Hello Cloudy Nights!
This is my first post on this forum and before I ask my question, I just want to say how incredible this community truly is. I have been reading forum posts on this website for the past 6 months and am blown away by the support of all who are registered here.
I was given a 1980's Celestron C8 SCT telescope earlier this year. It was not in the best condition so over the past few months I have been rehabing this scope. My friend is big into astronomy and helprf me clean the optics, collimate the scope and make sure all is working. I finally have the scope in working order, all parts working as they should be.
My only concern is the optics of this scope. I do understand that my telescope was manufactured during the darker times of Celestron, in which they did not manufacture the highest quality telescopes. So I am guessing right off the bat, my optics will not be great. However, I feel like when I am observing, especially lunar, I see some hazy smudges on the image. The scope does focus pretty well, it just seems like I am looking at the moon with some blurry patches on the image. They are not terrible, but enough for me to think about how to fix.
I have read that if your primary mirror isn't completely dirty, to leave it alone. I read that even cleaning the primary, if it is quite dirty, will only lead to slightly improved optics. Under the light in my living room, the mirror looks very clean; however, when I shine the flashlight on my iPhone into the telescope, I can see blue smudges and streaks from when my friend cleaned my telescope. Something else to note, is my corrector plate is missing the (2) cork shims that were installed by Celestron to properly align the corrector plate. I have read this may or may not make a big difference in the image.
My question is, with the above information, is it worth removing the primary mirror for a proper cleaning? My first telescope was a reflector telescope in which I easily center-spotted and cleaned this mirror with no issue re-installing. I have read SCT telescopes are much hard to put back together. On this scope, I originally tried to clean the primary with it installed and found it very difficult to orient my hands inside the telescope.
Thank you very much for your help. Your responses are much appreciated as I begin my journey into astronomy!