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R.I.P. John Dobson

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#51 csrlice12

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:43 PM

Burger King killed Henry Ford?????

Actually, I stay away from Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, and all those other fast "food substitute" places.....but hey, expressing condolences at the death of someone highly thought of in your field of interest isn't wrong....not to be rude, but, really NOT feeling anything is kind of weird.....

#52 panhard

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:11 PM

It is a sad day for our hobby, RIP John.

#53 kdenny2

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:27 PM

My Orion XT8 will be out all night in his memory. It's appropriate too, tonight's the first true clear night I've gotten since I opened the thing on Christmas.

#54 old honda

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:44 PM

!!! Great man -- Rest in Peace Mr. Dobson --

#55 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 04:34 PM

Astronomy.com's article on John Dobson can be seen at http://www.astronomy...ohn-dobson-dies

Dobson's age is incorrect in the photo caption.

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#56 chaotic_one

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 04:55 PM

I am just starting out and on Sunday January 12th 2014, I decided to go with a Dobsonian mount and was this week reading up on all the computerized things I would need to do.

Tomorrow, I would start calling local Dealers.

R.I.P and thank you

#57 sidwalkastronomy

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:40 PM

I heard John speak at stellafane and he inspired me to pick this screen name. Many nights I've st up my scope (not a dob but a C-8) on the Manasquan Inlet,NJ which leads into the Atlantic ocean. More people looked through and smiled at what they saw the you would think possible. Thanks John for showing us the joy of sharing our hobby with the world. Michael Kozic,DDS

#58 George.K

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:07 PM

I didn't realize until now that he started out as a chemist before he went to the monastary. Being a chemistry major myself I thought that was pretty cool. I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a 10 inch Dobsonian while I was on my co-op job last year. I look forward to the next chance I have to take it outside (hopefully this weekend) and I will be thinking of Mr. Dobson when I do.

#59 Noisykids

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:44 PM

i first heard of john dobson when he was featured on a pbs program. i got some literature from the san fran sidewalk astronmer's, a book by richard berry, and a book by texereau, a kit from willman bell,and i made a telescope. i got so jacked up at the sight of the trapezium that i called dobson while he was on a retreat to enthuse about what i had seen with what he put out there for people like me. not much of an exaggeration to say the experience changed my life.

#60 SkyscraperJim

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:31 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting John Dobson during my first visit to Stellafane back in 1996, and saw him up there several times since.

I just got back from the monthly lecture at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where David Aguilar gave a very nice tribute to John Dobson before the evening's lecture by Trent Dupuy about brown dwarfs.

John Dobson was a rather humble individual, but truly a giant in the business. Most will remember him for the telescope mount, but his efforts in astronomy outreach really shine above all else.

#61 Jeff2011

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:43 PM

I attended one of my club's outreach events tonight. We call it astronomy on wheels and visit local schools and churches. I usually take my grab and go refractor to these events, but not tonight. In honor of John, I had to take my Dob. In fact all but one scope there were Dobs. What a wonderful design it is. What a wonderful gift John gave us.

#62 bumm

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:26 PM

As a very young man/boy, I met him at TSP. He stopped, I think because of my age, and we had a very brief conversation about astronomy and the joy of being at a place like TSP. He then asked about my scope. I uncovered my C8 with great pride and he scoffed and said I should build my own. I suppose he might be happy to know I have one of his namesakes in my garage now but I still haven't built my own scope. As I told him, the universe doesn't need the scope my hands would build.

It's always sad to lose anyone, but 98 years and the legacy he leaves is about as good as you can do. I'd feel fortunate to do either.


I thought for a long time before commenting on this. We as amateur astronomers owe a great debt to John Dobson, but that's a sort of rotten thing to say to a kid. When my time comes, I'd feel privileged to think that maybe I helped just one kid cultivate an interest in this wonderful hobby, much less give a gift like John Dobson did. This story though, demonstrates he had his flaws, just like the rest of us. A fellow human, of great accomplishment. RIP, John Dobson.
Marty

#63 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:00 AM

Dobson could be very abrasive on occasion, even to the point of being rude. I personally witnessed this at more than one venue.

Every human being has his or her shortcomings and that's why hero-worshipping is never a good thing.

I spent over two hours tonight observing from my light-polluted, moonlight-drenched front yard in memory of Mr. Dobson. He probably wouldn't have approved, however, since I was using a commercially-manufactured Orion SkyQuest Dob and some very expensive eyepieces. ;)

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#64 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:38 AM

I also encountered him a few times. One time at Grand Canyon Star Party he was patrolling the grounds when he came upon me and my fancy 6" equatorial refractor. I half expected him to berate me for having an expensive small-aperture commercial telescope like that, but instead he had a look and said a few polite words. I did once witness him being pretty snarky to a couple of boys who were getting lasso lessons from him.

#65 moladso

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:50 PM

THANKS Mr. Dobson.
Rest In Peace.

#66 curiosidad

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:37 PM

Rest in space John
A Hero for me!!!
Best

#67 bunyon

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 02:06 PM

As a very young man/boy, I met him at TSP. He stopped, I think because of my age, and we had a very brief conversation about astronomy and the joy of being at a place like TSP. He then asked about my scope. I uncovered my C8 with great pride and he scoffed and said I should build my own. I suppose he might be happy to know I have one of his namesakes in my garage now but I still haven't built my own scope. As I told him, the universe doesn't need the scope my hands would build.

It's always sad to lose anyone, but 98 years and the legacy he leaves is about as good as you can do. I'd feel fortunate to do either.


I thought for a long time before commenting on this. We as amateur astronomers owe a great debt to John Dobson, but that's a sort of rotten thing to say to a kid. When my time comes, I'd feel privileged to think that maybe I helped just one kid cultivate an interest in this wonderful hobby, much less give a gift like John Dobson did. This story though, demonstrates he had his flaws, just like the rest of us. A fellow human, of great accomplishment. RIP, John Dobson.
Marty


The "brief conversation" was long enough that I was not terribly uncomfortable with his scoffing. I knew who he was - was, indeed, very honored to be speaking with him. I'd like to think we'd talked long enough (and pleasantly enough) that his scoffing at a commercial scope was more a sign he held me in respect than that he was really trying to put me down. He seemed very happy at my youthful enthusiasm.

Of course, had he ever encountered me with a power tool he might well have bought me a scope himself. ;)

Anyway, yes, his response to my scope was rather abrasive. That made him much more real to me than most "heroes" I've met. It wasn't a terribly rude, out of the blue comment. I'm sorry if I gave the impression he just walked up to me and popped off. I certainly wouldn't say he was warm and cuddly. But he was right at home at a star party and I'm glad to have met him.

#68 MundoTozz

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 10:38 AM

I never met him. Wish I did ,even just for a minute or two. Can not believe I've seen nothing of his passing on mainstream news. Now he's part of the galaxy ... gotta build me a dob.

#69 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 12:05 PM

Do the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN qualify?

http://www.nytimes.c...at-98-taught...

http://www.washingto...-evangelist-...

http://ireport.cnn.c...ocs/DOC-1075699

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#70 MundoTozz

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:56 AM

I figured the LA times nothing on the TV Not that he would have expected such a thing at least NPR no disrespect or hate here just saying .... I had always hoped to hear him speak "someday"






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