MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: Why is the sun yellow at noon and red at sunset?

Date: Sat Dec 28 19:25:11 1996
Posted by: Doug Sarver
Grade level: nonaligned
School/Organization: Alumni, Cal State Univ., Northridge
City: Hollywood State/Province: CA
Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
Message ID: 851822711.Ph
Message:
Why is the sun yellow at noon and red at sunset?


I have heard a number of theories.
1) The atmosphere absorbs more of the shorter wavelength light (violet, blue, green etc..) because the sun's light has to travel through more atmoshere to reach our eyes at sunset.

2) The atmosphere refracts the light and turns it into red light instead of white/yellow.

3) The earth's gravity bends the light over its surface and the shorter wavelengths are pulled into the earth's surface leaving only the longer, red light to reach us.

Are any of these true are is it something else?

Thank you for your time.

Re:Why is the sun yellow at noon and red at sunset?

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