Why, if white doesn’t absorb heat, do I get very hot when I wear a white shirt?

Why, if white doesn’t absorb heat, do I get very hot when I wear a white shirt?

A white shirt doesn’t absorb visible light (or at least very much visible light), but it may absorb lots of infrared light. Since much of the sun’s light and heat are in the form of invisible infrared light, that infrared absorption can be very important. There are many materials that appear white to your eye that do absorb strongly in the infrared and thus get very hot in sunlight.

What causes the colors in the aurora borealis?

What causes the colors in the aurora borealis?

These colors come from the atomic fluorescence of particles high above the earth’s surface. As charged particles from the sun’s “solar wind” spiral through the earth’s magnetic field toward its poles, they collide with one another and with atoms in the earth’s upper atmosphere. The energy of such collisions can excite the atoms involved and cause them to emit light.

How do oil spills/spots (i.e. in parking lots and streets) create rainbows?

How do oil spills/spots (i.e. in parking lots and streets) create rainbows?

A thin layer of oil on water creates interference effects, just like those seen in a thin soap film. Sunlight reflects from both the top and the bottom of the oil layer and these two reflections can interfere with one another. If the blue/green wavelengths of light interfere destructively on their way to your eye, you will see the oil layer as red. If the green/red wavelengths of light interfere destructively, you will see the oil layer as blue. How you see the oil layer depends on its thickness and the angles of the light.