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John Dobson passed away today :(

 
Dr. AstroModerator
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John Dobson passed away today :(
John Dobson, inventor of the "Dobsonian" telescope and popularizer of sidewalk astronomy, passed away this morning at age 98. I made an effort to invite him to come do a show with us here at GLP on TheRawFeedLive, but he was a hard man to reach in his later years and obviously he had not been in the best health.

Unfortunately the mainstream news media has not even taken notice of the loss, perhaps because he was considered "too eccentric" or perhaps "not important enough." Whatever the reason, I can not find a single article mentioning his passing today, only forum posts on astronomy forums I frequent and an update in his wikipedia page. I heard about it through an email (yes, from an "uncle," Uncle Rod to be exact; [link to uncle-rods.blogspot.com] - he'll probably mention it in his next blog post).

John Dobson was probably as important to popularizing amateur astronomy as Carl Sagan. Though he did not share the kind of fame Sagan had, and though his cosmological ideas were certainly unique, his influence on the hobby will be felt for generations after his passing today. Many amateur astronomers have used his telescope design, and many continue his tradition of "sidewalk astronomy," yours truly included.

To give you some idea of how Dobsonians completely changed the landscape of telescope ownership, back when John Dobson started teaching classes on how to build your own Dobsonian telescope, a 6" newtonian Dynascope on an equatorial mount would run about $195.
[link to philharrington.net]
Now, in 1963, that was a LOT of money. That works out to about $1,485.24 in today's dollars. Today, you can buy a mass-produced 6" Dobsonian style Newtonian for a mere $300 or so.
[link to www.optcorp.com]
And of course, if you're willing to build it yourself and grind your own mirror like Dobson did, you can save even more money. His design drastically lowered the cost and/or skill required to build and own a large, powerful telescope.

The Dobsonian telescope is made up of elements that have existed for hundreds of years, but he applied them in a new way to create an instrument that is affordable and easy to build. A classic Dobsonian is really just a Newtonian reflector placed upon a wooden turntable with a rocker box. It's simple, but that's what makes it affordable and easy to build, even at home. Dobson would teach classes on how to build them, and he would use them for public outreach on the sidewalks of San Fransisco. In fact, he liked to refer to his own design as the "sidewalk telescope."

Here's a brief message from Dobson in his own words, good words for all amateur astronomers to follow:


Here's an interview with John from 1994:


Rest in peace John, you'll be missed.
astrobanner2
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
:al1:

To John

He who let us peer deeper into the heavens!
_______________________

drbat
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01/15/2014 09:15 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
RIP astro-grandaddy.
SO MANY ASSHOLES....SO FEW LIGHT SABERS!

"AZAMOREY"

:SNAPPER:
Saintk

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01/15/2014 09:15 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
may god have mercy on his soul....
God will sort it all out in the end.
Dr. AstroModerator  (OP)
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01/15/2014 09:18 PM

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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
:al1:

To John

He who let us peer deeper into the heavens!
 Quoting: Dr. Acula


tgcheers
astrobanner2
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01/15/2014 09:20 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
R.I.P \m/
Astral Goat

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01/15/2014 09:20 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
What a great loss

A great contributor to the hobby
They figured out a long time ago that its much easier to control people when we're all watching the same TV shows, listening to the same radio stations, going to the same movies, looking at the same billboards, eating the same food, and speaking the same language...

:music: [link to nextgenfmradio.com]
Anonymous Coward
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
I was home all day, I have witnesses for all but one hour of it.
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 09:21 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
I have a 10" Dobsonian that showed me the universe.

He lived a long and glorious life. Peace to you on your journey Brother John.

verysad
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 09:22 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
bump For Astrophotographers.



Dobs are nice...... but I own a Celestron 1100 Edege HD and a Orion ED80 apochromatic refractor. =)
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 09:26 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Lol
Dr. AstroModerator  (OP)
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01/15/2014 09:32 PM

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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
bump For Astrophotographers.



Dobs are nice...... but I own a Celestron 1100 Edege HD and a Orion ED80 apochromatic refractor. =)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 14776990


Very nice. Like you, I'm heavily invested in astrophotography. Even so, I've long appreciated the Dob design. Some of my favorite memories from Chiefland are of the giant Dobsonian telescopes I've had the pleasure of looking through.

Of us astrophotographers John used to say (jokingly, of course) something along the lines of, "they already imaged the whole sky, so if you're trying to do it again you've got a mental illness to begin with."

Last Edited by Dr. Deplorable Astromut on 01/15/2014 09:32 PM
astrobanner2
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01/15/2014 09:41 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
bump For Astrophotographers.



