Birth of Planet Earth: Photosynthesis in a Chromatophore
From Jeffrey Carpenter
Narrated by Richard Dormer.
Birth of Planet Earth tells the twisted tale of our planet’s origins.
Scientists now believe that our galaxy is filled with solar systems, including up to a billion planets roughly the size of our own. The film employs advanced, data-driven, cinematic-quality visualizations to explore some of the greatest questions in science today: How did Earth become a living planet in the wake of our solar system’s violent birth? What does its history tell us about our chances of finding other worlds that are truly Earth-like?
Early one-celled bacteria could survive by capturing the energy of sunlight. Later, using similar chemical machinery, plants evolved; they helped re-oxygenate the planet and stem the loss of water. Captured sunlight drives a chain of processes, transforming the energy into more stable forms at each step, eventually producing molecules of ATP – the universal currency of life on Earth – with which the bacteria can feed, locomote and reproduce.
Credit: Klaus Schulten, Melih Sener, John Stone, Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Visualization by Advanced Visualization Lab, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, U. of Illinois.