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General Astronomy >> Outreach

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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
R.I.P. John Dobson
      #6315005 - 01/15/14 05:44 PM

John Dobson passed away today. I first posted this in the Reflectors forum for obvious reasons, but then realized that Outreach was probably the more appropriate place.

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Dave Ittner
sage
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315014 - 01/15/14 05:50 PM

RIP
Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to meet this man.


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StrangeDejavu
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/20/13

Loc: Florida
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315020 - 01/15/14 05:53 PM

RIP John Dobson.
In his memory, i'll be setting up my Z10 tonight.


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: StrangeDejavu]
      #6315028 - 01/15/14 05:56 PM

I don't even have the words. RIP

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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: StrangeDejavu]
      #6315046 - 01/15/14 06:08 PM

Quote:

In his memory, i'll be setting up my Z10 tonight.




That's actually a fantastic idea. Imagine if every Dob on the planet was set up tonight in honor and appreciation of the Dob-father.


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george golitzin
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/06

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315074 - 01/15/14 06:19 PM

Yes I'll do the same. I was privileged to spend some time with him a few years ago--a remarkable, truly free-thinking individual, and a gentle human being.

-George


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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson *DELETED* new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315077 - 01/15/14 06:20 PM

Post deleted by Cotts

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ahlberto
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/06/08

Loc: lisbon-portugal
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Kraus]
      #6315084 - 01/15/14 06:22 PM

Very sad news and a great loss for the amateur community

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Mr Greybush
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/16/13

Loc: Virginia
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: ahlberto]
      #6315089 - 01/15/14 06:25 PM

Rest in space John

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Dave M
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/03/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Mr Greybush]
      #6315108 - 01/15/14 06:36 PM

RIP Among the stars John Dobson.

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DavidOpticsmart
Vendor (Opticsmart.com)


Reged: 08/15/11

Loc: Alabama
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Kraus]
      #6315122 - 01/15/14 06:44 PM

Quote:

I assume he had something to do with the dobsonian telescope.




Yes, a little something. He was so well known for promoting simple inexpensive alt-az mounts for reflectors, that the astronomy community (and industry) began using his name and calling reflectors with that type of mount "Dobsonians": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dobson_(amateur_astronomer)#The_Dobsonian_t...


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315136 - 01/15/14 06:52 PM

Wow, the astronomy world just lost one of its greatest.....

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tezster
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Missisauga, Canada
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6315184 - 01/15/14 07:12 PM

RIP to a great man.

I also find it a little sad that there isn't a single hit on Google News search yet - I first found out through a RASC mailing list.


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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6315193 - 01/15/14 07:15 PM

I remember meeting him at the Connecticut Star Party several years ago. He did a talk on the cosmos. He definately changed amateur astronomy. May he rest in peace.
Barry


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Bakes
super member


Reged: 01/06/09

Loc: Stratford, CT
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: bherv]
      #6315206 - 01/15/14 07:24 PM

I had the good fortune to hear him speak many times at Stellafane. His wit and enthusiasm will be missed. Rest in peace.

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desertstars

*****

Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315238 - 01/15/14 07:42 PM

I don't own a dob, but I'll go out tonight and stand under the stars for a while.

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Parsec
member


Reged: 07/15/07

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: desertstars]
      #6315253 - 01/15/14 07:48 PM

It,s a great loss. He did so much for astronomy.

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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Parsec]
      #6315266 - 01/15/14 07:54 PM

I heard him speak a number of times and engaged in a few conversations with John over the years. He was certainly a colorful personality.

http://dvaa.org/Stellafane1999.html

I've owned a total of eight Dobs since the 1990s but the weather won't allow me to take one out tonight in memory of Mr. Dobson.

