Scientists Say: Chlorophyll

These pigments help make the world green


These cells are filled with tiny round chloroplasts — structures containing the pigment chlorophyll.

Kristian Peters/Wikimedia Commons/ (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Chlorophyll (noun, “CHLOR-oh-fill”)

This is a word used to describe several kinds of green pigments in plants. They are often contained in structures called chloroplasts. These green pigments use sunlight to make energy out of carbon dioxide and water. In the process, they produce oxygen — something we all need to get by.

In a sentence

Scientists were able to identify algae in a photograph taken from space using the chlorophyll and other pigments inside the cells.

Bethany Brookshire was a longtime staff writer at Science News Explores and is the author of the book Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more. She thinks Porgs are an invasive species.

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