© 2011

Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope


Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. The Dobsonian Telescope

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Neil English
      Pages 3-12
    3. Neil English
      Pages 13-31
    4. Neil English
      Pages 33-57
    5. Neil English
      Pages 59-78
    6. Neil English
      Pages 79-97
    7. Neil English
      Pages 99-120
    8. Neil English
      Pages 121-150
    9. Neil English
      Pages 151-166
  3. Using Your Dobsonian

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 167-167
    2. Neil English
      Pages 169-189
    3. Neil English
      Pages 201-212
    4. Neil English
      Pages 213-220
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 221-232

About this book


In the 1980’s, on the sidewalks of San Francisco, amateur astronomer John Dobson began showing throngs of people how to build and use large aperture scopes, often from scraps. The Dobsonian,‘Dobs,’ are now the best-selling large telescopes in the world. There are a great variety of different Dob styles, ranging from elaborate and decorative creations to simple mass market designs, and new models appear all the time. In this title, Neil English presents the ultimate guide to buying and using a commercial Dobsonian for recreational astronomy. He provides in-depth accounts of the various models (plus accessories) on the market – both economy and premium – together with describing the wealth of innovations that amateurs have made to their Dobs to optimize their performance in the field.

Even after thirty years of innovation, the Dobsonian Revolution shows no signs of abating. Find out where the future lies for these large aperture ‘scopes and the exciting avenues John Dobson’s vision will take us down in the coming years.


Deep sky astronomical equipment Deep sky visual astronomy Dobsonian telescopes John Dobson Meade reflector telescopes

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.GlasgowUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Experienced observer and writer on astronomy, Neil English has enjoyed looking through and writing about Dobsonian telescopes of all vintages. A Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Neil has been a regular contributor to Britain’s Astronomy Now for over 15 years. His work has also appeared in Astronomy magazine and New Scientist. He holds a PhD. in biochemistry and a BSc in physics and astronomy. English is the also the author of the sister Springer title, Choosing and Using a Refracting Telescope. He observes from the dark skies of rural, central Scotland, where he lives with his wife and two young sons.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“If you are considering purchasing a Dobsonian telescope … this book would be a very wise investment. ‘Choosing and Using a Dobsonian Telescope’ is split into 2 sections, Part One deals with choosing which Dob is most likely to satisfy your requirements, Part 2 progresses to using your Dob once you have taken ownership. … this book is an absolute must. … If, like me, you are not currently considering joining Dobson’s revolution … then this book is still a really enjoyable, interesting read.” (Paul Rumsby, Best Astronomy Books, October, 2011)

“This book opens with a brief history of the inventor of this simple telescope design … followed by a study of the main elements of the scope. Like the rest of the book, this section is well-illustrated and the text is easy to follow. The main chapters feature thorough reviews of popular commercial examples, and the contributors combine quantitative date with qualitative experiences, which are invaluable. … It is informative and successfully conveys the passion many astronomers feel for these impressive, yet affordable instruments.” (Mark Parrish, Sky at Night Magazine, February, 2012)

“This is a welcome addition … and is equally useful to the first-time buyer of a Dobsonian telescope and the existing owner of an older instrument. … the problems and challenges faced by photographers together with their solutions are a very useful guide to the subject. … Whether you are looking for simplicity or wish to embrace modern technology this book gives you all the information you need to make the right choice and to get the most out of your observations.” (Valerie Stoneham, The Observatory, Vol. 132 (1227), April, 2012)