Why is moonlight white not yellow
Why does moonlight have a lower color temperature?
I refer you to the picture below which is from Ciocca & Wang (2013). This clearly shows that the moon's spectrum (normalized to have an overall strength similar to sunlight) is redder than sunlight and therefore has a lower "color temperature". This is a fact, not a perception.
EDIT: Just to get rid of confusion - the OP speaks of "yellow" because this way the eye perceives a redder spectrum (in terms of physics, this means shifting to a longer wavelength - see picture). In this sense, moonlight is more "yellow" than sunlight, because it has a redder spectrum.
The reason for the redder spectrum is that the reflectivity of the moon increases at reddish wavelengths. Since moonlight is reflected sunlight, it must be redder than sunlight.
Opinions differ when it comes to our perception of moonlight. While the light is likely to be too bright for true scotopic vision, it is likely not bright enough to allow full color vision, and hence inferior mesopic vision with eye cells that are more sensitive to blue light - also known as the Purkinje effect .
This is exactly what Ciocca & Wang suggest in their work. It must be noted, however, that the difference between the solar and lunar spectra is not that great, especially considering that the eye acts as a logarithmic intensity detector. It is entirely possible that the difference is not big enough to be perceived by the eye, so the broad spectrum of the moon appears basically white and this is amplified when seen against a dark sky.
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