Purple Planets?

Purple Planets?

Our earth is called the “blue planet” because 71 percent of it is covered with water. But we also think of it as green. Scientists are searching for other Earth-like planets that harbor life. Those planets may not look blue because of oceans, or green because of chlorophyll-producing plants, but purple! 

Our earth is called the “blue planet” because 71 percent of it is covered with water. But we also think of it as green. Scientists are searching for other Earth-like planets that harbor life. Those planets may not look blue because of oceans, or green because of chlorophyll-producing plants, but purple! 

USA Today reported this story on April 22nd. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2024/04/22/purple-planets-alien-life/73411651007/

The article points out that purple is the color of many bacteria. Researchers recently theorized that planets circling cooler red stars may enable bacteria that love low-energy red or infrared light. Like similar bacteria on Earth, they create energy through photosynthesis but do not produce oxygen.

The scientists reasoned: “Our sampling relates to an exoplanet surface dominated by an ecosystem enriched in purple bacteria (a similar phenomenon to algae blooms and watermelon snow, where a single group of microbes dominates a whole landscape on modern Earth).”

You can read more about the research here:  https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/530/2/1363/7645230?login=false