a planet orbiting a red dwarf star? The planet is a humid greenhouse with a cloudy atmosphere and a strong ozone layer. Over 80% of the surface is water. ...
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Photosynthesis analog, plausible?

So on a planet with a chlorine based atmosphere and only a small amount of oxygen, here is my proposed mechanism for chlorine based photosynthesis. Carbon tetrachloride, since it is a liquid at 70 ...
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Can a planet harbor plants of different colors without one pigment outcompeting the others?

On Earth, all plants are green because they contain the pigment chlorophyll, which photosynthesizes by absorbing all light except green light. However, it is quite possible - if not likely - that ...
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Would there be anything preventing a world where humans get energy by photosynthesis?

Is there any restrictions to have a world where humans gain energy by photosynthesis?
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Given an apparent solar brightness of <30% Sol from Earth, how differently would plants evolve?

Though my star is 1.71 LSol, my planet orbits at about 2.14 AU. Following a back-of-the-envelope equation for apparent brightness, this gives the surface of my planet approximately 30% of Sol's light ...
4 votes
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Biochemistry of Plants harnessing heat-energy when blue-shifted light is scarce

What biochemical reactions might be employed by plants to harvest heat energy when light energy is scarce or even missing? What is the temperature range over which this biochemical reaction can work? ...
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A double-bright Moon and plant growth

It's Earth and the moon with all parameters as they are in real life with one exception, the moon is twice as reflective as usual. Instead of an albedo of 0.12, the moon has an albedo of 0.24. This ...
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Why would plants on an Earth-like planets photosynthesize without using blue-wavelength light?

According to Wikipedia, ...plants are green because chlorophyll reflects green light. And chlorophyll is found in all plants because it is the molecule that absorbs the light that is used to make ...
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How to Use Photosynthesis Creatively in Humans

I've seen many questions here about humans being capable of photosynthesis. And I know, humans don't have enough surface area to power themselves full time. However, that's assuming that the energy ...
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Chloroplast organelle in human

Could a human's DNA be altered so that in every skin cell they would have a chloroplast organelle? How would this affect the rest of the body?
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If humans could photosynthesize, what would our clothing look like?

So we humans get big into genetic modification and figure out how to make ourselves photosynthesize through our skin, and somehow it generates enough energy to be worth our while. Obviously we'd still ...
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Calculating the solar spectrum received by a planet

How do I calculate the spectrum of light experienced on the surface of an alien planet? I need it to decide what color the local photosynthetic life will predominantly be.
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Creating plants that do not rely on photosynthesis but still create oxygen

My planet has an increased axial tilt, resulting in crazier winters and summers and higher temperatures. For most places, the temperature never drops below freezing - even in the winter, but the days ...
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2 answers
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How to build a race which uses photosynthesis? [duplicate]

I've built a species that does eat, but I would also like them to get some of their energy from the sun. Consider the conditions to be identical to earth as far as the sun and atmosphere is concerned. ...
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Creating the Alga of algae

I have to feed my dinosaurs, the plants in the land are mostly destroyed, but the ocean is almost "untouched", so of course, I'm gonna feed my feathery friends with a lot of algae, specially made by ...
7 votes
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Could a plant-like forest or jungle form in an underground lava dependent ecosystem?

Could an alien underground macroscopic ecosystem including human sized plant-like organisms evolve around lava as an energy source? These organisms could use heat and/or light from the lava to ...
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Is it feasible for an organism to feed off cosmic radiation?

Cosmic rays are energetic particles coming from space that hit the Earth's atmosphere and produce a lot of secondary radiation (some of which we see in visible light as aurorae). Would it make sense ...
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If humans were photosynthetic, would there be an impetus for technological development?

Picture this, humans (or human-like sentient beings) having the innate ability to photosynthesise their food in a similar manner to plants - thus providing all the nutrients required for sustained ...
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4 votes
2 answers
414 views

What stellar qualities would allow our Sun to support human photosynthesis?

I am interested in a character or race of humanoids similar to the green man in the tent in Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. What qualities would the Sun need to have in order to support a race of human-...
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How would the lifestyle of people change if they learned to live by doing photosynthesis?

Consider a parallel universe where people have developed into beings who can survive by doing photosynthesis. That means there is no need for food they can just survive just by using sunlight. Now ...
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Efficiency required of a photosynthetic system to support human level activities

Chlorophyll as we know it on earth is estimated to be between 3% and 6% efficient in converting light energy to useable biomass. This support slow growth and no movement of plants like that observed ...
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Thermosynthetic Life-form

As recommended by another user, on a different question I asked, I pose this new question under the following criteria: The creature I'm trying to create has evolved, though it may not have been ...
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A more alien world: Flora

In the (relatively new) Star Trek movie Into Darkness, we see Dr. Bones and Captain Kirk in a world composed mainly of red plants. Obviously these are just eye candy with no real basis behind it, but ...
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Hydrogenenic Photosynthesis: Strategies for animals

Hydrogenic photosynthesis reduces methane and water to build biomass ($\text{CH}_2\text{O}$) and releases hydrogen: $$\text{CH}_4 + \text{H}_2\text{O} + \text{photons} \to \text{CH}_2\text{O} + 2\...
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What would the flora on a Methane world be like?

Linked: What would animal life on a methane world look like and how would it evolve? What would the conditions on a methane world be like? How would an intelligent race on a methane world achieve a ...
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