Dave Mitsky


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ManicSponge
sage


Reged: 11/29/13

Loc: Wenatchee, Wa.
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6315296 - 01/15/14 08:09 PM

Wow, 98 years is an amazing run. Everyone dies, but few of us leave much of a legacy. It's unlikely that more than a couple hundred people will remember I ever lived, when I am gone. My $649 Z-12 is sitting in my family room as a direct result of his work. From innovation, to mass produced affordable quality. Thanks, John, from a guy who never met you!
Regards, Kyle


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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: ManicSponge]
      #6315309 - 01/15/14 08:15 PM

Yes, RIP. A true visionary who changed our hobby for the better. And in the process, exposed hundreds or thousands to it.

And I believe the Outreach forum is the most appropriate place for this obituary. Outreach was what John Dobson was all about


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Tamiji Homma
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: ManicSponge]
      #6315313 - 01/15/14 08:17 PM

I have a few photos that I took at 2012 Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show.
That was the last opportunity seeing him and had a chance to talk to him after the Q&A session.

You can view photos from here and click next for more photos:
http://www.pbase.com/tammyhomma/image/146239592

RIP, John.

Tammy


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bunyon
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/23/10

Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #6315355 - 01/15/14 08:36 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.


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rustyprice
member


Reged: 12/17/13

Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: bunyon]
      #6315430 - 01/15/14 09:16 PM

Was just reading about him recently, love his Sidewalk Astronomy model. Major respects to this man.

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Astrosetz
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/05/03

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: rustyprice]
      #6315443 - 01/15/14 09:27 PM

Those of you who are unfamiliar with John Dobson, yes there are articles online about him, but if you can go to a library and look at some old Astronomy and S&T magazines in the late 1970s through the early 1980s you'll see how he _completely_ changed the landscape of amateur astronomy. And did it almost accidentally, and in a completely unselfish way. Amazing person.

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northernontario
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Astrosetz]
      #6315490 - 01/15/14 09:52 PM

What an incredible journey this man has had.....

and he took us along for the ride....

Think I'll go outside now and look at the sky.

jake


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Bill Weir
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/01/04

Loc: Metchosin (Victoria), Canada
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315509 - 01/15/14 10:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:

In his memory, i'll be setting up my Z10 tonight.




That's actually a fantastic idea. Imagine if every Dob on the planet was set up tonight in honor and appreciation of the Dob-father.




Better yet show someone else (preferably someone who hasn't looked through a scope before) something.

Bill


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Tim A.
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: 40 30'N 105 3'W
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315545 - 01/15/14 10:24 PM

His journey on earth enriched so many. His journey henceforth, if there is one, is unknowable.

I truly hope, John, that you travel among the stars.

And my thanks for all you did while you traveled amongst us.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Tim A.]
      #6315627 - 01/15/14 11:17 PM

That an idea can be so simple, profound, inspiring and transformative is the astonishing legacy of John Dobson, a man who was himself, simple, profound, inspiring and transformative.

A life lived superbly.

Dave


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Joe Bergeron
Vendor - Space Art


Reged: 11/10/03

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6315668 - 01/15/14 11:52 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

In memoriam.

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Slartibartfast
sage


Reged: 05/28/08

Loc: New Jersey
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #6315692 - 01/16/14 12:12 AM

I'm saddened but thankful because I owe so many wonderous nights exploring the night sky with a telescope of his design. He made the world a better place by being in it.

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CyberKinetic
member


Reged: 08/12/12

Loc: Texas
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Slartibartfast]
      #6315732 - 01/16/14 12:50 AM

He leaves an incredible legacy to the community, and will indeed be remembered long down the years.

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Saint Aardvark
super member


Reged: 11/25/10

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Slartibartfast]
      #6315733 - 01/16/14 12:50 AM

Tonight I took out my Dob -- first time since I got a Schmidt-Cassegrain a few months ago. It was a semi-clear night, which in Vancouver for this time of year is pretty awesome. I showed my boys (7 & 5) the moon and Jupiter, and told them the story of John Dobson: how he loved the stars, and wanted to show people their universe; how he ground his own telescope mirror from porthole windows and sand; how he made his own mount, the simplest thing that could possibly work (up, down, spin around...); how he took his scope out to show people the stars, and how to build telescopes of their own; and how he'd died today, 98 years old.

