Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Telescope Invaders
Name: Unknown
Status: other
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 - 2000

I own a classic Celestron 8, circa 1980.

Status: I just had it cleaned in Houston and everything works.

Problem: While changing diagonals a moth flew into the telescope.

Question: How do I get it out? Can I just remove the front and blow him out with air, or do I have to take it back to the repair shop.

I live in Alpine, Texas which is 600 miles from the repair shop. If possible I would like to clean the moth out myself but am reluctant without assurance that I will not hurt the optics.

If it's air from an "air pump", don't blow air. It will likely contain suspended oil droplets.

My suggestion is to open the front of the telescope at night, string a light extension cord to the front of the scope, turn on the light, and wait. It's likely the moth will be attracted by the light, and will eventually fly out of the telescope to the light! No harm, no foul.

A second thought if the light bulb doesn't work. Try a vacuum cleaner with a hose extension. I think the moth would prefer the light!

V. Calder

Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory