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JB80

Pollen on my scope?

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At least I think it's pollen, it's a really fine layer of yellow dust that has just settled over everything. I think the focal length of my scope may have saved the primary from to much of a covering, i hope so anyway. It's all over the car too but i'm more worried about my scope.

Has anyone had this before? What is the best cleaning method, when I put the wipers on the car it smeared everywhere so I don't want ot wipe it off..

I'm guessing it's a soap and water job but I am just surprised at the amount of it, it's in all the tight little places and winder knobs. It seems like it all starts settling over everything when the sun goes down.

Edited by Pibbles

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A lens blower or some form of air (cold) blower would be the 1st port of call.

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Make sure it is pollen and not some form of fine grit/dust? Pollen will not scratch your mirror but a fine grit or dust will, and that will determine how you go about cleaning your mirror.

I am quite happy taking my mirror out and cleaning it with very very mild soapy tepid water by just swishing it about in a plastic bowl with a towel in the bottom, then rinsing under the cold tap holding at 45 degree angle and then finishing with about 2 - 3 litres of Distilled Water. Stand it near vertical on a towel and against a wall with towel between to dry un-aided, and if you have any stubborn drips of water just touch them with the corner of a piece of Kitchen Towel and it will soak it right up.

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Dust "from the Sahara" has been reported blowing around recently (especially with the current prevailing wind from the south(ish) - so treat the "dust" as abrasive!!

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Pollen is very sticky so may require more than a dust blower..

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Dust "from the Sahara" has been reported blowing around recently (especially with the current prevailing wind from the south(ish) - so treat the "dust" as abrasive!!

You know, after checking it out this morning in the sunlight it does seem more dust like, it responded to using an air blower. Still it doesn't get all of it. From what I can see the mirror doesn't look like it got too much on it as I put the cap on when I finished using it. I might leave the mirror alone for the time being if it's not going to effect it much.

I was more worried if it was pollen all the telescope workings would be a sticky mess.

What colour is Sahara dust? It is very fine and really yellow, the car is covered in it in just two nights.

I brought this on myself, I should never of washed the car on the weekend.

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If it is Yellow in colour then it is pollen, A few nights ago I had it all over my black observatory roof, putting a sample under a microscope confirmed it was pine pollen in my case. Not really a surprise for me as I always seem to get it during April.

I've had Sahara dust in the past and that has always been a reddish/brown colour.

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Well it may be it was my first thought, other people in Belgium are getting too but then again there are a load of pine trees here.

Either way between the squeezy air blower, the wifes hairdryer and a clean damp cloth I feel confident that I have cleaned everything the best I could and most importantly there was no sticky streaking to worry about. Just wont leave my scope out over night for a little bit.

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You are brave leaving your scope out over night, which is something I would never do, unless I am with it of course!

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Not sure if it will be pollen as most of it seems to be making its way to my sinuses:(:)

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You are brave leaving your scope out over night, which is something I would never do, unless I am with it of course!

It's certainly not a policy of mine that's for sure, I only went inside for a few minutes and woke up on the couch a while later. In my hurry to sneak in to bed before the sun come up it must of slipped my mind.

But yeah, I wouldn't recommend it.

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Im toying with the idea of doing my first 'primary mirror' clean. Had it 6 years and its taking its toll. June is a great month to make the attempt me thinks.

Matt

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Here is a couple of pics to give an idea of what it's been like the last few days. It's still coming down too.

post-21042-133877567787_thumb.jpg

post-21042-133877567793_thumb.jpg

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You say that you have a lot of pine trees around you? This is yellow pollen season for us in Spain, I watch clouds of it come off the pine trees around here. It coats the cars, tables, swimming pool - Can't wait for it to end. Your car looks like mine at this time of year - Would def think it's pollen.

Strangely this stuff doesn't seem to affect my dad who suffers from hayfever quite badly.

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We have two different pines in our yard(not sure what they are) but there is also the odd little patch's of pine forest scattered around too. Everything outside is coated like you say.

It's strange though I don't get hayfever from it either, but I don't think I have had it since moving to Europe.

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this stuff doesn't seem to affect my dad who suffers from hayfever quite badly.

Your dad is obviously sensitive to grass pollen but not tree pollen - which is the issue at this time of year. I've been sneezing for the last month, these last few days have been horrid. Grass pollen doesn't affect me anything like as much.

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Your dad is obviously sensitive to grass pollen but not tree pollen - which is the issue at this time of year. I've been sneezing for the last month, these last few days have been horrid. Grass pollen doesn't affect me anything like as much.

You say that, but strangely in UK the Horse Chesnut pollen almost kills him.

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