I've been gazing at the heavens for most of my life, captivated by the distant worlds wheeling overhead.
In 2002 I bought a telescope after wishing I had one to view the five-planet conjunction that occured then. In fact, I finally bought it to watch the solar eclipse that also happened that year. My scope is a Maksutov-Cassegrain, a compound type that uses both a lens and a system of mirrors to gather light. It's got a 127 mm aperture, and is only about 14 inches long. Despite its small size, it pulls in great images of the planets, and even some deep-space objects. I have two eyepieces and a barlow, giving me four possible magnifications, as well as various filters. It's a great hobby, but one that requires late nights.
Dione & Saturn - I wish I could get such a view in my scope, but this is from Cassini.