View Full Version : True or False (Color): The Art of Extraterrestrial Photography

2007-Oct-01, 08:36 PM
When you look at the amazing pictures capture by Hubble, or the Mars Exploration Rovers, do you ever wonder: is that what you're really see with your own eyes? ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/10/01/true-or-false-color-the-art-of-extraterrestrial-photography/)

2007-Oct-02, 03:22 AM
Nicely done, Fraser, but don't tell anyone I said so; stellarchromology has a future. :)

I recall reading of a JPL team comprised of two or three folks that took over 100,000 images with rover equipment to better help their efforts to provide near true color representation. [There is a famous, sorta, panoramic image from Viking that showed the Martian sky as blue because it was assumed the sky would actually appear blue.]

Seeing faint color in many celestial objects, besides stars, is not as uncommon as I once thought. Those who get to look through the 82" and 107" at McDonalds Obs. see them quite often. I'll never forget the faint blue ring seen in the Eskimo nebula from the 82". My son saw a more saturated blue ring than I did.

If our eyes were a little larger, we would see more colors, no doubt.

Larger telescopes that can see smaller regions that are highly illuminated should be capable of presenting some colorful dense regions for the naked eye to behold.

But, as you appropriatly pointed-out, "true color" is not as useful as false color to astronomy. I think for an astronomer, for instance, to not know the "true color" of the Sun, is a little like asking Tiger Woods the weight of his driver: it is not information critical to either of their performance. A red rose by any other color is still a rose. However, it is still nice to know their color. :)