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Hi Folks,

I've been watching the coverage of the Icelandic volcano and all the ash and dust clouds moving over the UK. Does this stuff affect your telescope optics???

I know that ash in general tends to be caustic (corrosive) and that volcanic dust particles are just little abrasive silica crystals - do you take precautions with your optics when these things blow up? We have earthquakes here, but not volcanoes! (thank goodness for small favors!) Did any of you find that this gunk affected or degraded coatings or mirror surfaces? Are you using any special methods to clean optics to avoid scratching surfaces?

I really have no experience with any of this, but I thought that it might be problematic. I would hate to see a thread like "I wiped my objective and scratched it!!!" So I though some of you who went through this last time might comment and save others time, trouble or grief.

Dan

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I live in the south west of England so may not get the full affect from it, but it’s not really noticeable at all. Last time I could not see any evidence of ash in the sky and only got a slight layer of dust building up on the surface of cars, but even then it’s hard to tell if it’s actually the ash.

A for telescope optics, If the ash is that bad, I expect you won’t be observing anyway because it will reduce the transparency and make LP worse. However, the ash would probably not be too good for the telescope optics.

I don’t think it’s as bad as it seems, well not down in Devon it’s not.

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hi i live in london (did not have scope last time volcano erupted) but then much the same as now i didnt notice a thing. only that there was no planes flying and it was on the news or could have been just another normal day

i will be getting scope out tonight for a crack at saturn as looking at the sky now its no diffrent from the norm

apart from the fact its clear'ish :)

star

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At this time of year ... pollen contamination of optics is much more of an issue; the stuff is sticky which ash isn't & is present in much higher quantity unless you're very close to the actual eruption.

Volcanic interference with air traffic is great news for astronomers!

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At this time of year ... pollen contamination of optics is much more of an issue; the stuff is sticky which ash isn't & is present in much higher quantity unless you're very close to the actual eruption.

Volcanic interference with air traffic is great news for astronomers!

No it ruddy well isn't!!! I lost three bookings last year. Sob.

Olly

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I dunno but if your backyard looks anything like these pictures from Iceland then you'd better keep the scope inside.

BILLEDSERIE: Vulkanudbrud i Island - dr.dk/Nyheder/Billedserier

Apart from this last time I noticed no increased dust or ash or similar on windows, car, house etc. so I was not so worried about my scope.

EDIT - change pictures with 'Frem' and 'Tilbage' in lower right corner...

Edited by bombassa

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I was out a lot with my telescope during the last volcano eruption.

We saw some strange high cloud trails at the peak of the eruption, but generally, the sky was crystal clear, seeing and transparency the best I have ever experienced.

As for the ash, I was out for several hours and the telescope didn't seem to suffer.

Edited by Beulah

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Well here in Chester we most definately got a covering of ash last year - had to clean it all off the garage roof and it had those tell tale signs of yellow deposits of sulphur. (Actually we had sulphur deposits on the patio the other week - probably from volcanic activity coming up from the Southern Hemisphere. I wasn't doing much astro work when the volcano ash came over last year but it was lovely not having vapour trails littering the skies for a few days.

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I wasn't doing much astro work when the volcano ash came over last year but it was lovely not having vapour trails littering the skies for a few days.

Honestly, it would have been enough to just gaze at the depth and clarity of those pure, azure skies. It just amazes me how much aircraft appears to pollute.

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Lots of us were at SGL5 last year when the 'big one' went up and all the planes were grounded.

Excellent clear skies, no problems with equipment. Only problem was a sunburnt face during the day!

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I think the particles are up high in the jetstream, they were talking today of being able to fly at up 4 mg per cubic metre which is very small. Is yellow stuff not more likely to be from the sahara, I know occasionally we get deposits of sand from there.

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