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"Why Does the Sun Look Yellow?"

Simply Science 03

The Sun appears yellow mainly because of how the Earth's atmosphere scatters sunlight. The Sun emits light across the entire visible spectrum, with various colours ranging from violet and blue to green, yellow, orange, and red. Each of these colours corresponds to a different wavelength of light. This mixture means that the light from the Sun is actually white light.

Yellow Sun

When sunlight passes through the Earth's atmosphere, it interacts with the molecules and particles in the air. This interaction scatters the sunlight in all directions. However, shorter wavelengths of light, such as violet and blue, are scattered more than longer wavelengths, like yellow and red. This phenomenon is known as Rayleigh scattering.

As a result of Rayleigh scattering, when we look at the Sun from the Earth's surface, we see more of the longer-wavelength yellow and red light because they are scattered less. This is why the Sun often appears yellow or orange during sunrise and sunset when its light must pass through a thicker layer of the Earth's atmosphere.

The Sun can also take on different shades of yellow, orange, or red depending on atmospheric conditions, pollution, and other factors. During a sunrise or sunset, for instance, the Sun can appear reddish due to the increased scattering of shorter wavelengths and the longer path its light takes through the atmosphere.

Yellow Sun


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