The technology of webcam astrophotography is only a few years old. In this time it has rapidly developed from short-exposure 6-bit per channel black-and-white images to long-exposure 16-bit images in full color. This new technique is competing well with conventional astrophotography. Increasing numbers of amateur astronomers are turning to webcams to display their excellent images.
If you’ve ever looked at a bright star through a telescope, it will look much brighter and spectacular, but not contain any detail. It’s still a point of light. Much more fascinating and challenging is to focus your telescope on deep-sky objects such as star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Many of these can be seen through any reasonable small telescope.
But on first sight the galaxy or nebulae you’ve chosen may be unimpressive, just a sort of indistinct, grey cloud with only a few lonely stars visible, like oases in a desert. The problem is the human eye’s inability to see well at night. It can be very disappointing to see such brilliant, colorful images in astronomy books and magazines, and then observe very little through the telescope.