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Come here during Solar Week (next one: March 22-26, 2021) to interact. To post a question, click on your area of interest from the topics below, and then click on the "Ask New Question" button. Or EMAIL or tweet or plant in Answer Garden your question about the Sun or life as a scientist to us -- and watch for it to appear here.  You can also visit our FAQs (frequently asked questions). In between Solar Weeks in October and March, you can view all the archives here.

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Last Post 3/23/2020 11:18 AM by  Christina Cohen
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3/23/2020 11:01 AM
    Why is the sun yellow/orange

    Christina Cohen

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/23/2020 11:18 AM
    Hi Vayda,

    Actually the Sun isn't really yellow/orange. It emits light over a range of wavelengths, including those that we can't see with our eye (like ultra-violet). The wavelengths that we can see basically combine to make the Sun look white to us (particularly when you view it outside our atmosphere, like from the space station).

    The Sun often looks yellow or orange closest to sunrise/sunset. The reason why is because the light from the Sun is traveling through more of the Earth's atmosphere during those times and the short wavelength light (violet, blue, green) is scattered more than the long wavelength light (red, orange, yellow), so the mix looks more yellow/orange to us during those times.

    And, of course, I need to put in the usual reminder not to look directly at the Sun without protective solar/eclipse glasses!

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