Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2020-10-17 04:13:25 –
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Many people love fall because of the colors the foliage takes before it drops.
These colors are a nice change, since most of the time we see the leaves in their green phase.
It is because of the chlorophyll in the leaves.
It is the pigment that gives plants their green color, and it helps a plant make its own food through photosynthesis.
When you look at a green leaf, there are colors that you cannot see.
It’s the yellow and orange hues that seem to be the official color theme for fall.
These yellows and oranges are caused by xanthophyll (yellow) and carotene (orange).
These help absorb sunlight, which is then transferred to the chlorophyll for photosynthesis, and are in the leaf all spring and summer.
They are hidden, however, because the production of chlorophyll is so abundant that it hides these other colors.
Once the days get shorter and the temperatures start to cool down, the trees begin to prepare for the coming winter by stopping the production of chlorophyll, letting the other colors show through.
We can find these colors hidden in a green leaf with easy experience.
First, find some green leaves and cut them into small pieces.
Cover them with rubbing alcohol.
Now, grind these pieces of leaves.
It is easy to use the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula.
You can also grind the leaves before adding rubbing alcohol if you’re worried about a spill.
Cover it with plastic wrap to prevent it from evaporating.
Now place this container in a larger container with hot water.
This is a process that will begin to separate the chlorophyll from the xanthophyll and carotenes.
After about 40 to 50 minutes, place a strip of coffee filter with one tip in the mixture and the other end outward.
After about an hour, when you come back, you can see the colors separated on the coffee filter.
Now you can see what is hidden in those green leaves!
If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that the red leaves haven’t been mentioned yet.
The leaves that turn red come from anthocyanins.
These are a bit different, as they aren’t always in a leaf, and not all trees produce them.
When anthocyanins are present, however, they create a nice pop of color.
You can also reproduce the experience of this article with the other colored sheets.
You will definitely get different results.
I have seen some places where the reds appeared very well on the coffee filter.
In my experience, however, it’s barely noticeable.
Hope yours will be brighter.