Thursday, 20 June 2013

Cleaning Telescope Optics

One of the challenges associated with operating a telescope in an area which is both incredibly dry and desert-like (under the normal baking sun), but also with the potential to be very damp (when the site is inside a cloud) is that there is a combination of dust and condensation, which covers the correction plate of the telescope in a thick layer of dirt. This needs to be cleaned off regularly.

This is a task I was given. I was a little worried about the responsibility, knowing that if I did it wrong I could end up scratching the optics, but after a couple of hours very gentle cleaning it all turned out fine.

The extent of the dust problem is probably best demonstrated by pictures.

Hover over the image to see how it looked after cleaning