Our telescope is our prized possessions, allowing us to peer into the celestial yonder. Besides, they cost a pretty penny too!
These instruments require special care when not in use, particularly in regards to storage.
But where is the best place to store your telescope and what considerations should you make?
And should you disassemble your telescope before storing it?
This article aims to answer those queries, and many more questions you likely have….
Recommended For Temporary Storage
Protective Telescope Cover with Fixing Strap
Recommended For Long-Term Storage
Padded Telescope Storage Case
Where To Store Your Telescope
Choosing the right place to store your telescope is the first crucial step.
You have several viable options, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks.
Storing a telescope in the loft can be advantageous because it’s typically an area with low traffic, reducing the risk of accidental damage.
Plus, the area is generally spacious, accommodating telescopes of varying sizes.
However, bear in mind the extreme temperature variations and dust that often characterize lofts.
It’s also largely inaccessible, so it’s more of a long-term storage solution.
A spare bedroom offers more temperature control compared to a loft, as it is usually integrated into the house’s HVAC system.
If you choose this option, make sure to keep the room dust-free and invest in a telescope cover for added protection.
A shed or outbuilding could also be a viable option, but only if it’s watertight and secure.
Sheds provide enough space but also pose more significant challenges regarding temperature control, humidity, and potential insect infestation.
The garage is a typical storage area for many, including astronomers.
Just remember to ensure your telescope is not at risk of accidental bumps or knocks from vehicles or other items stored in the garage.
Do You Need To Cover Your Telescope In Storage?
Covering your telescope while it is in storage is highly advisable.
Covering your telescope serves several protective purposes.
It shields your valuable instrument from dust and dirt, which could scratch or damage the lenses and mirrors.
Covering your telescope also helps protect it from accidental water damage, especially if it’s stored in a location where water leaks might occur, such as a garage or a shed.
If you’re leaving your telescope fully assembled, a good quality, purpose-made telescope cover will provide the best protection.
These covers are typically water-resistant and thermally stable, ensuring that your telescope remains cool and dry.
Many of these covers also have a soft inner lining to protect the telescope from scratches.
Here is the cover I strongly recommend, ideal for most telescopes:
- High-quality Protective Cover for telescopes: It offers perfect protection for your telescope against dust and moisture. It is an ideal protection if you want to leave it outside for a short term or store it in the cellar or garage.
- Matches all telescopes up to 1000 mm length and 8" (203 mm) aperture on an mount. Diameter at bottom: 23.8". Height of the cover: 53.15" (1350mm), total lenght: 37.4" (950mm).
- Thermally stable: Silver-coloured coating on the outside - insulate heat, thus preventing the telescope inside from heating up. The material retains its protective function even in extreme heat or cold.
- Waterproof and Washable: The cover is water-repellent - the telescope stays dry even in the rain.
- Fixing strap for firm closure and to prevent it flying away: The fixing strap at bottom ensures a clean closing and prevents wind entering from bottom. Secure against damage from extreme winds and extremely tear-resistant under correct and moderate use.
Just be sure to check the dimensions of the cover/your telescope to ensure it fits.
If you disassemble your telescope, each piece should be carefully covered or placed in a protective bag or case to avoid dust or accidental damage. You can even consider using lens caps for additional protection.
Here is the storage case I strongly recommend, ideal for most telescopes:
- Rugged padded soft case protects your telescope and mount
- Makes it easy to carry and store your telescope safely
- Padded divider separates telescope optical tube from mount/tripod to prevent dings
- Made of heavy, water-resistant polyester/nylon with full-length zipper and handle straps
- External dimension: 9.5" W x 49.75" L x 12.25" H
However, it’s crucial to remember that before you cover your telescope, it should be dry and cool. Rapid temperature changes or storing a cold telescope in a warm room can cause condensation, leading to potential damage. Therefore, it’s advised to let the telescope reach room temperature and ensure it’s dry before covering it.
Things To Consider When Storing A Telescope
While the location is an essential consideration, it’s not the only factor to bear in mind.
Here are some other key elements you need to account for when storing your telescope.
Humidity can be a major issue for telescopes, causing damage to both the optical and mechanical components.
