The colors in James Webb’s pictures are incorrect, but there is an explanation

After seeing the pictures taken a few days ago of the James Webb Space Telescope, you were probably wondering what it would be like to be close to these celestial bodies. From the huge multicolored galaxies to the terracotta-colored filament that makes up the Carina Nebula. Pretty cool, right? But, What if we told you that these colors are completely wrong?

Before conspiracy theories emerge, let’s explain you will have time to draw your own conclusions. And the fact is, we know it scientists have a very good reason to “lie” to us with the colors they showed, and they range from research patterns to the relationship between them NASA and man’s appreciation of beauty.

All pictures published, and which take place in the room, first undergo a high-level treatment. Yes, just like the iPhone or any other smartphone when taking a picture, but this time the treatment is much more precise and specific. After all, scientists will rely on these images to study the thousands and thousands of celestial bodies they study each year.

How James Webb’s pictures are composed

The images taken by the James Webb telescope were made by detecting data in the infrared spectrum. This type of radiation, also called thermal radiation, has a wavelength that is easier to visualize than light. This last point is true if you have specialized equipment or if you are an animal species with the ability to see in this spectrum.
Among them snakes, animals that are able to see in the infrared spectrum. Humans, on the other hand, do not have these abilities. Actually, our ability to detect light with only the eye is quite limited by only being able to see what we have called “visible light”. Only a small percentage of the whole spectrum.
Does this mean that celestial bodies emit only infrared radiation? The short answer is no. However, there is a “but”. It all depends on how far away you are of the object.

The behavior of light and the expansion of the universe

We are sure you have heard that the universe is constantly expanding. This is of course true. Because of these enormous distances, which are getting bigger and bigger, the visible light that reaches us from objects in space is very dim. So faint that we often cannot see them, even though we magnify them with our powerful telescopes, but something comes through and it is infrared light. You see as light travels and expands from galaxy to galaxy as the universe expands, it undergoes a process called “redshift”. This phenomenon can be described as the conversion of visible light into infrared light, and in this case it is due to the expansion of the universe. However, the other galaxies are quite far away, and that is increasingly why the scientists are tasked with take this infrared data and put it in a form that our human eyes can appreciate with distinction. To do this, James Webb takes different pictures at different wavelengths, assigning blue to the shortest, red to the longest, and other colors to those in between. By combining them all, we get the images that were shown to us.

James Webb

The reasons for this scam

There are several reasons for this. The first is to create distinctions in the form of colors, it is more convenient to study these bodies. This makes it easier for researchers and scientists to analyze the images obtained. They can also highlight objects of interest.
The second reason is more controversial. In a way, scientists and scientists must show the results to the rest of the population. The easiest way to achieve this is to use beautiful, eye-catching colors that make us think about what is around us. After all, a black-and-white image with illegible symbols and numbers probably would not have caused quite as much buzz as the early images of James Webb.
It is one of the most impressive results in history. Combination of two professions that many consider incompatible with: art and science.

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