This book is the ultimate guide to buying and using commercial Dobsonians, with in-depth accounts for the various models (plus accessories) on the market and descriptions of the many innovations that amateurs have made to optimize their telescopes' performance. In the 1960's, John Dobson designed a revolutionary kind of astronomical telescope, featuring a lightweight large-aperture reflecting system on a simply mounting, using the then-revolutionary material called teflon. The Dobsonian design combines simplicity and portability and large-aperture prowess. Thirty years later, it remains supreme for visually observing faint deep-sky objects. Dobsonians are one of the best-selling large telescopes in the USA and Europe. This popularly is reflected in the recent increase of companies now heavily marketing Dobsonians, in particular, Meade (the "Lightbridge" range), Orion USA (XT Intelliscope series), and Skywatcher (Skyliner and Flextube models).
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
Part I: The Dobsonian Telescope
Chapter 1: John Dobson, The Man and His Legacy
Chapter 2: Know Thy Dob!
Chapter 3: The Mini-Dobs
Chapter 4: Getting Serious
Chapter 5: The Planetary Dobs
Chapter 6: The 12-inch to 16-inch Dobs
Chapter 7: Different Strokes
Chapter 8: Here Be Monsters!
Part II: Using Your Dobsonian
Chapter 9: Accessorizing Your Dob
Chapter 10: Adjusting, Maintaining, and Testing Your Dob
Chapter 11: Sketching and Imaging with Your Dob
Chapter 12: Where Next, Columbus?
Appendix A: References
Appendix B: Useful Formula
Appendix C: Glossary
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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.