James Webb Space Telescope images: what are their genuine colors?

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) from NASA captures our universe with remarkable precision and sensitivity.

The photographs are attractive and scientifically relevant. JWST photos show the universe in dazzling color, from the Southern Ring Nebula's blue and gold to Cassiopeia A's pink, orange, and purple. 

Do these cosmic objects really seem so colorful? The photographs are astounding. What would we see if we could see them without a telescope?

"The quickest answer is, we don't know," said Alyssa Pagan, a scientific visualizations developer at STScI and collaborator on JWST picture colorization. 

You wouldn't see the universe this way.

JWST "looks" at the universe in infrared light, which is longer than red light, which our eyes can perceive.

Pagan claimed you might see something closer to Hubble Space Telescope photos if you could stare directly at these objects. 

Hubble is bigger and more sensitive than the human eye, therefore that analogy is inaccurate. Even when focused on the same subject, visual-light telescopes may record distinct image features than infrared telescopes.

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