Did you know that the Hubble Space Telescope only takes photos in black and white? Scientists only add color later by using a technique that imitates how our eyes see color.
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Only a fraction of the range of frequencies of light and their wavelengths, called the electromagnetic spectrum, is visible to humans. The photoreceptors in our eyes, called “cone cells,” perceive wavelengths of light that appear roughly red, green, and blue. All other colors are combinations of these three, and they’re known as the primary colors of light.
When Hubble scientists take photos of space, they use filters to record specific wavelengths of light. Later, they add red, green, or blue to color the exposures taken through those filters. The result is full-color images that have a variety of purposes for scientific analysis.
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(Image Credit: geralt/ Pixabay)