What Color is the Sun?

We all know that our Sun is orange in color….    right?     Wrong!

(Click to Enlarge)

It may actually look orange to us on Earth but it’s true color is white as shown on the right hand side of the image on the left. Why is this so?

When you think of stars you will know about red dwarfs, red giants, yellow stars, blue giants, white stars, yellow stars and so on. The color of these stars is dependant on how hot each of those stars are.

For example, a red star is a cool star with a temperature of say 3500 kelvin while a hot star of over 10,000 kelvin is blue in appearance.

Our Sun is in the middle of these two and has a temperature of about 6000 kelvin and appears white.

When the light from the Sun enters the atmosphere, the sunlight is scattered by the atmosphere resulting in blue and violet wavelengths bring removed. This changes the light from the sun and gives it a more yellowish color. So from where we stand on the Earth the Sun therefore has a yellow appearance…… not white.

If you buy a sheet of solar film to make your own solar filter for your telescope, you can choose solar film to show you the Sun in the more interesting orange color ….or choose solar film that shows you the sun in it’s actual color of white.

This scattering of light by the atmosphere is also the reason why the sky is blue during the day.

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~ by sydneystargazers on June 30, 2010.

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