I grew up on a ranch in the middle of the Sierra Nevada mountains, away from the lights of any city. At night, you could see the stars – the constellations, the Milky Way, the planets, and the moon.
When I went to college, I was for a brief time an Astrophysics major. I was unable to secure funding to be able to finish the degree, which is why I ultimately got a Russian degree, but one of my classes in observational astronomy we visited the university’s observatory. Mine was the last class to get that opportunity before it was closed due to light pollution. We got to see the Horsehead Nebula, among other things.
To be honest, it looked like a blob to me. The picture, above, is much better – of course it would be, since it’s one of NASA’s photos. There is a wealth of astronomical information on the web, available for a click.