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Schmidt Cassegrain Collimation
Newtonian Collimation

Collimation is the precise alignment of the telescope optics.

I hope these pages help answer questions about collimating different types of telescopes.  I have covered Newtonian (Dobsonian) and Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes.  With patience, anyone can collimate their telescope and get images many times better than their uncollimated instrument.  It can be the difference between seeing the equitorial bands on Jupiter and seeing the festoons between the secondary bands!

The typical tools you'll need include a flexible rule, a pencil, a fine tipped permanent ink marker, a couple of self-adhesive paper punch hole reinforcing doughnuts that have been colored in flat black, a screwdriver to turn the collimation screws on your scope, or an allen wrench to make the adjustments on a schmidt cassegrain telescope.

A simple Cheshire collimation tool can be made out of a 35mm film container, but the best collimation tools on the market are probably made by Tectron or use a laser collimator, available from several sources listed in Sky and Telescope Magazine.

    

Before (Out of Collimation) After (In Collimation)

 

Introduction to the Night Sky - Part II

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11/2011