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RIP John Dobson

January 15, 2014

I just learned that John Dobson passed away today.  He was 98 years old.  Dobson was the inventor of the Dobsonian Mount for Newtonian telescopes that revolutionized the mounting of large reflector telescopes, thus greatly reducing their price.  He was also a co-founder of San Francisco’s Sidewalk Astronomers, an idea that got our society out of the NMC Observatory and on the road.

For new members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society he was invited here (Traverse City, MI) to give a talk at Northwestern Michigan College’s Hagarty Center in February 2007 when we were trying to raise money for our own Dobsonian telescope.  That was a Saturday night,  On Sunday night he came out to Northwestern Michigan College’s Joseph H. Rogers Observatory for a free get together, where he autographed some of our Dobsonian mounts.  On Monday I took him out to the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor for a presentation, and he sat in on an astronomy class and an English class taught by Norm Wheeler at the school’s Lanphier Observatory.

Here are some photos from that visit.

Dobson 1

John Dobson talking with an audience member after his talk.

Dobson 2

John Dobson answering a question at Rogers Observatory

Dobson 3

John Dobson with some members of the GTAS at the Rogers Observatory.

Dobson 4

Members brought their Dobsonian telescopes to the Rogers Observatory for the event.

Update:  John’s visit was 2007.  I originally posted his visit was in 2008.  Time flies when you’re not paying attention.

  1. richard Kuschell
    January 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I’m very glad I had chance, along with other Grand Travers Astronomical Society, to meet this very special person. When looking around for info on his death today; your photograph of him (with credit to you) is in wickipedia images. The one with him in front of the blackboard at Rogers Observatory

  1. January 16, 2014 at 5:29 am
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