I've just posted the question Which spacecraft can see plants "glow" during photosynthesis during the day, and what wavelength does it use? in a different SE site. I can't remember the details of which spacecraft this was or how exactly it worked.

My question here is simply about light produced by vegetation during photosynthesis. In this question I've shown a hodgepodge of absorption or sensitivity spectra of photosynthesis, but what I'm looking for is an emission spectrum and some details about where in the process this light is produced.

The Wikipedia article Chlorophyll_fluorescence covers the topic in general and mentions 735nm but I'd like to be able to see a fairly accurate spectrum in order to compare it against absorption lines in the Sun's spectrum.

NASA's OCO-3: Watching Plants Grow and Glow: https://youtu.be/_x-VzdEeq0c

  • $\begingroup$ Not to be glib, but rather as a way of clarification, a google search for “chlorophyll fluorescence spectrum” returns a lot of results. Is there something else you are looking for? $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 1:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @canadianer I'm not a biologist and asking well outside of my field. It's likely that someone knowledgable in photosynthesis will have a better sense where to look for something of high scientific quality and likely to be representative of the most common kinds of photosynthesis. Googling may bring lots of results, but some may be from esoteric species with unusual biochemistry, or may represent nonstandard experimental conditions. For qualitative results this googling was sufficient but here I welcome assistance from someone more knowledgable $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 7:50

1 Answer 1


I think for your purpose you should start, for example, with this link: https://academic.oup.com/jxb/article/60/11/2987/533160


Chlorophyllous tissues emit radiation of wavelengths approximately 680-760 nm. Source: Plant Physiological Ecolgy, Second edition, Hans Lambers, F.Stuart Chapin III and Thijs L. Pons, New York : Springer, c2008, p. 37, Box 2A.4 Chlorophyll Fluorescence

  • $\begingroup$ That looks like an extremely helpful reference, thank you! I will read it today. To be an answer to this question, it would be better to also include a reference that contained a spectrum as well. While there may be spectra in some of the references in that paper, they are likely to be paywalled and I won't have access for several days. If you can add a spectrum to your answer, that would be best. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I've just updated the answer adding wavelengths diapasone $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ If you can find a spectrum but are having trouble posting its image here, let me know; I can help you with that. If you know a book and a page number, you might try to find it in google books and take a screen shot or add a link in comments. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh I have the book. Unfortunately, there is no image for the spectrum. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 15:41

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