…continued10 Top Telescope Questions
7. How come the objects in my telescope look so small/dim/featureless?
This question has many possible answers. Perhaps you’ve developed unrealistic expectations by looking at all the spectacular photos coming from professional observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other sources. Sadly, you just can’t see this kind of detail and color in a backyard telescope. If you’re looking at “deep-sky” objects like galaxies or nebulas, most often you’ll see a faint haze or smudge against a black background. A bigger scope will improve the view of faint targets but you still won’t see bright colors.
Keep in mind that “seeing” while at the eyepiece is an art as well as a skill. The more you observe, the more you’ll see.