W here do you start to write about colors in the universe? Do you look to the deepest ocean trenches on Earth, with their awesome bioluminescent creatures roaming the blackness of the abyss? And where do you finish? With the most distant galaxies in the cosmos? A difficult question, p- haps, but in between the two extremes, there is so much to marvel at that it really doesn't matter where you start or end, as long as you note the staggeringly beautiful and complex examples of color there are and that each should, if possible, be represented in some way. Whether staring up at the sky when surprised by the sudden appearance of a vividly colored band of light that is a rainbow or peering through a telescope to view colors further afield, the origin and complexity of the source of light is witness to the wonderful and majestic world and the universe in which we live. A n attempt has been made here not only to create a picture gallery of the universe, but also to provide brief explanations or interpretation of the colors and, where appropriate, to give hints on how to capture p- tures easily yourself, without spending lots of money. As illustrated in the introduction, paying attention to just a few basic camera settings, it is possible to turn a blurred snapshot into a detailed and pin sharp picture worthy of framing and hanging on the wall.
Tony Buick is a chemist by profession, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is the author of How to Photograph the Moon and Planets with your Digital Camera (Springer) and has had many astronomy and photography articles published, most recently in the Sky at Night magazine: How to Photograph the ISS. In addition, he has written for MENSA magazine, the Society of Popular Astronomy and various other magazines and journals.