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CLEANING TELESCOPES & BINOCULARS

17

CLEANING OPTICS -
MIRRORS
LENSES

PROTECTION BEATS CLEANING

TELESCOPE MIRRORS

The protection of the telescopes optics is far better than cleaning them. Cleaning optics whether binoculars, refractors or reflectors can reduce the light gathering power by scratching or removing the enhanced coatings placed on them to improve their performance. A mirror or lens will eventually get dirty and below I have outlined how to clean them.
cleaning
FRONT PAGE
cleaning
CONTENTS
The best way to protect your mirrors or lenses is to use a good fitting dust cap/s. Dust caps should be used on the eyepieces as they have enhanced coatings on the lenses as well. If you own a open tubed reflector like a Newtonian, it's best to put a dust cover over the end of the tube where the main mirror is as well. This main mirror cover can double as a cover to block stray light from getting in around where the mirror is attached to the tube as most reflectors have gaps where the mirror is bolted in to allow air flow.
cleaning
TELESCOPE LINKS:
Basics
Mounts
Light Gathering Power
Keeping a telescope inside when not in use will preserve the reflective coatings for longer and prevent any rusting. Aluminium coatings last about 8-10 years when they are kept dry and clean. Any moisture on the telescope or its caps should be wiped dry before fitting and putting away. Don't wipe the mirrors or lenses dry if they have dew on them, but let them dry naturally. Any water marks which may appear on mirrors through condensation and dust can be removed by firstly removing the mirror and pouring distilled water over them. The distilled water will not leave any water marks.
Closer Look At Refractors
Closer Look At Reflectors
Dimensions
Balancing
Eyepieces
Tips
Astrophotography
Build Your Own Telescope
Build Your Own Telescope
for Schools

CLEANING OPTICAL SURFACES

Binoculars

BINOCULARS AND REFRACTING TELESCOPES

When a mirror or a lens does get dirty it can reduce the reflectivity or light gathering power.

Refractor and binocular lenses are more forgiving than mirrored surfaces. However it is quite easy to remove or scratch the coloured enhanced coatings on binoculars and refractors just by wiping with a soft cloth too hard. A quick check of the optics manual will give suggestions to removing any unusual marks or dirt without removing the enhanced coatings. Otherwise a rub with a soft cloth is the only cure, but try using a soft brush first (camel hair) or a "Lens Pen". A Lens Pen has a soft brush at one end and at the other end a special device for getting into corners and removing dirt or sand. Lens Pens are around $15.00.
mirrors
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mirrors
CONTENTS
cleaning
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