if the sun produces white light that then refracts into other colors when it enters our atmosphere, why does it appear yellow in photographs from space?



Explanation can be more complex, I don’t mind 🙂

In: Physics

The Sun *emits* white light, which is actually a composite of all of the visible frequencies of light. (A prism shows you the visible frequencies of white light.) The distribution of solar frequencies is uneven, the most intense frequency is in the yellow-green part of the spectrum. All of the visible frequencies mixed together produce white.

The sun in space is indeed white to the naked eye.

The reason space photos are often orange or yellow is because they are -lies-.

More accurately they are false color images that often represent wavelengths of light outside the visible spectrum. Even in the visible spectrum, the cameras aren’t necessarily going to be capturing the RGB values a normal camera does because those wavelengths aren’t significant from a science standpoint. And also white is a terrible color to show details so the person making the image will generally pick a color, and culturally that tends to be a yellow or red or orange because thats how the sun looks on Earth during sunrises and sunsets


The sun from space is white, and if you took a photo would look white. e.g. : [https://cosmic-watch.com/cosmicbeta/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/sunfromspace_c.jpg](https://cosmic-watch.com/cosmicbeta/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/sunfromspace_c.jpg)

However, the photos you are thinking of are probably photos taken from space telescopes, like the Hubble. Those photos don’t have colors, only shades of grey. The colors are added after, to make the image more interesting and to help visualize details. They choose yellow/orange/red for the sun, because it is what we are used to. But they could choose any other set of colors.

If you want to see a better explanation of how they manipulate the photos of the Hubble, and see examples of before/after, check this article: [https://www.businessinsider.com/how-hubble-images-are-manipulted-2015-3](https://www.businessinsider.com/how-hubble-images-are-manipulted-2015-3)