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True colors

October 2012: How do you capture exciting celestial images without creating something that's not real?
bob_berman_2009
False-color images were all the rage 15 years ago. Back when CCDs and digital processing were new, it was exciting to redecorate the universe. No one minded. Outside of astro-purists who hated chartreuse galaxies, the public probably loved the new paint swatches. After all, actual emission nebulae are always the same repetitious shade of red, as if God bought the paint at a close-out sale. Why not spruce it all up? Some photographers still do.

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