Researchers continue to search for extraterrestrial life and discover many exoplanets. During their recent experiment, Italian scientists said that living microorganisms can be found on planets that orbit around red dwarfs, reports phys.org.
Scientists believe that the vast majority of potentially habitable planets revolve around red dwarfs. But most of the light these stars emit is in the infrared. Infrared light is nice and warm, but does it provide the boost needed for photosynthesis?
As part of a new study, scientists from the University of Padua, Italy, set out to find the answer to this question.
For their study, the scientists created a starlight simulator, which consists of LEDs that mimic the light of a red dwarf. The scientists then created an atmosphere that could be typical of a potentially habitable planet next to such a star.
In this environment, the scientists placed some bacteria and illuminated them with simulated starlight.
One of the first bacteria on Earth that used photosynthesis to produce oxygen was cyanobacteria, and so scientists began experimenting with these organisms. It turned out that cyanobacteria feel great and develop under the light of a red dwarf.
After that, the scientists repeated their experiment with algae and the result was the same.
In their scientific paper, Italian scientists conclude that despite the fact that red dwarfs do not emit the type of light that drove the evolution of photosynthesis on Earth, terrestrial organisms could live on a planet near a red dwarf. Thus, extraterrestrial life can be found on these planets.