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Why do leaves appear green?

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Quick Answer

Leaves appear green because they contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs the other colors of light wavelengths, leaving only the green reflected, and therefore visible to the human eye.

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In addition to being green, chlorophyll catches the sun's rays and uses photosynthesis to turn those rays into chemical energy. More precisely, it turns carbon dioxide and water into a mixture of carbohydrates and oxygen. Chlorophyll is described as a light-trapping molecule, or a light-trapping receptor as well as a chelate. As a chelate, chlorophyll has a central metal ion that is bonded to an organic molecule of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or carbon.

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