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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Wood burners & optics new
      #5531166 - 11/20/12 10:14 PM

I've been noticing that someone in the neighborhood is burning wood. Not so much that I see smoke, just enough that I can smell it, sometimes kinda strong. I'm wondering if it's particularly bad for optics?

Al


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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: mich_al]
      #5531429 - 11/21/12 01:24 AM

Might depend on how close the fire is to your optics. I made my homemade F8 6" Newt in 1985, and it lived in the basement of my 200 year old stone house (in Pennsylvania) for 25 years. Our primary heat source during the winter was firewood in a cast iron stove. But when I used it this July (around 4 AM, one Sunday Morning) I could see 4 stars in Orion's Trapezium at 100 power. Then again, if I could have smelled smoke in my basement I'd have been worried.

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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: mich_al]
      #5531543 - 11/21/12 05:31 AM

If you get dew on your optics while exposed to wood fire smoke it can damage the coatings on your mirrors.
Barry


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: bherv]
      #5531999 - 11/21/12 11:13 AM

Wouldn't smoke from any source combined with dew be injurious?

Looks like the solution is dew prevention ,and avoiding the smoke plume.

Economics make wood heat the choice for some;it would be different if the promised almost free electric (from nuclear power as touted in the 1960s) for the home had actually happened.

Excuse me while I go get more firewood.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: BigC]
      #5532057 - 11/21/12 11:38 AM

Replaced the wood fireplace with a pellet stove insert. Burns clean and also has a blower for heating.

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star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: BigC]
      #5532067 - 11/21/12 11:40 AM

We use wood to heat and I'm sure that some smoke infiltrates my telescope storage area. After eleven years there has been no noticeable harmful effect on its twenty three year old coatings. Keep your telescope covered as you would normally do and all should be well.

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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: star drop]
      #5532912 - 11/21/12 08:23 PM

My primary and secondary mirrors dewed up after I covered my scope that was exposed to smoke from a nearby campfire. The dew was on the mirrors for awhile and the coatings were damaged. I had the secondary recoated but the primary is still useable. As long as the mirrors are dry, smoke shouldn't cause too much of a problem but I would still be wary if the smoke is frequently present while your scope is in use.
Barry


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5533897 - 11/22/12 12:44 PM

Quote:

Replaced the wood fireplace with a pellet stove insert. Burns clean and also has a blower for heating.


I have the hardest time cutting firewood into little pellets! There are lots of trees nearby suitable for firewood because they have fallen or are dead trees standing(literally...dry and bark mostly gone)and would simplt rot elsewise.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: BigC]
      #5533957 - 11/22/12 01:18 PM

Quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have the hardest time cutting firewood into little pellets!





Yep, when free firewood that would go to waste, or burn in a forest fire, is available; it's better than buying other material to burn.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Wood burners & optics new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5534456 - 11/22/12 08:54 PM

Yes, Wood smoke is definitely acidic, as is smoke from oil burning furnaces, and it must have been awful back in the day when everyone burned coal!
We heat primarily with wood here, burn 8 cords per year, which all comes from our land - at least 1/2 each year is storm-damaged or diseased/dead trees, and I always try to have a hot fire, because more of the hydrocarbons burn in a hotter fire, which helps the chimney stay clean and cuts way down on both the stink and the particulate matter in the smoke. The worst around here is the folks who have outdoor furnaces, that they allow to barely smoulder along
all day on warmer days, which smells terrible.
Russ


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Wood burners & optics [Re: roscoe]
      #5534566 - 11/22/12 10:36 PM

Double yep and yes. We are surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of dead trees, probably half killed by pine beetles and the other half old dead trees--too old--the result of a century of fire suppression. The result is forest fires, which this summer destroyed a lot of property and created months of smoke--east to the Great Lakes and south into Oklahoma and parts of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico---in what were otherwise great skies. Shall we burn some of it in a responsible manner in modern stoves, or just wait until burns houses and ruins astronomy for a good chunk of the observers here?

Enjoy the night sky.

Jack


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