It’s imperative to store your telescope in a low-humidity environment or use a dehumidifier or silica gel to absorb excess moisture.
Extreme temperature variations can harm your telescope.
Thus, it’s advisable to store it in an area with consistent, moderate temperature, ideally room temperature.
Ease of Access
How easily you can access your telescope is another factor to consider.
Storing it in a location that allows for quick and easy set-up can save time, particularly when you want to observe a spontaneous astronomical event.
Dust is a telescope’s enemy, potentially scratching its delicate lenses and mirrors.
Ensure your storage area is dust-free and consider investing in a dust cap or a cover for your telescope.
Ventilation is essential to prevent the build-up of condensation which could damage your telescope.
A ventilated storage location will help maintain the longevity of your equipment.
Should You Disassemble A Telescope Before Storing It?
As a general rule, it’s better to keep the telescope assembled, especially if it’s a refractor or a permanently collimated reflector. However, large Dobsonians or other big reflectors may need disassembly for storage. In this case, each part should be carefully stored to avoid dust or accidental damage.
Leaving the Telescope Assembled
For many, keeping the telescope assembled is the preferred choice, making it readily available for impromptu stargazing sessions.
This is entirely safe, provided that you place it in a suitable location, and follow key steps for protection, like using dust caps and a telescope cover.
These accessories will guard against dust accumulation and potential water damage.
If you opt for this approach, consider investing in a thermal, water-resistant cover for added protection.
However, ensure the safety of the fully assembled telescope, especially around children or in high-traffic areas, to prevent accidental damage.
Disassembling The Telescope
On the other hand, if space is a constraint or if the risk of accidental damage is high, disassembling your telescope for storage is a viable option.
While the original box might serve as a temporary solution, investing in a sturdy hard case or a bag is advisable for longer-term storage.
Besides providing storage, these can double as carrying bags for transport during trips or camping adventures.
Notably, while disassembling and storing provide additional safety, especially for mounted telescopes, it does involve a significant time investment.
This consideration might deter frequent use, as the setup process could be seen as a hassle.
Ultimately, the decision hinges on your personal preferences and an evaluation of pros and cons for your specific circumstances.
However, a crucial note for both options is to account for temperature changes. If your telescope was used outdoors and the indoor storage area is considerably warmer, let the telescope dry before covering or storing it.
This step is crucial to prevent condensation on the lenses, which could leave spots if not properly dried.
How To Store Your Telescope Accessories
Telescope accessories, such as eyepieces, filters, Barlow lenses, and adapters, play a crucial role in enhancing your stargazing experience.
They, too, require care in storage to ensure their longevity and optimal performance. Here are some tips for storing your telescope accessories:
Store In A Safe Container
This could be anything from a sturdy storage box to a professional telescope accessory case.
It’s essential that the container is able to protect your accessories from physical damage and dust.
Organize your Accessories
Organize your accessories in a way that makes them easy to locate and access.
It’s a good idea to arrange them based on frequency of use or type.
For instance, you could group all your eyepieces together and do the same for filters and other types of accessories.
Consider Individual Wrapping
For particularly delicate or high-quality accessories, consider individual wrapping.
Use a non-abrasive material, like lens tissue or microfiber cloth, to wrap each piece.
This not only provides extra protection but also prevents the accessories from scratching against each other.
Keep Accessories In A Consistent Environment
Similar to the telescope itself, its accessories also benefit from being stored in an environment with consistent temperature and low humidity.
Rapid temperature changes and high humidity can damage these sensitive pieces.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Avoid storing your accessories in direct sunlight.
Constant exposure to the sun can cause the colors in filters to fade and may warp or otherwise damage other accessories.
Telescope storage might seem like a minor concern compared to choosing the right telescope or learning to use it.
However, the proper care and storage of your telescope and its accessories can greatly impact their performance, longevity, and your overall stargazing experience.
From the selection of an ideal storage location, to understanding the key factors that impact how well it will store, every decision plays a crucial role.
Remember, a telescope is not just another piece of equipment.
It’s your personal window into the vast expanse of the universe, worthy of the utmost care.
Hey, my name is Jeremy. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.