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How to clean a telescope

  1. Jul 6, 2015 #1
    Hi guys! I have a Levenhuk telescope and still have a question what is the best way to clean the mirror? Thanx for the help.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2015 #2
    It depends on what is on it. A gentle use of compressed air is usually a good first step.
     
  4. Jul 6, 2015 #3

    davenn

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  5. Jul 13, 2015 #4

    Chronos

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    I would generally recommend refraining from cleaning optical surfaces. The tiny gain in image brightness you might realize is offset by the huge risk of permanently damaging the optics. An air bulb for camera lens cleaning is probably the least risky method. An adventurous soul may even even rinse the surface with distilled water, but that is about the limit to what an astronomical optician would be willing to suggest.
     
  6. Jul 13, 2015 #5

    Andy Resnick

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    Cleaning optical components (other than diffraction gratings) is straightforward if you have easy access to the element- your mirror may need to be removed from the mount prior to cleaning, and then you face the issue of re-mounting and aligning the mirror. If you are uncomfortable with optical alignment techniques, then I agree with Chronos, simply use compressed air (air bulb or Whoosh-duster) to get off whatever you can.

    Never try to clean a diffraction grating.

    The way we clean all optical components in my lab is to use "Sparkle" brand glass cleaner- the ammonia-free version- and lint-free paper (KimWipes, q-tips, etc.). The basic rule is to never rub dry paper on glass- pre-wet the glass with sparkle and gently use a figure-8 pattern with the wipe to clean. Use a second sheet to dry the surface. Use a light touch- as long as the paper is lint-free, you can use nearly anything, including newspaper. No rinsing needed, nor do you need solvents (acetone, etc.).

    From there, you can get as complicated as you like: large optics (say 6" diameter and larger) require patience, first-surface mirrors require a *very* light touch, and you could wear rubber/latex gloves.
     
  7. Jul 13, 2015 #6
    Just finished cleaning mine. Here's what some consider the best way to clean the optics:

    http://sctscopes.net/SCT_Tips/Maintenance/Cleaning_Your_Optics/cleaning_your_optics.html

    I used the ASO cleaning system (distilled water, blue windex, 95% alcohol) cited in the reference. Remember, use lots of tissue paper, clean in one direction.
     
  8. Jul 16, 2015 #7

    Chronos

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