When I first started in astronomy, three years ago, I wanted to see galaxies and nebula because the pictures in books and magazines were all so beautiful and colorful. How disappointed I was to learn that those colors were often false, added for contrast. I would never see anything like that in the eyepiece.
Not only did I not see colors, I could not see them at all, even in my 8" scope. Looking at lists I would see magnitude ratings for galaxies and nebula that seemed to suggest I should be able to see them. I could see stars of that magnitude and start clusters of that magnitude. Why couldn't I see galaxies and nebula of that magnitude?
That was when I learned about surface brightness and the reason I would like to discuss this topic. I am not really sure I fully understand this topic and would like the more knowledgeable on CN to help explain this magnitude vs. surface brightness topic and how it relates to what can be seen in an eyepiece.
What I learned was to give up on these targets from my very light polluted home location. On the www.darksitefinder.com map I am in a dark white area, the second worst. I don't even try for most nebula and even M31 is barely a gray smudge. OIII and Nebula filters don't seem to be much help either.
Any input on the subject would be welcomed by me and I am sure it would be helpful to those entering the hobby who quickly become frustrated because they can't see things that they feel they should be able to see.
Edited by aeajr, 20 August 2018 - 11:46 AM.