When you hold a piece of paper up to sunlight it looks white. But when we look at the Sun it looks yellow. Who's first with the answer?
I don't recall ever looking at the Sun and seeing yellow. The light from the Sun has a spectrum which is very much like that of a black body at a temperature of about 5,800 Kelvin. The peak of the plot of intensity vs. wavelength shows a peak aroung the middle of the visible spectrum and is about constant throughout the visble spectrum with the max at about yellow. But it's not that different. The fact that aa piece of paper looks white is a demonstration of that fact since a white piece of paper reflects all colors. Take the "white" piece of paper and place it under Sunlight - it looks white. Now place it under a incandescant lamp - it looks yellow.
the color the sun looks probably depends
Don't forget that our eyes and brain compensate for a lot of factors. That is one reason many people have trouble learning photography, they don't make allowance for the camera's stupidity in that respect. So our eyes see sunlight as white, even though it doesn't fit the abstract definition of "white light".Originally posted by On Radioactive Waves
But isn't lamda max for 5800 K in between yellow and green? And due to scattering and also that our eyes are more sensitive to yellow, that we then perceive the sun as yellow?
And to answer the original question, you are seeing light shinig through the paper.
P.S. Tyger we are waiting for you to go on the physics Q&A game