Your telescope is a fixture, and like any fixture in your house, office, or lab, it’s going to collect dust. This is doubly true if you bring your scope onto hilltops and fields to see the wide-open night skies. But you love your telescope. And keeping it in top shape means keeping it clean, so we’ve created a guide to help you learn proper cleaning technique.
Did you know dust contains silica? Silica is a hard substance, and even the smallest particles can cut into your telescope’s lenses. Trying to wipe the dust off is only going to grind those hard particles across the glass, leaving scratches that’ll make light scatter and ruin your lens performance. Before you attempt any cleaning, its always a good idea to consult your telescope’s owner’s manual to ensure you are not causing your device any harm. There’s also a fine balance in cleaning any optic device. You don’t want to overclean, or you’ll wear down your lens coatings faster, and under-cleaning leads to potential damage. You’ll also want to take care of your lenses and filters by storing them safely in cases or plastic zippered bags when they’re not in use.
There’s a correct way to clean your telescope, and we’ve outlined the 5 steps you should follow to protect your device and get it looking like new. Keep in mind that these steps are meant for a refractor telescope. A reflector telescope requires much more intricate disassembly and should be done by a professional to avoid damage to your device.
Taking your telescope apart should always be left for a professional. Don’t attempt to clean inside, or you could end up ruining the device entirely. Try contacting the manufacturer if you feel your device needs a deeper cleaning than you can give it. Remember, you’ve made a sound investment in your telescope, so keep it clean, keep it protected, and it will perform well for years.
Header image credit: Lucas Pezeta, Pexels
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