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    I considered sending Jax a PM about this, but I figured that others could benefit from the question…

    Jax, I’ve heard that the pictures we get from NASA, such as far-away galaxies, have been colored to look the way they do, that the images actually are black and white.  On the other hand, I’ve heard that they are colored to look how they would look if we could see them with the naked eye.

    So please clear up my confusion and tell me whether the universe looks as colorful as I thought :D


    There are different coloring options.  Usually in the info about a picture it tells you what the colors mean.  There are even pictures that include multiple color schemes to show what would be visible, what is visible in the xray, gamma ray, etc.  I know there are websites out there that explain this better (everything is on nasa.gov, just hard to find sometimes lol)  But sadly, the universe as seen through our fancy telescopes isn’t really as colorful as you have seen.  Of course, our earth is pretty colorful, so I’m sure there are some amazingly colorful places in the universe as well.  It’s not just black and white :-)


    Ok, found something that explains this pretty well, and focuses on the Hubble images.  Check out this website, http://hubblesite.org/gallery/behind_the_pictures/.  there are really great examples of how a galaxy looks with different filters, including how they make natural color pictures that would be what we expect if we were viewing it ourself.  Enjoy!

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