General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

What color is the sun / sunlight?

Asked by Yellowdog (10600points) 2 months ago

Frequently, we hear described sunlight as golden, or the sun as yellow, or yellowish white.

Yet the whitest halogen car headlights shining late afternoon on a garage wall look at best like very late afternoon sunlight. The purest sunlight of midday is full spectrum—which would not be possible if the sun were yellow.

Yes, I understand that early morning and pre-sunset sunlight is affected by the atmosphere to look red. But what about pure sunlight? It gives a full spectrum as if white. yet most will maintain the sun is yellow or golden.

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

It is white but loses blues as it passes through the atmosphere, so the Sun appears as yellow when overhead. The appearance of the Sun changes hue as it is viewed through different layers and thicknesses of the atmosphere.

Atsunset over ty ocean in th tropics, it will even appear green momentari

JLeslie's avatar

Depends. Eastern sun is more white, western sun more yellow.

ragingloli's avatar

It is mostly infrared.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The sun appears yellow due to its temperature. It’s color is an indication of the rate of fusion at its core and both are determined by its overall mass. The whole show is gravity driven.

PaisleyFaye's avatar

In the brightest hours of the day. I would say the sun is a blinding bright white with I hint of yellow. it’s so beautiful that is forbidden to look at unless you have a really strong pair of sunglasses.

LostInParadise's avatar

This is a good question that nobody has really answered. If the sun appears yellow due to filtering of blue light by the atmosphere, then shouldn’t sunlight also be yellow? Everything that we look at should have a yellow tinge.

Yellowdog's avatar

What is baffling to me is, sunlight appears warm and ‘yellowish’ compared to more pale white spectrums, which seem more ‘white.’ Yet sunlight is far, far whiter than the whitest halogen light we can produce.

kritiper's avatar

As suns go, it’s yellow. Suns are rated by color to depict how hot they are. A blue sun is hotter, a red sun is colder.

Yellowdog's avatar

Unless they are blue shifted or red shifted.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Yellowdog No, that does not change their actual color. That’s just the apparent color based upon the velocity towards or away from the observer.

Yellowdog's avatar

Well, they could be coming and going.

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