How far would I have to travel into space before I could "see" the Andromeda galavy?

Exactly. Anyone expecting to see Hubble-style images through an amateur telescope is going to be very disappointed, but some people get more out of it than others. I’m interested in the history of science and astronomy, so I was fascinated to get a better idea of what people like Gallieo and William Hershel were actually seeing. Seeing Jupiter’s moons strung out in a line brought home to me that they formed out of the same disc of accreting material. As a result, they orbit in the same plane.

The moon is spectacular through a small telescope or binoculars. I find it’s best viewed when a few days from full, as shadows across the surface cause the craters to stand out in sharp relief.

Even more so than Hubble, we’re probably also spoiled by the Voyager pictures of the outer planets. Those look like they’re really close up because they are, in fact, actually really close up.

Yes. For comparison, here’s a Hubble image of Jupiter, and here’s one from the Cassini probe. This telescope simulator shows roughly what it looks through an amateur telescope (I selected a 12" scope with a 6mm eyepiece giving about 500X magnification, and Jupiter for the object data).

That simulator doesn’t seem right. I set it to match my telescope, and the view looks considerably smaller than what I actually see in mine.

I’m not sure. It seems about the right size to me based on my limited experience, but the actual image though a telescope is much sharper and more detailed. The simulator can’t account for the size of your monitor, so it’s only going to be an approximation. What are you viewing it on?