An “exploding” telescope

Have you ever left your telescope pointing to a target after you had enjoyed an exciting observation, and gone to sleep? Well, I know you are probably too tired to pack things up, but once you take a look what happened to this guy, you won’t be so careless again. Mike Lynch, an avid amateur astronomer at Minneapolis, left his giant 14.5″ Starmaster at the observation site and went to sleep. Of course, he didn’t just leave it the way it was, as a veteran, he slewed the tube to the horizontal direction, covered it, and placed a towel at the eyepiece opening. Well, you would think this should be sufficient enough right? But guess what, during the night, the wind blew off the cover, changed the pointing of the tube up to the sky, and what is more coincidental, the sun passed through the field of view of the 14.5” Starmaster next morning! The result? With its powerful light-focusing ability, the telescope burnt itself into ashes. Next time, after you are done with your equipment, treat it nicer – I am sure you don’t want that to happen to you. 

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