The Colors In Us

Turns out Pablo Picasso wasn't the only one to have a "blue" period.

So, apparently, did the universe.

Two scientists at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that all the visible light of space, when mixed together, started out as blue but has since turned a nice turquoise. They say the number of old red stars and young blue stars caused the shift. (Thought blue and yellow made green? Not where light's concerned.)

But why limit the discovery of dominant colors to outer space? Suppose scientists turned the Hubble telescope toward Earth to detect color schemes. Here's what they might find:

Inside Washington's Beltway: money green.

Sprawl in suburbs: asphalt black.

Homes with the TV always on: cathode-ray blue.

Offices: computer beige.

Urban skies: smog brown.

Big accounting firms: embarrassment red.

New York City post-9/11: red, white, and blue.

Silicon Valley: pink-slip pink.

Will these hues eventually change? That's a question easier to answer for the universe. Scientists expect it to look crimson in the end, as stars turn red with age. By then, hopefully, Earth's colors will have improved.

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