Many of us want to make photos that show realistic colors, not the false colors of the Hubble palette etc which are more like maps or abstract art. However, in most posts that mention this topic, there are people who insist that there is no such thing as "true" or "realistic" color. I can't understand this view. The situation is no different than for terrestrial objects, where there is broad agreement about their color. It seems to me that there is an obvious way to reach a consensus about the true color of an astronomical object. We could just look at it with a sufficiently large-aperture telescope, so that the image was bright enough to engage the observer's cone vision. Those are the "real" colors of the object.
There would still be a bit of ambiguity; we'd get slightly different colors if we were floating in space versus sitting under Earth's (or another planet's) dense atmosphere. That's fine, we can choose our "rendering intent". But once this is chosen, a consensus about colors would be reached, just as a consensus is reached for terrestrial objects. Consensus is especially easy to reach when the object in question emits its own light, as is the case with most astro objects.
So am I missing something important? "True" colors are the colors we would see with a sufficiently large telescope. Seems simple. Is this definition acceptable?
If so, then Bayer matrix sensors would be the best tool for obtaining realistic colors, since their RGB filters are designed to match our own RGB cone system.
It follows that astro RGB filters with sharp cutoffs and small overlaps will not reproduce accurate colors when there are multiple strong narrow emission bands, since those filters always present each narrow band as either R, G, or B, not distinguishing between celeste and indigo for example. They would work well for black-body radiators like stars, though.
Some people on the forums talk about red light "contaminating" the blue light in a Bayer-filtered sensor, but this is how our eyes work, and we need a sensor which reacts this way in order to reproduce magentas. So it seems to me wrong to call a typical astro LRGB image "natural" or "realistic" (though it might be nearly natural if there are only stars and galaxies).