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Why aren't plants black?

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 Astronomy   |   Physics   |   Science
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Why are plants green? Is there a reason plants evolved to be green, globally? What does it have to do with the color of the sunlight coming down through our atmosphere?

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Help us translate our videos! http://www.youtube.com/timedtext_cs_panel?c=UC7DdEm33SyaTDtWYGO2CwdA&tab=2

Creator: Dianna Cowern
Editor: Jabril Ashe
Hamburger eater: Jabril Ashe
Colorful Planet Artist: Ashley Warner

Thanks to: Dan Walsh, Kyle Kitzmiller and Kyle Norby

Sources:

Black Nigrescens Plant:
http://www.thedangergarden.com/2013/02/ophiopogon-planiscapus-nigrescens-my.html With permission from Loree Bohl,
thedangergarden.com
Green Nigrescens Plant:
With permission from © Davis Landscape Architecture, London, UK http://www.davisla.com

Solar spectrum adapted from:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png

Chlorophyll spectrum adapted from:
http://www.austincc.edu/biocr/1406/labm/ex7/prelab_7_4.htm

The Functional Significance of Black-Pigmented Leaves: Photosynthesis, Photoprotection and Productivity in Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3691134/
Functional evolution of photochemical energy
transformations in oxygen-producing organisms
http://www.publish.csiro.au/FP/pdf/FP09087

Evolutionary Competition Between Primitive Photosynthetic Systems: Existence of an early purple Earth?
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006AAS...209.0605S

A Compilation of Selected Data on Solar Radiation at Sea Level
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/646355.pdf

Green Light Drives CO2 Fixation Deep Within Leaves
http://pcp.oxfordjournals.org/content/39/10/1020.full.pdf+html

Green Light Drives Leaf Photosynthesis More Efficiently than Red Light in Strong White Light: Revisiting the Enigmatic Question of Why Leaves are Green

http://pcp.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/4/684.full.pdf+html

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/green_light_is_it_important_for_plant_growth
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/40900745_Cost_and_color_of_photosynthesis
http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-arplant-042110-103811

The sensitivity of the human eye to different colors
https://www.ecse.rpi.edu/~schubert/Light-Emitting-Diodes-dot-org/Sample-Chapter.pdf

Music: APM

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