I was looking at different telescope models tonight, so I thought I’d put together a collection of sample images for comparison. I also wanted to see how consumer telescopes stacked up against actual observatories, and even the Hubble space telescope. Here’s a visual comparison of how well different types of telescopes can photograph Saturn (746 million miles away from Earth).
Entry-level consumer telescope (Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ, $178)
Mid-level consumer telescope (Celestron NexStar 8 SE 8″ lens, $1249)
High-level consumer telescope (Celestron CGE Pro 1400 14″ Lens, $9999)
Small Observatory (Pic du Midi Observatory 1 meter lens, Unknown cost)
Space Telescope (Hubble, $1.2 billion)
BONUS: Space Probe (Cassini–Huygens, $3.2 billion)
Hexagonal Cloud pattern on top of Saturn