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Why does the color of the sun vary?

Find out why the color of the sun varies.

An orange sun sets into the sea. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
An orange sun sets into the sea.

The color of the sun varies because sunlight contains all the colors of the rainbow that blend to form white light, making sunlight appear white. At times, some of the color wavelengths become scattered, especially blue, and the sunlight appears colored.

When the sun is high in the sky, some of the blue rays are scattered in the Earth's atmosphere. At such times, the sky looks blue and the sun appears to be yellow.

At sunrise or sunset when the light must follow a longer path through the Earth's atmosphere, the sun looks red (red having the longest wavelengths).

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