Monday, March 26, 2012

Pollen is the Enemy!

While looking at the corrector on the 14 off-axis last year, I noticed a few, small, shiny spots.  I found out that these are caused by pollen.  It settles on the corrector and burrows into the coating, eventually causing permanent damage to the coatings. I've posted a pic of what it looks like.  It's hard to remove because it is very sticky.  There are a number of  ways to treat it, which I won't go into here.  Some people recommend cleaning the optics every session during high pollen season (which I personally do not like--cleaning is the most damaging thing you can do to your optics).  Meade cleaned my corrector when I had to send the scope back for a drive problem.  As for avoiding this issue this year (with its record pollen counts) I am going to experiment with optical mylar to see if  it can be easily made into a temporary cover for the optics while the yellow-green snow is falling in my forested neighborhood.