Exploding telescope!

If, like me, you were bemused by the warning on Orion’s giant telescopes that pointing said telescopes at the sun could set their surroundings on fire, here’s some evidence that they’re really not kidding. Mike Lynch’s 14½-inch Dobsonian telescope exploded — that’s right, exploded — when the wind blew the cover off it and the primary mirror briefly caught the Sun’s rays.

“The wind blew the cover off,” he explains. “The scope was locked horizontally but the wind blew it out of gear and lifted it skyward — toward the southeast, unfortunately! Later that the morning the Sun just happened to pass in front of the mirror. What are the chances of that! When that happened, all hell broke loose: the eyepiece mount cap caught fire, and soon the entire upper half of the scope exploded in flame. The hand controller, eyepiece mount, and Telrad finder totally disintegrated!”

So, don’t point your telescope at the fucking Sun, okay? Especially if it’s a big Dob.

Do the Mythbusters know about this yet?