Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Nebulae, as seen from the inside

  1. Feb 26, 2014 #1
    All the nice pictures of nebulae that we usually see everywhere are of false "exagerated" colors, or true colors from a long exposition. A nebula seen with the naked eye through a good telescope is usually a gray blob with maybe some weak/dark colour tint.

    But what would see an hypothetical human observer, if he/she was standing right in the middle of the nebula ? Would the light seen with the naked eye be of stronger intensity/color ? To what point, compared to the usual over-exposed pictures ?

    I guess nobody actually knows the answer to this question (obviously !), but I'm still wondering what is the "expert" opinion on this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2014 #2
    Actually it is very simple and well known. Surface brightness is independent of distance.
  4. Feb 26, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The stars appear as specks of light and we see somewhat their surface brightness, comparing Sirius to Betelgeuse for example. If they were closer and more densely packed, as they would be if perceived from within the nebula or a globular cluster, we could see more detail and possibly more color from ionized gases.
    How much more would be an interesting challenge for a simulation.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook