Has the sun changed color and shape? What mystery did scientists learn

Yulia LoseynkoLife

A disturbing new theory is spreading through social networks - some users claim that the Sun, on which life on our planet depends, has changed in recent years. Allegedly, it has changed the color of its light from yellowish to white, and some even think that the shape of our star has become somewhat different.

IFL Science looked into the origins of this theory. It also asked experts to explain why it might have arisen.

Some older users of social networks have begun to tell us that from their youth they remember the sunlight as yellowish. Now all attempts to photograph or otherwise capture its light lead them to see it as white. Particularly conspiracy-minded people even come up with frightening explanations for this, such as the deliberate spraying of chemicals (chemtrails) in the atmosphere that would block the sun's rays.

The simplest yet reasonable explanation was spread on his Twitter account of more than 5 million followers by American astronaut Scott Kelly. He confirmed that the sunlight can be made yellowish by the Earth's atmosphere, which slightly curves its spectrum. If you go beyond it, the sun appears white.

The scientific explanation is this: the light that the Sun emits contains all wavelengths, including all the colors of the visible spectrum. The human eye perceives this glow as white. But under the influence of gases in the Earth's atmosphere, the light of the blue spectrum is scattered more effectively than the red. This imbalance creates the illusion that the Sun glows yellowish. These effects are most noticeable at sunrise and sunset when the sun's rays have to travel the greatest distance through the atmosphere. It is during these minutes that they turn golden or even red.

Conversely, at noon, when the sun is right above our heads, it appears white. This is because in this position the rays scatter through the smallest layer of the atmosphere before reaching our eyes.

There is also a psychological explanation for this illusion. The impression that the Sun used to shine yellow may be caused by nostalgia, a tendency to remember a beautiful sunset when we can quietly admire the phenomenon. Whereas on a normal day, we tend to be too busy to pay attention to things like the color of the light.

Finally, to confuse those seeking the hidden truth, especially the sensitive physicists might say that our Sun does not actually shine yellow or white, but green. The star does emit energy at all wavelengths, from radio to gamma rays. But as NASA explained before the 2017 eclipse, it emits most of its energy at about 500 nm, which is close to the range of blue-green light. However, for the human eye, this effect is completely offset by the presence of radiation of all wavelengths that make sunlight white.

Previously OBOZREVATEL told about the amazing processes in the magnetic field of the Sun, which scientists have actually recorded.

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