Fear of Mirrors

It's about time I collimated my telescope (actually, it's been "about time" ever since I got it back in April this year). One thing that has been putting me off is an irrational fear I have of taking apart things that seem to work. I've never really been that practical a person and always seem to find some way of breaking (or convincing myself that I am breaking) anything I try and fix.

The telescope is a 5.1" Newtonian Reflector (a Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M to be precise). I've already had a little go at collimation using the film canister method and that almost ended in disaster when, as I tried to adjust the secondary mirror, it came away from the spider and almost fell into the tube. Normally something like that would put me off for life.

However, having only had passable results with viewing Jupiter and Saturn and with Mars coming around for another close pass I've decided that I should make a point of tuning the 'scope and, with this in mind, I've purchased a laser collimator to help make the job a little easier.

Problem is, to get the best out of it, I really need to center-spot the primary (the mirror didn't come with one marked). This is where the irrational fear really sets in. The idea of actually taking a screwdriver to my 'scope and removing the primary mirror fills me with dread. The rational part of me knows that it isn't going to be a problem; the part of me that paid a good few quid for the 'scope fears that I'm going to horribly muck it up.

I'm not sure yet when I'm going to get the time to do this, hopefully I'll do it in the next few days. If that happens you can expect to see a post that either says how easy it was and how stupid I've been for putting it off or there'll be a post that involves lots of hand-wringing.

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