Every color is represented in the solar system, including colors that humans cannot see. Colors are the result of different wavelengths of light being absorbed and reflected from various objects. Prisms demonstrate that white light is comprised of all colors of the visible spectrum. These colors travel at distinct wavelengths that fall between the red and violet ends of the visible color spectrum, all of which originate from various objects in the solar system.Continue Reading
Portions of the color spectrum that are not visible are also represented in the solar system. X-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet rays and infrared rays radiate from various cosmic bodies and reveal information about the objects, such as infrared rays revealing the temperatures of various surfaces or the composition of objects in the solar system.
Visible colors are associated with particular planets because the planets contain concentrations of elements and compounds associated with these colors. The carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus is what gives the planet its yellow color, while the iron ore content of Mars gives it its characteristic red color.
The representation of all colors in the solar system enables scientists to use astronomical spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of planets and objects in the solar system. Each element generates electromagnetic wavelengths that are unique to that element and produce distinct color bands that identify it. This is how scientists know that the frozen clouds above Uranus are made of ammonia and that objects millions of light years away are stars rather than planets.Learn more about Planets