Bhatinov Mask

updated: 2024-03-19

The Bhatinov mask is a device used to focus small astronomical telescopes accurately. Although masks have long been used as focusing aids, the distinctive pattern was invented by Russian amateur astrophotographer Pavel Bhatinov (Russian: Павел Бахтинов) in 2005.[1][2] Precise focusing of telescopes and astrographs is critical to performing astrophotography.

The Bhatinov mask must be intalled in front of your telescope  and the scope directed towards a bright star. You will then see defraction patterns in the eypiece or camera. The focus of the telescope needs to be adjusted until you a totally symmetrical diffraction pattern as in the middle picture below.



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