One of my eventual goals with astronomy is astrophotography, the art of taking photos of what is in the sky.
This is a good discussion of the equipment and processes involved in looking at deep space objects.
Of course, all this equipment isn’t completely necessary, unless you desire to take pics of deep space objects. There are plenty of pictures out there of other kinds of objects that come out just fine.
The photos I have taken, for better or for worse, are from my Canon 60D on a tripod. The imaging workflow he mentions will bring out more of the colors, of course, and the software if free or cheap.
Of course, I have gear envy and would love to get all of the stuff he has. Who wouldn’t?