Homemade Dobsonian at 2010 Golden State Star Party

With the weather getting warmer, the stargazing season is once again here. If you’ve considered buying a telescope but don’t have the budget to splurge on one, another great option is to make your own telescope.

The Randall Museum is beginning its Dobsonian telescope making series tonight. John Dobson, after which the Dobsonian is named, popularized the use of the Dobsonian telescope and was an integral part of making larger scale telescopes accessible and affordable to the general public. He founded the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers in the 1960’s and the group has flourished in making astronomy more accessible to the public — even from one’s sidewalk.

QUEST on KQED Public Media.

The Dobsonian telescope is a relatively simple, low cost¬†alt-azimuth mounted Newtonian telescope. In this class you’ll learn the step-by-step method for grinding and polishing the telescope mirror, building the mount, and assembling a complete telescope. ¬†Once done, you’ll be able to see a variety of celestial bodies including the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter or the Orion Nebulae. The class runs ten weeks and costs between $300 -$400 dollars for materials. Purchasing a telescope of the same size would probably run you 2x the cost of making it on your own.

To learn more visit Randall Museum’s website and watch the QUEST story, “Amateur Astronomers.”

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DIY Telescope Workshop at The Randall Museum 2 October,2015Laura Khalil


Laura Khalil

Laura is a marketer by day and nerd by night. She's the Chief Nerd Herder for Dorkbyte, a blog devoted to art, technology and science. She's been named one of the most engaging women to speak about technology and has been featured on The Setup. A member of Noisebridge, she is working on two robotics challenges, leading a puzzle team that competes in a variety of puzzle challenges throughout the US and monkeys around on ham amateur radio. She loves astronomy, Making and hardware hacking. She was most recently involved in teaching hardware circuitry at Maker Faire.Laura has executed marketing strategies and campaigns for tech startups in the Bay Area. Her work with social media has been inducted into the Viral Marketing Hall of Fame.

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