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What to expect?

So what will you see through a telescope as compared to the pictures found throughout the internet?

The below picture of M42 (the Orion nebula) is the typical thought a new comer may have on what the wonders of the sky may look like...

In reality the brightness, clarity, and colour saturation of the above photo only results for taking multiple photos of the object, taking flat and dark frames(??), combining these photos through various technical processes in an application like Photoshop, and then you see a result like the above.

Depending on viewing conditions and telescope aperture, the image below provides an example of what M42 may look like through a telescope...

If it happens that you live in a light polluted location, you may also then have a reddish glow to the view.

Planets can be very impressive. At low magnification definition of the planets is better. Higher magnification can improve the viewing size of the planet, but definition of the planet (for example, the rings on Jupiter) is reduced. Funny compromise which you would think would go the other way.

By Steve Mohr