Actual Color of Galaxy / Universe?

We’ve all seen fantastic color images “produced” by the Hubble telescope, Mars rovers, etc., but aren’t they all pretty much “color enhanced,” i.e. appealingly colored in by NASA artisits? Aren’t the true colors of the galaxy / universe fairly monochromatic? If so, what is the rationale for them doing this? To make space exploration more appealing to the dull masses?

Not an astronomer but…

… I would speculate that the universe is anything but monochromatic. The problem is that the range of wavelengths is far larger than our visual systems can cope with. False colors are assigned to wavelengths which would otherwise be invisible to us.

Here’s a link to the ESA’s page on Hubble image coloring:

The star Rigel is blue and Betelgeuse is red. Saturn is yellow and Mars is red. Mostly the colors are pastel but Rigel is quite blue.

If by monochromatic you mean all one visible color the answer is no, the universe that we can see isn’t all one color.

If you mean all one wavelength the answer again is no. Wavelengs range all the way from micropulsations which are electomagnetic pulsations of a duration ranging from maybe 1/10 sec. up to a few hundred seconds and having correspondlngly long wavelengths, to gamma radiation which, I believe, doesn’t really have a lower limit to wavelength.

The Cosmic Spectrum and the Color of the Universe. The cosmic latte color is not what you’d see if you merely averaged all the light reaching earth because the authors removed redshifts from all spectra before combining them.

Universe’s Location on Chromaticity table