Neptune and Uranus more boring colors than most people thought

Do you think Neptune is a rich, lapis blue? Fuck you! It's a pale slightly-greenish gray, like Uranus. The BBC, citing research from the University of Oxford, reports that the outer planets are more boring colors than generally understood. It appears even scientists weren't fully clued into how exaggerated the "Blue Neptune" imaging was, though the writing seems a little vague on how that processing has been described over the years.

Astronomers have long known that most modern images of the two planets do not accurately reflect their true colours, according to Prof Patrick Irwin from the University of Oxford, who led the research. "Even though the artificially saturated colour was known at the time amongst planetary scientists – and the images were released with captions explaining it – that distinction had become lost over time."

Dr Robert Massey, deputy director of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), explained that enhancing images was normal procedure in astronomical research.

The money quote: "You would be foolish to look at an astronomy image and not think it was enhanced." If scientists are becoming more anxious about not doing that sort of thing anymore, carefully describing how they represent images captured in infra-red and other non-visible spectra, you just have to look at the conspiracies, fake news anxieties, all of it.

Wonderful opportunity for the people who name off-white paint, though.

The study also showed that Uranus appears a little greener during its summer and winter, when one of its poles is pointed towards the Sun. But during spring and autumn, when the Sun is over the equator, it has a bluer tinge.