Have you ever tried to count the stars you see? It turns out that only about 6,000 stars are visible to the naked eye altogether, and only 2,000 can be seen from any particular place. Once you start looking through binoculars, though, the number of stars visible from one particular spot rises to around 50,000. A 16-inch telescope can distinguish not only stars, but also galaxies - themselves collections of tens of billions of stars. How many stars can you see? It depends on how you look.
Source: 'A Short History of Nearly Everything,' by Bill Bryson (Broadway Books, 2003)