David's Astronomy Pages (Image Gallery)
False Colour Images

This page shows a selection of false colour images which provide additional information or detail to original monochrome image.

Bullet

False Colour Image Galleries

  
Bullet Image Gallery (Inverse Spectrum)
| Galaxies | Globular Clusters | Comets | Nebula | Moon |
  
Bullet Image Gallery (Hot)
| Nebula | Other Objects |
  
Bullet Image Gallery (Cold)
| CometsPlanetary Nebula |
 
Bullet Image Gallery (Blkbdy)
- Various Objects
 
Bullet Image Gallery (Other Colour Bars)
| Galaxies | Nebulae/Nebulosity |
 
Bullet Image Gallery (Detailed False Colour Images)

 


False Colour Image Galleries

Examples of a variety of false colour images are shown within the sections below .
Many are set side by side with a conventional monochromatic image display.

I normally use fv for creating false colour image displays.  fv is FITS file viewer and editor developed at the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) at NASA/ GSFC.

fv provides a number of useful built in colour bars:

Image

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Image Gallery (Inverse Spectrum)

Inverse Spectrum is one of my favourite false colour displays, often used with either Square Root or Log brightness scaling. 

Scaling

Inverse Spectrum Colour Bar
Linear Image
Square Root Image 

Log

Image 


I frequently use it for highlighting details in Galaxies, especially Spiral and Barred Galaxies, but I also use it with bright comets, and globular clusters.

 

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Galaxies (Inverse Spectrum)

M51 - Spiral Galaxy

M51 (Canes Venatici)

M51 - false colour

Image Image
 CCD Image 
3 x 2 min (average combine), clear filter
2006-01-02 02:12h UT (#108135-37)
 False Colour CCD Image
Log brightness scaling, 
(image details as left)

 

M58 - Spiral Galaxy

M58 (Virgo) 

M58 - false colour

Image Image
 CCD Image
3 x 180 sec exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C Filter, 
linear brightness scaling 
2007-05-19 23:43h UT (#198299-301)
 False Colour CCD Image
Log brightness scaling, 
False Colour (Inverse Spectrum)
(image details as left)

 

M66 - Spiral Galaxy

M66 (Leo)

M66 - false colour

Image Image
 CCD Image
5 x 2 min (average combine),  C Filter
2004-12-11 05:42 h UT (#79010-14)
 Enhanced False Colour Display 
(Logarithmic Scaling, 
Range 460-3300 ADU, Inverse Spectrum)
(image details as left)

 

M74 - Spiral Galaxy

M74 (Pisces)

M74 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image
4 x 3 min exposure (summed), 2x2 binning , C Filter
Linear Scale
2006-09-03 00:52 h UT (#137096-99)
 False Colour CCD Image 
Square Root brightness scaling
(image details as left)

 

M90 - Spiral Galaxy

M90 (Virgo)

 M90 - false colour
with small irregular galaxy IC 3583 at top/right centre

Image Image
 CCD Image
3 x 180 sec exposure (average combine), 2x2 binning, C Filter, 
linear brightness scaling 
2007-05-20 00:05h UT (#198310-15)
 CCD Image
Square Root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (Inverse Spectrum)
(image details as left)

 

M94 - Spiral Galaxy

M94 (Canes Venatici)

M94 - False Colour

Image Image
 CCD Image 
3 x 180s, 2x2 binning, C Filter
Square Root brightness scaling
2007-04-27 21:59 hUT (#192103-05)
 False Colour CCD Image
Image Details as left
Square root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (inverse spectrum)

 

M98 - Spiral Galaxy

M98  (Coma Berenices) 

M98 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image 
7 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  
2007-03-13  00:25h UT (#182297-303)
False Colour CCD Image 
Square Root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (inverse spectrum)
Image details as above

 

M99 - Spiral Galaxy

M99  (Coma Berenices) 

M99 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image (linear scale, cropped)
4 x 1 min exposure (average combine), 3x3 binning, C Filter
2009-11-27 06:02 h UT  (#400217-21)
12" LX200R  (at f/5.7) + ST-10XME
False Colour CCD Image 
Square Root brightness scaling, 
Inverse spectrum colour scale
Image details as above

 

M100 - Spiral Galaxy / Supernova 2006x

M100 (Ursa Major) with SN 2006x

 M100 - false colour

Image Image
Annotated CCD Image
5 x 2 min exposure (average combine),
 2x2 binning, C Filter 
2006-02-20 23:17h UT (#115064-68)
CCD Image - false colour, log brightness scaling
5 x 2 min exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C Filter 
2006-02-20 23:17h UT (#115064-68)

