JohnD wrote: ↑
Mon May 28, 2018 9:03 am
Ann, Queen of Colour! You confined your comments to the stars; what about the infra-red 'colours'? The APOD caption mentions filaments in the dust, which would be visible in a black and white version of the picture. The colours are just blotches, more like a badly colourised B&W photograph than evidence of stratified layers of dust, energised to produce different wavelengths of IR radiation.
Judy Schmidt of the Planatery Society posted the same view, with the colours assigned to almost the same wavelengths, in 2016, and the result looks a lot less like a child's attempt to use makeup: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geckzilla ... otostream/
Thanks for calling me the Queen of Colour, John!
Why did I only comment on the color of the stars, and not on the colors of the nebulosity? Well, simple. I feel pretty confident that I know
the color of stars, because I have spent a lot of time staring at stars through a telescope and memorizing the colors of them. And I feel pretty confident that I can "translate" the B-V index of a star into a "true" visible star color.
But as for the color of nebulas, what do I know? The only color I have ever seen in nebulas was the greenish tinge that I spotted in the Trapezium region in the Orion Nebula. That's it, really. I enjoy looking at pictures of pink nebulas next to bright blue stars, because I think that the color contrast is beautiful. But I have most definitely never spotted a nebula that looked pink through a telescope. So what do I know about the "real" color of nebulas? What ever we mean by "real" colors (when I can't spot them through a telescope)?
And as for infrared colors, what I know about the "true color of them" is zero. Zip. Nada.
Still though, I realize that when it comes to infrared light, false color (and gray scales) is all that we have. Because infrared light itself is colorless (although Chris will tell you that near-infrared light is really red, which I guess might be true. But it's faint and hard to spot.)
Anyway, I generally don't complain when infrared images are colored weirdly, but I generally don't feel strongly inclined to comment on infrared pictures of nebulas, either. I feel like I'm looking at a famous piece of art that doesn't move me much at all, and I just want to shrug and say, okay, what do you expect me to say about it?
But hey, John, you were right! Geck's version of the Pleiades' infrared colors is so much less - well, so much less exaggerated, maybe?