Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 8 months ago

What would make the sun appear more white?

To us, the sun appears yellow, but it is actually white. I read that the atmosphere scatters the light, etc. and makes the sun appear yellow. What would the atmosphere have to be made out of to change the way the sun looks or did I understand what I read completely wrong? If I did read it right, what other things could the atmosphere be made of to make it change the color of the sun? 

14 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    Sunlight technically isn't white.  It is a mix of different colors in a range where the light of highest intensity is GREEN.  (Look at plants.  Why do you think they are green?  Because that is where the sun puts out most of its energy.)

    The reason we see multiple colors is because the sun's light is a mixture of photons at various wavelengths that blend to form white (when not split) or rainbows (when split).

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    The reason the Sun appears yellow, is the same reason why the atmosphere appears blue: Rayleigh scattering. What happens is that smaller wavelength light hits the molecules of air and gets scattered, those are the blues and purples. The larger wavelength light, everything from green and yellow on down pass straight through without scattering. All of the light does still make it through the atmosphere, so we're viewing white light overall, just some of the light comes from scattered locations. This is the reason why snow still appears white. This is also the reason why we don't see hard shadows in the daytime, because a lot of the light is coming from disparate locations, not just directly from the direction of the Sun. Our eyes have evolved on this planet to call the light coming from the Sun as white light, and all of our lightbulbs are designed to emulate the Sun's light as much as possible, though they never quite get there.

    What would the atmosphere have to be made of for the Sun to appear white again? It would have to be made of vacuum basically. The Sun even looks yellow and the sky is blue on Mars, and Mars only has 1% of the air density of Earth.

  • cosmo
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    New fallen snow is the color of sunlight, since the snow does nothing optically but scatter sunlight, adding back the blue, previously-scattered light from the sky.  That's pretty darn white.

  • 8 months ago

    The color we perceive is partly due to differential filtration but it is mostly due to our eyes and how our brain interprets the signals our eyes receive.  In effect, the sun is really more of a green, but it seems yellow when compared to the blue background of the sky.  Basically, the brain thinks everything is blue, so subtracts blue from the sun and tells us it is more yellow than green, even if it actually is not.  Besides, even the yellow of the sun is more of a yellowish white. at least to me. Too bright to look at and say more, though.

    The blue of the sky is the result of scattering.  Only when the sun is low on the horizon do we start to see other colors (the scattering effect is offset by refraction through the atmosphere). If it were not for scattering, the sky would appear black to us.  I suppose, and presume, that we would then perceive the sun as more white than yellow.

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  • 8 months ago

    Plain and Simple

    A Supernova

    But our Sun has nowhere near enough Mass to do that

     It would need at least 9 times that Mass

    As it is, it will finally become a Red Giant before collapsing into a White Dwarf

    Colour is actually our perception of light, through Human Eyes

    Attachment image
  • Athena
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Leaving the atmosphere.

    The sun actually IS white.

  • Vaman
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    You are wrong. The sun is green. This is the main reason trees to be green.

  • 8 months ago

    Probably any gas will scatter sunlight in such a way to make it look slightly off-white. The only way it could look the colour it is would be to have no significant atmosphere. Incidentally, I take people's word for it that they see it as yellow but I've only ever seen it as white.

  • 8 months ago

    Lots of cloud cover would probably help.

  • D g
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    The reason that the Sun looks yellow to us is because the Earth's atmosphere scatters higher wavelength colors, like red, orange and yellow less easily. Hence, these wavelengths are what we see, which is why the Sun appears yellow.Jul 9, 2015

    the reason above explains why the sun is yellow  because BLUE is scattered by the atmosphere

    if you wanted the sun to be perfectly white you would need NO ATMOSPHERE   would be one way

    or  to scatter NON VISIBLE  LIGHT   A DIFFERENT ELEMENT in the atmosphere 

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