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Introduction + Telescope Care

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Greetings fellow Stargazers!

A quick introduction, I'm Kevin. Call Center Rep by day, Amateur Astronomer by night. I'm Canadian, and proud of it. Finally, I have a sizable enough head of hair that it attracts objects by its own gravity.

But enough about me! I'm a relative newcomer to Amateur Astronomy, however its rapidly become a soaring passion of mine. My studies are taking me into the worlds of Astronomy, Cosmology and Astrophysics and I find myself deeper and deeper into the wonders of the universe everyday.

But, as I stated, I'm relatively new and I find myself lost in the woods many a time. Right now I'm primarily concerned about keeping my telescope Optics in good condition.

The sky has been terrible where I currently live lately, and I've had very few opportunities to observe the heavens. So, sadly, my telescope has mostly been collecting dust. I also live in an active household, and I worry that the scope may get bumped, prodded and fondled more than I appreciate.

So, I have a SkyWatcher 8, Dobsonian Reflector. I need advice and opinions on taking care of the telescope and its mirrors, both primary and secondary, post steps such as collimation, and general telescope upkeep.

Typically, I know not to touch the mirrors unless absolutely necessary. A film of dust is usually ignorable. My primary mirror though looks to have whats either a hair or a crack. If its a hair its statically held to the mirror and won't displace. I'm thinking of removing the mirror to investigate and clean it while I'm at it. Any thoughts on materials, methods and any sort of advice or precaution would be appreciated!

The Secondary mirror had what looked to be dewing stains or another sort of condensated grime. But worse I saw little tiny finger prints on the edges! A bit of collateral damage from the aforementioned 'active household.' I was begrudgingly going to ignore it, but I didn't want any sort of oily finger prints damaging the optics. Before I could do my own research into cleaning methods, someone thought it a bright idea to use a glasses cloth and try and rub off the finger prints and now it looks even worse! I have no choice but to clean it now. Once again, I appreciate any help!

Edited by ExoByte
Brain Fart: Scope isn't an Orion >.<
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Thanks for the reply. Taking a look at the link there seems to be some good info for making sure the primary is clean.

Anyone have anything they can share on cleaning the secondary?

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only thing i can say about cleaning the mirrors is only do it when they are very grubby, a few specks of dust will not affect your observations like a 2mm layer would.

other than that, the cleaning process for the secondary is as the primary and never scrub them :D

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