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POLLEN!! What's the best way to clean a reflector mirror?


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It figures!  First clear night in ages and the pollen is as thick as..well, something really thick.  Up to now, I have been fairly careful to avoid dust getting down the tube, but pollen is going to be unavoidable for the next several weeks.

So...what does one do?  Are there some do and don't things I should be aware of?  It looks like my mirror comes out fairly easy (SkyWatcher 10" ).  I'm guessing  "chuck into the dish washer on the pot scrubber setting" is probably a really bad idea.

What then, is the plan?  What chemicals/detergents should be used...or maybe all chemicals should be avoided?  Is it a no-touch surface?  Is there perhaps some magic spray that one uses?  I do have a can of electronics air that I plan to use from a safe distance to persuade away loose pollen, and that may be enough for the present.

 

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Do NOT use canned air on mirrors.  It will spew impurities all over it.

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Take a read of that thread.  It has some good information on cleaning mirrors.  Personally, it takes a lot of dust on a mirror to have any visible effect on the contrast being provided by the mirror.  It won't degrade light gathering or resolution to any measurable extent.

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Thanks!  Great content and the videos answered my question. 

By the way, the can of spray air I have is specially made for harddrive clean rooms and has no foreign elements to spit.  Still, I will probably not use it and stick with the wet methods from the videos.  They look fairly simple and straight-forward enough to get right.

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1 hour ago, JonCarleton said:

Thanks!  Great content and the videos answered my question. 

By the way, the can of spray air I have is specially made for harddrive clean rooms and has no foreign elements to spit.  Still, I will probably not use it and stick with the wet methods from the videos.  They look fairly simple and straight-forward enough to get right.

The only safe method I know of for sprays is using CO2 as in some fire extinguishers.  Professional observatories do "snow" cleanings on a regular basis between long term washes.  Even then, they have to have filters in place to prevent wayward oil from contaminating the mirror.

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This stuff is mostly nitrogen, I believe.  Any contamination would ruin a harddrive.  Not the same as you buy at the office supply store.

OK..edit-edit:  pure nitrogen, it says.

Edited by JonCarleton
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