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Das Mißtrauen gegenüber der Farbe im Bild – zur späten Ankunft der Farbenfotografie in der Astronomie [The distrust in colour in pictures – about the late advent of colour photography in astronomy]

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Abstract

The article published in the series “Ein Bild” reflects an astronomical colour photograph of two nebula in the constellation Orion synthesized of historic astronomical plates recorded between 1896 and 1914. This artefact directs the attention to a curiosity in the history of apparatus based images: Colour was introduced in astronomical imaging not before the launch of new generation of colour film at the end of the 1950s –approximately 100 years after the first successful colour experiments in photography. As in principle the use of colour in astronomical photography would have been technically possible much earlier the reasons might be due to alternate approaches to record colours of celestial objects as for instance by the means of spectroscopy. Following C.S. Peirce this implicates a certain mistrust by astronomers against the human tricolour perception, as for the retina light is simply "a triple sensation".

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