Might've been the story...might've been the sights...might've been the fun of seeing the world upside down through the eyepieces held up on their own. But they enjoyed themselves. Rest in peace, John Dobson.


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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Saint Aardvark]
      #6315763 - 01/16/14 01:33 AM

I was lucky enough to meet him in 1999. I was 17 at the time, and it was a chance encounter at a fast food restaurant when I was on an out-of-state high school trip. I had already been the proud owner of a 6" dob for a couple of years. He thought it was highly amusing that a 17 year old kid not only recognized him, but asked for his autograph.

I was sad I didn't have my telescope with me for him to sign.


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Traveler
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/19/07

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6315808 - 01/16/14 02:54 AM

Rest in peace Mr. John Dobson...

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SaberScorpX
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/12/05

Loc: illinois, usa
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Traveler]
      #6315848 - 01/16/14 04:02 AM

Thanks for the inspiration, John.
That was one heck of a Marathon.

Peace,
Stephen


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acr_astro
member


Reged: 01/16/13

Loc: Germany, Dusseldorf area
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: SaberScorpX]
      #6315867 - 01/16/14 05:15 AM

Indeed very sad news.
I hope that the IAU honors him by naming a crater on the moon.



Achim


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Chopin
Canis Insanus
*****

Reged: 02/03/05

Loc: In the doghouse.
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: acr_astro]
      #6315899 - 01/16/14 06:46 AM

A truly awesome individual. His selfless pursuits to share the sky were unmatched. RIP, John.

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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Chopin]
      #6315960 - 01/16/14 08:09 AM

Sad! RIP John Dobson!

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Seanem44
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/22/11

Loc: Woodbridge, VA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Chopin]
      #6315964 - 01/16/14 08:12 AM

It is sad to lose a legend of astronomy, or anyone for that matter. But 98!?!?! That is some longevity. We should be so lucky to live that long. He definitely left his mark. His name is up their with the likes of Hubble. RIP.

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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Seanem44]
      #6315979 - 01/16/14 08:30 AM

The International Sidewalk Astronomers inspired by Mr. Dobson promote an annual Sidewalk Astronomy Day, which this year is Saturday, March 8. They are calling for local groups around the world to get actively involved this year in his memory. Coincidentally, that is the night before the premier of the first episode of the new COSMOS series and our local club is in contact with the local FOX TV affiliate in an effort to present a star party linked to the show. This just gives added incentive for that and might be a good avenue for other groups to emulate. It would be great to have 10,000 telescopes set up around the globe that night in public places!

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groz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: acr_astro]
      #6316092 - 01/16/14 09:49 AM

Quote:

Indeed very sad news.
I hope that the IAU honors him by naming a crater on the moon.





How about an asteroid.

http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=18024


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: groz]
      #6316097 - 01/16/14 09:51 AM

We should name the next space scope after him......and we should begin building it now....

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Diana N
member


Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Nebraska
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Dave Ittner]
      #6316165 - 01/16/14 10:24 AM

He made the world a better place. RIP, Mr. Dobson, and thanks for the telescopes!

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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Kraus]
      #6316194 - 01/16/14 10:40 AM

Quote:


I assume he had something to do with the dobsonian telescope. Never heard of him.




Here's a peek.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ght_w7BAHaA


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Slartibartfast
sage


Reged: 05/28/08

Loc: New Jersey
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: groz]
      #6316216 - 01/16/14 10:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I hope that the IAU honors him by naming a crater on the moon.



How about an asteroid.




It should at least be something we can see through a telescope.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: MikeBOKC]
      #6316228 - 01/16/14 10:52 AM

Quote:

They are calling for local groups around the world to get actively involved this year in his memory.




Sounds like a plan.

