People complain about false-color images — of space, heat maps, the like.

But your whole visual sensory apparatus produces false color images all the time. What is “real color,” anyway?

Read some philosophy. It’ll take a while.

I know what they’re getting at. Sort of. They want to know how it “really” looks. To what and to whom, though? To a tetrachromat? To a dragonfly?

There is no “real” picture of the world. Never can be. False color images are just another way of seeing what’s there, not some fantasy. They are useful tools and no more unreal than any other depiction of the world.