When it comes to using telescopes for astrophotography, larger telescopes are better, right? Isn't bigger always better? Actually, it all depends...
At Starry Hill we use both small and large telescopes depending on what we want to view or image. A small telescope allows us to view more of the sky which is often better for large objects. A large telescope allows us to magnify more which is better on small objects or for close-ups.
The image above of the California Nebula can help make this clearer. This nebula is very large in our sky -- about six times the size of the full Moon. We used a small 5 inch, 1000mm focal length telescope to take this image.
But we also wanted to get a close-up of the brighter part so we used a 12 inch, 3000mm focal length telescope which has three times the magnification.
Tap the toggle button above (or point to the image with your mouse) to show and hide the close-up image. Notice that it is only about 1/6th the size but it shows more detail.
So which is better... the image with the smaller telescope or the one with the larger telescope? We'll let you decide! To see larger versions of both, go to the Astrophotos section of our website.