Pictures on the Prairie
It's a common misconception that a huge telescope is required to obtain the deep sky images that you see on this site. I know because years ago when I would view these images in astronomy books, I was certain that these photos had been taken with enormous scopes like those used at the Mt. Palomar observatory and elsewhere.
What I didn't know at that time was just how much area of our sky some of these objects cover. Astronomers refer to that as the "apparent size". For instance, the Andromeda Galaxy shown in the digital gallery section actually encompasses 5 to 6 full moons across our sky. Please see the collage I created on this page which shows the image I shot of the Moon and the Andromeda galaxy with the exact same focal length. That's an enormous amount of our sky and if the galaxy wasn't so faint, it would visually blow your mind. The same is true of the Rosette Nebula since you can fit 6 full moons inside of it.
So you actually need a telescope that has a short enough focal ratio to get some of these objects in the field of view. But only with long duration photos can the beautiful colors emerge.
Believe it or not, this is the telescope I used to get these deep sky images.
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