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From Colors to Astrophysics

Astronomical color images are more than just "Pretty Pictures", their content is astrophysically very informative. For many astronomical objects the spectral composition of the light gives the main insight to their physical nature. Stars for example offer their surface temperature with their colors. Nebulae emit in different colored emission lines, depending on their material composition and temperature. And so color images are helpful in understanding astrophysics, not only for educational purpose.

The following images are composed with at least three exposures through different color filters to one RGB (Red Green Blue) color image (Three Color Composites). Orion, the perseid meteor, and the image of the solar eclipse are conventional photographic color slides. In each page is a short text "From Colors to Astrophysics" about the meaning of the colors for this object.

C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake)

M 50

NGC 4449

M 1

Barnards Loop

IC 10

M 82

NGC 4631

NGC 6946

Perseid Meteor

NGC 7635

30 Doradus

Comet 46P/Wirtanen

M 27

M 10

NGC 1245

Omega Centauri

NGC 2266

NGC 1857

Solar Eclipse

The images are clickable to get the whole HTML-document with description and larger image size.

© all photographs taken by Sven Kohle and Till Credner et al