For a very rough guideline using healthy/corrected eyes adjusted to the dark, around how bright should an object be to expect it to be visible?


It may shave off 1 or 2 magnitudes, but it depends on many factors: nature of the object (star, nebula, galaxy), altitude (higher altitude has less light scatter), transparency, etc. There's no One Single Answer To Rule Them All.

Light pollution from artificial sources has a greater impact in most cases.

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  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I was only considering clear skies and away from a city at low altitudes (for shooting stars or a meteor shower). It sounds like this is a bad question, so I'll delete it if you agree. $\endgroup$ – Louis Waweru Mar 31 '15 at 1:55

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