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

J. T. O'Malley-James*, J. A. Raven, C. S. Cockell, J. S. Greaves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The potential for Earth-like planets within binary/multiple-star systems to host photosynthetic life was evaluated by modeling 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 were found to be possible. These environmental conditions allow for the possibility of familiar, but also more exotic, forms of photosynthetic life, such as IR photosynthesizers and organisms that are specialized for specific spectral niches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalAstrobiology
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Astrobiology
  • Extrasolar terrestrial planets
  • Extraterrestrial life
  • Photosynthesis
  • EARTH-LIKE PLANETS
  • SPECTRAL SIGNATURES
  • EXTRASOLAR PLANETS
  • CHLOROPHYLL-A
  • UV-RADIATION
  • DWARF STARS
  • SEARCH
  • ULTRAVIOLET
  • EVOLUTION
  • PLANTS

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