 

M109 - Spiral Galaxy

M109 (Ursa Major)

 M109 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image 
6 x 2 min (average combine), clear filter
2006-01-02 01:12h UT (#108113-18)
CCD Image (false colour, log brightness scaling)
CCD image as left 

 

NGC 3344 - Spiral Galaxy

NGC 3344 (Leo Minor) 

NGC 3344 - false colour 

Image Image
CCD Image 
7 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  
2007-02-18 00:01h UT (#176211-17)
CCD Image
Log brightness scaling, Inverse Spectrum
(details as left)

 

NGC 3184 - Spiral Galaxy

NGC 3184 (Ursa Major)

NGC 3184 - false colour 

Image Image
CCD Image (75% scale, cropped)
6 x 120 sec exposure (average combine), 3x3 binning, C Filter 
2012-03-05 21:56 h UT (#545094-99)
12" LX200R  (at f/9.7) + ST-10XME
CCD Image
Linear scaling, Inverse Spectrum
(details as left)

 

NGC 3521 - Spiral Galaxy

NGC 3521 (Leo)  

NGC 3521 - false colour 

Image Image
CCD Image 
7 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  
2007-02-18 00:25h UT (#176221-27)
CCD Image
Square Root brightness scaling, Inverse Spectrum
(details as left)

 

NGC 3953 - Spiral Galaxy & Supernova 2006bp

NGC 3953 (Ursa Major) with SN 2006bp

NGC 3953 - false colour 

Image Image
Annotated CCD Image
5 x 60s exposure (average combine), 2x2 binning, C Filter 
2006-05-25 00:32 hUT (#127112-16)
False Colour CCD Image
Log Scale, False Colour (inverse spectrum)
(details as left)

 

NGC 4030 - Spiral Galaxy with Supernova 2007aa

NGC 4030 with SN 2007aa  (Virgo)

NGC 4030 - False colour

Image Image
CCD Image 
5 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  
2007-03-12  23:13h UT (#182260-64)
False Colour CCD Image 
Square Root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (inverse spectrum)
Image details as left

 

NGC 4559 - Spiral Galaxy

NGC 4559 / Caldwell 36  (Coma Berenices) 

NGC 4559- false colour

Image Image
CCD Image 
5 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  
2007-03-03  23:46h UT (#180385-89)
False Colour CCD Image
Square Root brightness scaling
Image details as left

 

NGC 4490 / NGC 4485 - Interacting Galaxies (Cocoon Nebula)

NGC 4490 / NGC 4485 (Canes Venatici)
NGC 4490 - Cocoon Nebula (bottom), 
interacting with NGC 4485 (centre)

NGC 4490 / NGC 4485 - detail

Image Image
CCD Image
5 x 180s exposure (average combine), 2x2 binning, C Filter
2006-12-20 06:30h UT (#167511-15)
False Colour CCD Image 
Square root brightness scaling
Image details as left

 

NGC 5005 - Spiral Galaxy

NGC 5005  / Caldwell 29  (Canes Venatici) 

NGC 5005 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image 
3 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  
2007-03-03  23:23h UT (#180377-79)
False Colour CCD Image 
Square Root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (inverse spectrum)
Image details as left

 

NGC 7606 - Spiral Galaxy

NGC 7606 / Herschel I-104 (Aquarius) 

NGC 7606 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image 
5 x 120s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  
2008-10-04 23:20h UT (#310214-18)
False Colour CCD Image 
Square Root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (inverse spectrum)
Image details as left

 

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Globular Clusters (Inverse Spectrum)

M3 - Globular Cluster

M3 (Canes Venatici) 

Image 

CCD Image (75% size)
120s exposure, 2x2 binning, C filter,  
Square Root brightness scaling,  Gamma Correction
2007-04-05  01:34 hUT (#189236)
 

M3 - false colour

Image

False Colour CCD Image (75% size)
120s exposure, 1x1 binning, C filter, 
Square Root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (Inverse Spectrum) 
2007-04-05 01:34h UT (#189236)

 

M53 - Globular Cluster

M53 (Coma Berenices)

