Origins Hubble a view to the edge of space  
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How are natural color pictures made?

A picture of a natural color scene may be represented as a combinations of three separate views in three primary colors. These separated images may be made by using color filters to isolate the selected color and produce three black and white pictures, one representing each color. This is how color video cameras and color film photography works.

red photo of beach umbrella black and white photo of beach umbrella's red tones
green photo of beach umbrella black and white photo of beach umbrella's green tones
blue photo of beach umbrella black and white photo of beach umbrella's blue tones

Making natural color Hubble Space Telescope pictures:

Eagle Nebula red screen
Eagle nebula RED
plus sign Eagle Nebula green screen
Eagle nebula GREEN
plus sign Eagle Nebula blue screen
Eagle nebula BLUE
equals sign Eagle Nebula color image
Eagle nebula RGB

Try it yourself! In this interactive activity, combine the red, green, and blue versions of a Hubble photo to see the natural color result.
(You will first need to install the Shockwave player in your browser.)

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