Why don't the images I see through my telescope look the same as photos I see taken with the same type of telescope?

The reason photos look better than what you see with the unaided eye is due to the camera’s ability to store light continuously as long as the shutter is open. The human eye doesn’t do that. Instead, it captures a scene moment to moment.

Many pictures you see in magazines and catalogs are time exposures. The camera shutter is kept open for several minutes or even hours while the telescope tracks the object across the sky. This allows the camera to record fainter detail and colors that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Updated 12/27/13