More About Dobsonian Telescopes
The Dobsonian is a simple, low-cost telescope design popularized by San Francisco amateur astronomer John Dobson in the 1970s. It consists of a Newtonian tube assembly riding on a simple, wooden altazimuth base. A large primary mirror at the bottom of the tube collects light and concentrates it onto a small secondary mirror, which diverts the light cone out the side of the tube and into the eyepiece. Their affordability and simplicity of operation make Dobsonians a great first telescope for entry into the hobby of amateur astronomy, especially those in the 6" to 8" aperture range. Larger Dobs, though bulkier to transport, are highly popular among experienced observers, thanks to their tremendous light-gathering prowess and, again, their affordability compared to refractors or catadioptric telescopes. Even relative to similar-aperture Newtonians on equatorial mounts, Dobsonians are delightfully economical. Click the "Resources to Help You Choose a Telescope" link above for more information.
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