CLEANING MIRROR TELESCOPES
CLEANING YOUR OPTICS
|For telescope main and secondary mirrors, when they are cleaned properly, a small amount of reflectivity or light gathering is lost because of the cleaning. A balance needs comparing to whether it's worth cleaning or letting dust and other foriegn matter build up. As a rough guide, unless the mirror happens to get dirty accidently, I would clean it only 2-3 times at most, as a matter of maintenance, throughout the aluminium coating's life (8-10years). Even the careful cleaning of telescope mirrors can cause scratches sometimes and if it's poorly cleaned, a dirty mirror will work better!
First of all the mirror needs to be removed from it's mount. After removal, most of the dust
and foriegn matter can be removed with a soft brush (camel hair
is best). Next, preferably
on or in the kitchen sink, place a solution of warm water and dish washing liquid onto the
mirror to soak any sharp bits off the
mirror surface. Let the solution soak and then tip it
off. Place another solution onto the mirror and using a soft cloth, a well washed cloth makes
swirl the solution around the mirror gently to remove any dirt that has been soaked
off or is still sitting on the mirror. The less swirling, the better.
Finally rinse the mirror with
distilled water and let it dry on it's side to prevent watermarks. Small droplets which remain
on the surface can be removed with
the corner of a tissue or cloth without touching the
surface. Generally if the mirror is cleaned properly, there will be minimal droplets left.
the mirror when it is dry.
Keeping your optics clean will reduce the amount of dew since dust particles promote condensation.
|Light Gathering Power
|Closer Look At Refractors
|Closer Look At Reflectors
|Build Your Own Telescope
Build Your Own Telescope
END OF CLEANING MIRROR TELESCOPES SECTION
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