Occassionally I get asked questions about how to use and protect one's telescope during the cold winter season.
Some folks are afraid to use their instruments during the winter months in fear they may get damaged.
Here are a few tips:
First of all, it is perfectly safe to use your telescope in the winter months.
If it contains any kind of computerized or drive system, you want to ensure that you start the motors
running immediately after setting the instrument up outside.
Don't set it up, then allow the scope to reach ambient temperature and start up the motors then, as you
could seize or damage the worm gears or drives.
It's also a good idea to start running dew protection systems immediately, to prevent the optics from
dewing up as you get ready also the observing session.
This also keeps moisture from forming on your optics, when you start observing.
You will have to experiment to find the best setting for your dew system with your particular telescope,
but once you do, it will make quite a difference when you actually start to observe.
When you are finished your observing session, do not pack your telescope into it's case (if you have one)
Ensure that all components, are able to air dry.
This includes eyepieces and accessories.
This will prevent moisture and condensation from forming on your optics, and prevent mold build
up over the course of time.
Store your instrument in a dry area, away from moisture, and damp conditions, especially if you don't
plan on using it for a while.