Elon Musk Explained: What Color is the Sun?
What color is the sun? The first answer is usually given as yellow. However, in an image taken from space, the color of the sun is white. But Elon Musk tells us that the sun is another color.
Musk: The Sun is Green
“What color is the sun?” The controversy began with someone on Twitter explaining Rayleigh scattering, the optical phenomenon that partially explains why the sky appears blue during the day. According to Elon Musk, the color of the Sun is green. So, is Musk right?
White light consists of various colors; we most likely associate it with the rainbow. The sun itself emits full spectrum light; that is, light with wavelengths beyond what we see in the rainbow. According to NASA, the Sun emits most of its energy around 500nm; This corresponds to the color green. The sun emits more blue-green colors than anything else. Therefore, Musk’s claim makes sense.
What does NASA Say?
But although the Sun emits more blue-green than anything else, it intensely emits all visible colors. Our eyes, which contain three cone cell receptors for color, relay to our brain that it sees many colors. Our eyes combine all colors in white light, but when we look at an image taken from space, we see it as white. On Earth, the atmosphere changes what we see. The Rayleigh scattering effect describes how our planet’s atmosphere scatters light; it does this more effectively at shorter wavelengths. Because blue is one of the shortest wavelengths, it diffuses more dominantly than most other visible colors. When sunlight hits our eyes, the absence of blue gives us the impression of yellow.
So, what color is the Sun? Is it green because it emits more green light than any other color? Is it as white as it appears in space? Or is it yellow as we see directly? If you ask NASA, all three answers are correct.
What do you think about this?