Cameras, CCDs, prisms, grisms, etc., are all some of the instruments that can go on top of telescopes to help us see things better. We haven’t really increased the size of telescopes so much as we have the quality and ability of the apparatus that go atop them. Take a look at various pictures I’ve stolen off the web, all taken by (avid) amateur astronomers in different years. The pictures are of M81 and M82, two galaxies in a group that make up possibly the nearest cluster of galaxies outside of the local group. (The closest is either the M81 group, the Centaurus group, or the IC 342 group.) Let’s begin:
So if you’re going to buy me a telescope, that’d be totally sweet, but don’t skimp on the camera!