posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 10:36 AM
Originally posted by Cds4344
As an avid amateur astronomer myself, and I'm sure you are as well, all of you should know that telescopes we look through at the moon and the
planets/nebulae are all in black and white, there is no color in a telescope. The color you see is all done through imaging and image processing to
create the color.
You may be a bit confused...it sounds like you are talking about digital cameras.
digital cameras (the ones used by average people, professionals, and even on NASA spacecraft) are actually "color blind". What I mean by
that is that the sensor that picks up the image (the "CCD" or "CMOS") can only discern different shades of gray. The sensor does not know one
color from the next.
When a picture is taken with a digital camera, special filters create an image (actually multiple images seen through multiple filters) in differing
intensities of gray. Each color when viewed through various filters becomes various -- but specific -- shades of gray. The camera's computer than
takes the multiple images as seen through the various filters and assigns a color to the shades of gray.
The resulting color image takes less than a second and is actually the camera's "best educated guess" at what the actual colors probably are.
NASA's Mars Rovers are like this, but they take many black and white pictures of the same scene, with separate pictures of different vesions of that
scene viewed though different filters. The rover then sends all of those black-and-white pictures of that scene (each picture slightly different
shades of gray) back to Earth where imaging scientists use computers on Earth to make that "best educated guess" as to the actual color, based on
the different black-and-white filtered photos.
Each slightly different black and white image of a particular scene taken through different filters can be used to identify certain -- but not all --
colors. These black and white images are then electronically "stacked" to build up a full "approximate true color" picture.
That's why the raw images from Mars are in black-and-white -- because the imaging computers here on Earth have not yet translated the pictures into
approximate true color. The "raw images" picked up by your personal digital camera's sensor is black and white also -- but the camera's computer
almost instantaneously translates it into color.
[edit on 8/18/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]