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St. Valentine and the Rosette Nebula: Finding Truth Amid Hagiography. — 3 Comments

  1. Brilliant!

    In Turn Left at Orion we make a point of describing how hard it is to see some of the objects that appear so bright in photoshopped images. I have actually seen the Rosette with my C-90 telescope (90 mm aperture) on a perfect night in Australia, and using a nebula filter… and a bit of “averted imagination.” Mostly it looked like your last image, but without the color!

  2. In the ‘Comments to the Instructor’ section of R.C. Bless’s /Discovering the Cosmos/ textbook he swears off color images because of the problem of misinterpreting what they show. He has a point. About the only color I find most visitors to our observatory can see through a telescope is perhaps a greenish hue in parts of the Orion Nebula.

    As I understand it, what the eye sees is what these objects ‘really’ look like. In other words, if you flew in a ship to be near enough to the Rosette nebula that you could see it out the window, it would be dimly visible and nearly colorless, like it looks through a small telescope.

  3. Br. Guy and Christopher. Thank you for your feedback! I must admit, I fell into this same trap back in college when I was getting into astronomy. A painful and potentially expensive lesson to learn!

    Christopher, welcome to our team of contributors! Looking forward to your reflects!

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