If sunlight is white, why do we call it a yellow star?


Sunlight is not 'white' at all, but is only described that way as an approximation. The sun is an honest to god yellow star by DIRECT observation (watch your eyes), and any combination of colors that matches its color will appear yellow...but we call this particular combination 'white' for reasons that seem as much based on tradition as on poor observation.


Return to the Ask the Space Scientist main page.

All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the
NASA IMAGE/POETRY Education and Public Outreach program.