M53 - false colour

Image Image
 CCD Image, linear brightness scaling
3 x 60 sec exposure (average combine),
 2x2 binning, C Filter 
2007-05-19 22:12h UT (#198165-67)
 False Colour CCD Image
Square root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (Inverse Spectrum)
(image details as left)

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Comets (Inverse Spectrum)

C/2006 M4 (Swan) - Comet

Comet C/2006 M4 (Swan)
(passing through starfield in Hercules)

Comet C/2006 M4 (Swan)
 - false colour

Image Image
 CCD Image 
5 x 60s exposure (average combine, aligned on comet), 
2x2 binning, C filter
Linear scale with range adjusted to show detail in tail
2006-10-28 20:23h UT (#150012-16)
False colour CCD Image 
Log Scale
(image details as left)

 

Comet 73/P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3-B  (Fragment B)

Comet 73/P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3-B 
(Fragment B passing through Star Field in Cygnus)

Comet 73/P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3-B 
 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image (50% size)
15 x 30s, 1x1 binning, C Filter
Aligned on comet nucleus & stacked
2006-05-12 23:08h UT (#126058-72) 
False colour CCD Image 
Log Scale
(image details as left)

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Nebula (Inverse Spectrum)

M1 - Supernovae Remnant

M1 (Taurus)

M1 - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image (200% size)
6 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C Filter, Linear brightness scaling
2007-09-11 01:05 hUT (#211121-26)
 False Colour CCD Image
Square root brightness scaling, 
False Colour (Inverse Spectrum)
(image details as left)

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Moon (Inverse Spectrum)

Moon

Moon (94% phase) Moon (94% phase) - False Colour
Image  Image
B&W CCD Image Mosaic (3 x 4)
0.11 sec exposure, B Filter
1x1 Binning/Resized 
2006-01-11 23:06h UT (#110119-32)
[ Full Size
False Colour CCD Image Mosaic (3 x 4)
Image details as left


[ Full Size ]

 

Moon - Detail

East region of the Moon in False Colour
 Image
 CCD Image (false colour) - Linear Scale (inverse spectrum)
0.11 sec exposure, V Filter, 1x1 Binning. Unsharp Masked
2006-01-11 23:23h UT (#110157)

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Image Gallery ("Hot")

Hot is another colour bar that I frequently used, often with either linear or Square Root brightness scaling. 

Scaling

Hot Colour Bar
Linear Image
Square Root Image 

Log

Image 


I frequently use it for bright nebulae, but occasionally use it for other nebulae and galaxies.

 


Nebulae ("Hot")

M42 - Bright Nebula

M42 (Orion)

M42 - detail

Image Image
CCD Image 
Logarithmic Scaling (190-60000 ADU)
9 x 15 sec exposure (medium combine), C Filter
2005-01-05 23:36 h UT (#82110-18)
False Colour CCD Image 
Logarithmic Scaling 
(Image as left)

 

NGC 1491 - Nebula

NGC 1491 (Perseus)

NGC 1491 - detail

Image Image
CCD Image 
3 x 180s exposure (average combine), 
2x2 binning, C Filter
2006-12-15 23:46h UT (#163226-28)
False CCD Image 
Square root brightness scaling
Image Details as left

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Galaxies ("Hot")

NGC 4490 / NGC 4485 - Interacting Galaxies (Cocoon Nebula)

NGC 4490 / NGC 4485 (Canes Venatici)
NGC 4490 - Cocoon Nebula (bottom), 
interacting with NGC 4485 (centre)

NGC 4490 / NGC 4485 - detail (false colour)

Image Image
CCD Image
5 x 180s exposure (average combine), 2x2 binning, C Filter
2006-12-20 06:30h UT (#167511-15)
False Colour CCD Image (150% size)
Square root brightness scaling, rotated.
Image details as left

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Image Gallery (Cold)

Cold is a colour bar that I occasionally use, most often for comets, used either linear or Square Root brightness scaling. 

Scaling

Cold Colour Bar
Linear Image
Square Root Image 

Log

Image 


I frequently use it for less bright comets, or highlighting specific detail in brighter comets. I occasionally use the "Cold" Colour bar for galaxies.

