Mirror Cleaning

Over time dust will build up on the mirrors of a reflector telescope and the amount will depend on the conditions where you live and how you store your telescope. Dust can be minimised by keeping the aperture capped when not in use and storing the OTA with the primary mirror facing down. Dust will…

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Collimation Checks

The Newtonian telescope is very simple – Two mirrors, one curved and one flat. But to work, it needs to be set up properly with those mirrors and the eyepiece/focus tube aligned. Hanging wallpaper in your house is easier when the walls, floors and windows are square! Collimation is a very simple process made complicated by the…

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Observing Log

I keep a log of observations in a spreadsheet (download here). This is uploaded to the cloud so that I can update it when I am away from the desktop computer. The log has four main sections (sheets), Binaries (double and multiple stars), DSO (Messier and NGC objects), Solar System and Other (everything else). The…

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Through the eyepiece tube

The view through the eyepiece tube of the reflector telescope can be confusing, hence this page. A sheet of yellow paper has been placed behind the secondary mirror to help identify its edge. The view through the focus tube of a typical 200mm (8″) f/6 Newtonian Reflector Showing n reflections in the sight/focus tube >…

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Solar Filter

A solar filter made using a sheet of Baader AstroSolar Safety Film. Important – Do not point a telescope or finder at the sun as this will result in permanent eye damage. When using the filter ensure caps are on the finder. The film comes with instructions for making a solar filter which I modified slightly.…

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Denver Chair

I find a height-adjustable chair an essential accessory when observing. The longer you look through the eyepiece the more you see. This is especially the case for clusters and galaxies. I would also find sketching impossible without a chair. The homemade Denver chair folds flat and doesn’t take up a lot of room when not…

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Top 500 double stars

A file of over 500 double stars selected and recommended as targets because they are a sight to behold. Download The data file is in a spreadsheet for ease of sorting and modifying in Excel, Google Sheets, Libre Office etc. The fields include object name(s), location information and star data – magnitudes, separation and position…

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