Living in a Technicolor Universe : Discovery News: "his is the most common question I get in e-mails and from audiences in science presentations. An urban legend has developed over the years that the colors in modern astronomical photos are made up in a paint-by-numbers game by publicity-hungry astronomers.
�True, if you’ve ever had an opportunity to look at a nebula through an amateur telescope it looks like a gray cotton ball rather that a vibrant tie-dye composition.
Despite what you see in lavish Hollywood sci-fi movies, even if you could warp-speed out to a nebula it would still look grey. Why? Because the light from glowing gasses would be spread all over the sky and hence remain too weak to trigger our eye’s color receptors."