Here's another plan:

Tonight, if it's clear and you are setting up, setup on a sidewalk or in front yard, somewhere that people can join in and see the wonders that John wanted us to see.



Jon Isaacs


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6316266 - 01/16/14 11:10 AM

S&S Optika is having a star party this Saturday.....Guess I'll go and bring the dob....

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StrangeDejavu
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/20/13

Loc: Florida
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Saint Aardvark]
      #6316336 - 01/16/14 11:52 AM

Quote:

Tonight I took out my Dob -- first time since I got a Schmidt-Cassegrain a few months ago. It was a semi-clear night, which in Vancouver for this time of year is pretty awesome. I showed my boys (7 & 5) the moon and Jupiter, and told them the story of John Dobson: how he loved the stars, and wanted to show people their universe; how he ground his own telescope mirror from porthole windows and sand; how he made his own mount, the simplest thing that could possibly work (up, down, spin around...); how he took his scope out to show people the stars, and how to build telescopes of their own; and how he'd died today, 98 years old.

Might've been the story...might've been the sights...might've been the fun of seeing the world upside down through the eyepieces held up on their own. But they enjoyed themselves. Rest in peace, John Dobson.






T.storms rolled in shortly after sunset, so I was unable to get out. I'm glad someone got to, at least.


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: StrangeDejavu]
      #6316371 - 01/16/14 12:13 PM

Sky & Telescope's biography can be seen at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/home/John-Dobson-1915ndash2014-240456881....

Dave Mitsky


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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson *DELETED* new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6316424 - 01/16/14 12:37 PM

Post deleted by Cotts

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Kraus]
      #6316439 - 01/16/14 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.....


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6316492 - 01/16/14 01:11 PM

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

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kdenny2
member


Reged: 12/18/13

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6316528 - 01/16/14 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.

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old honda
member


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Norman, Ok., USA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6316807 - 01/16/14 03:44 PM

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

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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: old honda]
      #6316896 - 01/16/14 04:34 PM

Astronomy.com's article on John Dobson can be seen at http://www.astronomy.com/news/2014/01/astronomy-popularizer-john-dobson-dies

Dobson's age is incorrect in the photo caption.

Dave Mitsky


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chaotic_one
newbie


Reged: 01/13/14

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6316942 - 01/16/14 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


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sidwalkastronomy
sage


Reged: 03/01/06

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: DavidOpticsmart]
      #6317032 - 01/16/14 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

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George.K
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: chaotic_one]
      #6317087 - 01/16/14 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.

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Noisykids
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: George.K]
      #6317350 - 01/16/14 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.

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SkyscraperJim
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Kraus]
      #6317553 - 01/16/14 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.


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Jeff2011
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Noisykids]
      #6317575 - 01/16/14 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.

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bumm
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: bunyon]
      #6317641 - 01/16/14 11:26 PM

Quote:

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


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: bumm]
      #6317764 - 01/17/14 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.

Dave Mitsky


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Joe Bergeron
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Reged: 11/10/03

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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6317867 - 01/17/14 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.

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moladso
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #6318581 - 01/17/14 12:50 PM

THANKS Mr. Dobson.
Rest In Peace.


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curiosidad
sage


Reged: 06/09/11

Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: rdandrea]
      #6319064 - 01/17/14 04:37 PM

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


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bunyon
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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: bumm]
      #6322276 - 01/19/14 02:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.


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MundoTozz
member


Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Pittsburgh PA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: bunyon]
      #6336337 - 01/26/14 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.

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Dave Mitsky
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Reged: 04/08/02

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Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: MundoTozz]
      #6336515 - 01/26/14 12:05 PM

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

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/science/space/john-dobson-dies-at-98-taught...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/john-dobson-evangelist-...

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1075699

Dave Mitsky


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MundoTozz
member


Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Pittsburgh PA
Re: R.I.P. John Dobson new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6338022 - 01/27/14 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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