Why Does the Moon Look White?


Quick Answer

The moon appears white because the color receptors in the retina of the human eye are not stimulated by the moon's low light intensity. The eye only sees the moon as light gray in the black sky.

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Full Answer

There are two types of receptors in human eyes: cones and rods. Rod receptors are active in low-light environments and transmit monochrome hues. The cone receptors are responsible for transmitting color to the brain in high-intensity light environments. When looking up at the moon, only the rod receptors are activated, essentially transmitting the image to the brain in gradients of black and white.

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