Dobs are nice...... but I own a Celestron 1100 Edege HD and a Orion ED80 apochromatic refractor. =)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 14776990


You are a soulless cock whistle. NO ONE CARES WHAT SCOPE YOU OWN!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 09:42 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Lol
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 52992712


BAN THIS CLOWN!!!
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 09:46 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
good post for a good guy.
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 09:48 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
[link to www.google.com (secure)]
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 09:49 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
I have a 10" Dobsonian that showed me the universe.

He lived a long and glorious life. Peace to you on your journey Brother John.

verysad
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 965819


i have a 10" dobsonian too. i stick it in some really dark places too for pleasure.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 52985246


PLEASE BAN THIS ONE TOO
Dr. AstroModerator  (OP)
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01/15/2014 09:50 PM

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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
I have a 10" Dobsonian that showed me the universe.

He lived a long and glorious life. Peace to you on your journey Brother John.

verysad
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 965819


i have a 10" dobsonian too. i stick it in some really dark places too for pleasure.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 52985246


PLEASE BAN THIS ONE TOO
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 965819


Already done.
astrobanner2
NvrGoFullRetard

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01/15/2014 09:53 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Wow no coverage...?

R.I.P Mr. Dobson
NvrGoFullRetard
BunBun

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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Now Mr. Dobson will get to meet the Being who made all those wonderful galactic objects that he has enjoyed studying. I wish I could see that meeting. Don't you think it has to be wonderful. God's mind is so amazing.
Christard and Lover of God
Dr. AstroModerator  (OP)
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01/15/2014 10:02 PM

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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Wow no coverage...?

R.I.P Mr. Dobson
 Quoting: NvrGoFullRetard


I know, that surprised me too. Even if he wasn't personally well-known, the telescope design that bears his name is one of the most popular out there. I figured at least space.com or someone like that would have it in their headlines, but I'm not seeing it anywhere.
astrobanner2
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01/15/2014 10:10 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
:al1:

To John

He who let us peer deeper into the heavens!
 Quoting: Dr. Acula


tgcheers
 Quoting: Dr. Astro


10:10

...

Last Edited by Neptune Fabman on 01/15/2014 10:11 PM
...Your Own Personal Jesus...
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
A classic Dobsonian is really just a Newtonian reflector placed upon a wooden turntable with a rocker box.


johnny

Did he ever mention Nibiru, maybe he got M.W. Coopered!
NvrGoFullRetard

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01/15/2014 10:18 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Wow no coverage...?

R.I.P Mr. Dobson
 Quoting: NvrGoFullRetard


I know, that surprised me too. Even if he wasn't personally well-known, the telescope design that bears his name is one of the most popular out there. I figured at least space.com or someone like that would have it in their headlines, but I'm not seeing it anywhere.
 Quoting: Dr. Astro


searching news headlines ... nothing..wow.
NvrGoFullRetard
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
I have a 10" zhumell. Amazing the things you can see with this modestly priced scope.

Thank you for your innovation Mr. Dobson.
Anonymous Coward
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01/15/2014 10:44 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
I have a 10" Dobsonian that showed me the universe.

He lived a long and glorious life. Peace to you on your journey Brother John.

verysad
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 965819


i have a 10" dobsonian too. i stick it in some really dark places too for pleasure.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 52985246


PLEASE BAN THIS ONE TOO
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 965819


This person clearly has no idea how big a 10" reflector is.
Isis One

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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Very nice tribute Doc, may he rest in peace!
Spread the word, change the collective conscious......
THERE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH OF EVERYTHING TO GO AROUND

When you are undisciplined, the universe is extremely forgiving and when you are disciplined, the universe is extremely generous. Me

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore. Andre Gide
[link to www.godlikeproductions.com]
stars

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01/15/2014 10:51 PM
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Now Mr. Dobson will get to meet the Being who made all those wonderful galactic objects that he has enjoyed studying. I wish I could see that meeting. Don't you think it has to be wonderful. God's mind is so amazing.
 Quoting: BunBun

He'll get a great view from here. Pleasant journey.........
[link to www.youtube.com]

Last Edited by stars on 01/15/2014 10:55 PM
stars
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Ralph was a good woman.
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
For those not familiar with a "Dobsonian"...

If I am correct, this brilliant man took a long focal length telescope.

And using a hybrid of reflection and refraction was able to produce a telescope with a very long focal length and fold it into a manageable package size.

This made the telescope a nice small package that could be put away in your closet and tossed into the back-seat of your car for trips.

The ultimate telescope for the average man

Thank you John Dobson...
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Re: John Dobson passed away today :(
Yep