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John L. Dobson

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lmk
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Joined: 2010-07-23

"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we have to report the passing of Mr John L. Dobson. He died peacefully this morning, January 15th, 2014, in Burbank, California. He was 98. John leaves behind a son, many close friends, and legions of friends, fans, and admirers around the globe."

I think he was one of the most influential amateur astronomers of the 20th century, and played the leading role in promoting large, inexpensive telescopes - fittingly named the "Dobsonian" - which revolutionized the ability of amateurs to make significant contributions to astronomical research. I am sure many of us pro-am observers wouldn't be here today, if it wasn't for "JD" and all his devotion and work he did to spread the wonders of the universe amongst the public.

On a personal note, I will miss him dearly, especially our "sidewalk astronomy" nights together on the streets of San Francisco - the place where the "Dobsonian revolution" began some 40+ years ago.

Rest in Eternal Glory amongst the stars, my friend.

Mike LMK

John Dobson
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I remember meeting him, years ago, at our local astronomy club. He will certinly be missed, RIP.

Dobson's memorial services
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While we are still working on the details, time and location, of John's memorial service, it will probably be held in early February in the Los Angeles area. When its finalized, I will post it here.

Mike LMK

John Dobson's Memorial
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Hello Mike

Has any thought been given to making John's Memborial coincide with the SAS/AAVSO meeting in Early June?  It planned for Ontario, Calif.  May be the same week as RTMC?  It would be a large contingent.

 

Gary

Memorials aplenty
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Hi Gary, I think these will be separate events. The immediate one will be his actual "funeral" memorial service held probably the first weekend in Feb, though we still haven't arrived at a final plan. But that one will certainly be either in LA and/or San Francisco.

Then, there is Sidewalk Astronomy Night (7th ISAN) on March 8th, held everywhere, but certainly to have a major memorial aspect to JD blanketing it.

The RTMC, along with the first, and separate, "Starlight Festival" will be held on May 22-26 in Big Bear city. I am not sure about SAS/AAVSO, in Ontario? Is that correct? Nothing much there except the airport, though. Is this the correct venue?

Mike LMK

Both N and S California
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A quick update on John's Memorials: We know he had as many, if not more, connections to the San Francisco Bay Area as in LA, so we are going to have a Bay Area memorial in addition to the one in SoCal, also in a week or two from now.

The details are presently being worked, and I will post the info when finalized, hopefully in a couple days.

Anyone with close ties to him willing to work out an east coast memorial too? Maybe best an "indoor" one?

Mike LMK

SAS/AAVSO Meeting
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Hello Mike

The SAS/AAVSO is a joint meeting that has been held at the Northwoods Resort, in Big Bear California, just before RTMC.  The conference has grown so much that the organizers have moved it to the Ontario Airport Hotel.  The 2014 Spring AAVSO Meeting will be held there this year. 

 

Gary

Unable
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Hi Gary,

Well, its taking place several weeks after RTMC/Starlight festival. If it had been the same weekend, and in Big Bear, that would have been an excellent opportunity to arrange a major combined Dobson memorial. Something may still happen for RTMC, and I suppose many major star festivals this year will honor him too.

However, with the timing a few weeks later, and the location in Ontario, makes it a pretty "tough sell" to the group to arrange another memorial. The hotel at ONT looks like quite a nice venue for a major conference, but other than that, I think Ontario is a "no-mans land" for any astronomcal extra-curricular activity in the vicinity, as far as I can see.

So, its too bad the venue and date change, it could have been a real winner otherwise.

Mike

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484