If you were in a spacecraft at the right point in space, could you look out the window and see, for example, the Horsehead Nebula as it appears in that famous photo?


Or would different light wavelengths etc render it invisible/completely different from how we recognize it from our space photography (for want of a better term)?

In: 2

No, the famous picture of the horsehead nebula was captured in near IR, not visible light. Most light from distant objects are too far red shifted to be captured in the visible light spectrum, though Hubble is capable of capturing light and UV as well.

Follow-up question: what would a mantis scrimp see ?

If the spacecraft is near Earth (or is Earth), and happens to have a massive telescope for you to look through then you would see something not entirely dissimilar.

No. The human eye is not sensitive enough to pick up the very faint light from that nebula (or indeed most nebulae, especially any colours as the human eye is even less sensitive to colour). Cameras can take long exposures which let’s them pick up more light from faint objects allowing us to capture images of them.

The colors are redshifted from our current distance yes. But what if we were closer like the question is more or less saying? You can see the arm of the milky way with the naked eye in the right conditions/locations. Why not the nebula or any other object if the distance were shorter?