Flocking http://washedoutastronomy.com/taxonomy/term/41/all en Flock It! http://washedoutastronomy.com/content/flock-it <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img width="240" vspace="1" hspace="6" height="180" align="left" title="Photo of Protostar peel-and-stick flocking paper" src="/sites/washedoutastronomy.com/files/u3/FlockingMaterial.jpg" alt="Photo of Protostar peel-and-stick flocking paper" />If you have a Dobsonian or Newtonian reflector, flocking is a great way to reduce stray light and improve the contrast. What is flocking? It simply means lining or painting the inside of your telescope with something that absorbs light&mdash;ideally something that absorbs close to 100% of visible light. Most telescope insides are painted flat black, but that usually doesn&rsquo;t do a particularly good job of absorbing incident light. If you don&rsquo;t believe me, look down the inside of your telescope tube in the daylight: is it truly pitch black or just dark gray?</p> <p>Flocking is particularly helpful in light-polluted environments because there is so much more stray light to eliminate. Think of it this way: if you are in a really, really dark site, flocking doesn&rsquo;t matter much because there is essentially no stray light. In fact, in really dark skies, you don&rsquo;t even need a light shroud around a truss-tube telescope&mdash;there is just no light to leak into your light path. In contrast, your typical urban or sub-urban environment has plenty of stray light sources: the neighbor&rsquo;s porch light or bedroom light, the nearby street light, the sky-glow from downtown, and even the light-gray background of the sky itself. If any of this light gets into your eyepiece, it contributes to brightening the background and killing the contrast.</p> <p>Now flocking is pretty easy and one of the secrets is that you only need to flock relatively small portions of your telescope to get essentially all of the benefits...</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><p><a href="http://washedoutastronomy.com/content/flock-it" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://washedoutastronomy.com/content/flock-it#comments Flocking Sun, 18 Jul 2010 12:56:44 +0000 Washed-out Astronomer 33 at http://washedoutastronomy.com