 


Comets ("Cold")

C/2006 M4 (Swan) - Comet

Comet C/2006 M4 (Swan)
(passing through starfield in Aquila)

Comet C/2006 M4 (Swan) - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image 
5 x 60s exposure (average combine, aligned on comet), 
2x2 binning, C filter,  Linear scale 
2006-12-06 17:42h UT (#159035-39)
False Colour CCD Image 
Log brightness scaling (3000 ADU range)
(details as left)
   

Comet C/2006 M4 (Swan)
(passing through starfield on border 
between Ursa Major and Coma Berenices)

Comet C/2006 M4 (Swan) - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image
2 x 60s exposure, 2x2 binning (average combine), C Filter
2006-09-30 19:19h UT (#144015-16)
False Colour CCD Image 
Log brightness scaling (3000 ADU range)
(details as left)

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Planetary Nebula ("Cold")

NGC 2371  (Gemini)   [ Herschel H316-2 ]

NGC 2371  - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image (cropped, linear scale) 
4 x 60s (average combine), 2x2 binning, V Filter 
2010-02-20 21:59 h UT  (#414277-81)
12" LX200R  (at f/9.7) + ST-10XME
False Colour CCD Image (cropped, log scale)
Image details as left)

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Image Gallery (Blkbdy)

Blkbdy is a colour bar that I occasionally use. 

Scaling

Blkbdy Colour Bar
Linear Image
Square Root Image 

Log

Image 

 


M1 - Supernova Remnant (Crab Nebula)

M1 (Taurus) 

M1 (Taurus) - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image (50% size)
14 x 60 sec exposure (average), C filter
2005-10-09  04:43 h UT (#99235-48 {S98} )
(Full Size)
False Colour CCD Image 
Linear Scale,  blkbdy color table
Details as left
(Full Size)

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Image Gallery (Other Colour Bars)

Other Colour Bars are occasionally used for making false colour images

 


Galaxies (Other Colour Bars)

M74 - Spiral Galaxy 

M74  (Pisces) 

M74 (false colour)

Image Image
CCD Image
6x60s exposure (average combine), C Filter
2005-09-02  22:51 h UT (#93055-60)
CCD Image False Colour
3x60s exposure (average combine), C Filter
Logarithmic Scaling, False Colour
2005-09-03  00:40 h UT (#93152-54)

NGC 70 - Galaxy Group

NGC 70  Galaxy Group (Andromeda)

NGC 70  Galaxy Group (false colour)

Image Image
CCD  Image (Negative), 
9 x 60s (summed) , C Filter
2004-09-07  21:35 to 21:45h UT (#71041-49)
False Colour CCD Image 
(Square root brightness scaling)
(Image details as left)

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Nebulae / Nebulosity (Other Colour Bars)

IC 348 - Open Cluster with Nebulosity

IC 348  (Perseus) 

 IC 348 (false colour)

Image Image
CCD Image (50% size)
14 x 60 sec exposure (average), C filter
2005-10-09  04:43 h UT (#99235-48 {S98} )
(Full Size)
False Colour CCD Image 
Logarithmic Scaling

(details as left)

M76 (Little Dumbbell)- Planetary Nebula

M76 (Perseus)

 M76 (False-Colour Display)

Image Image
CCD  Image, 
7 x 60 sec exposure (average combine)
Clear Filter
2004-08-22  23:15 h UT (#68129+)
False Colour CCD  Image
(Logarithmic Scaling, Spectrum Colour Scale)
7 x 60 sec exposure (average combine)
Clear Filter
2004-08-22  23:15 h UT (#68129+)

 

IC 434 (Horsehead Nebula)

IC 434 - Horsehead Nebula (Orion)

IC 434 - Horsehead Nebula - false colour

Image Image
CCD Image
19 x 1 min exposure (average combine), 
C Filter, rotated
2005-01-05 23:06h UT (#82085-105)
False Colour CCD Image
19 x 1 min exposure (average combine), 
C Filter, rotated
2005-01-05 23:06h UT (#82085-105)

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Image Gallery (Detailed False Colour Images)

This section contains images that use false colour to help highlight specific detail.

Various Colour Bars have been used



Galaxies (Detailed False Colour Images)

M87 - Elliptical Galaxy

M87 (Virgo)

M87 (false colour image)

Image Image
CCD  Image, 5 x 60 sec exposure (summed)
2004-03-29  00:14 h UT (#64163-67)
 CCD Image (details as above)
Log Scale, False Colour

 

M87 - jet

(Inverse Spectrum)

 

 Image
CCD  Image (details as above)
Unsharp Masked, Log Scale, False Colour
M87 - jet
(Cold Colour Bar)
 Image
CCD  Image (details as above)
Unsharp Masked, Log Scale, False Colour

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Stars (Detailed False Colour Images)