PSJC #109 February 24, 2012

Noemi Rebeli

Life & Light: Exotic Photosynthesis in Binary and Multiple Star Systems

We will discuss this paper by O'Malley-James et al. (2012). The abstract is: "The potential for hosting photosynthetic life on Earth-like planets within binary/multiple stellar systems was evaluated by modelling the levels of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) such planets receive. Combinations of M and G stars in: (i) close-binary systems; (ii) wide-binary systems and (iii) three-star systems were investigated and a range of stable radiation environments found to be possible. These environmental conditions allow for the possibility of familiar, but also more exotic forms of photosynthetic life, such as infrared photosynthesisers and organisms specialised for specific spectral niches.