A fact often overlooked by amatuer Astronomers is the viewing conditions where the are located. Much of the US is now covered by smog that makes the 'Milky Way' invisable and renders the use of high cost equipment a waste of time and money. One also has to understand that the atmosphere sets the resolving limit on any scope and after a certain standard is reached all you obtain for increased cost is increased light gathering and not ability to see finer detail. So unless you live on a mountain top, I stand by my assertion that one can puruse the various scientific sites to see some truly awesome astrophotography which is what I do and the cost is minimal.-Dick