Wish John Dobson a happy 95

John Dobson

John Dobson is arguably one the most influential personalities in amateur astronomy in the last couple of decades. He has almost single-handedly revolutionized backyard astronomy by bringing it out to the street, making it possible for everyone to enjoy the beauty of the Universe!

As an amateur astronomer his contributions to the world of amateur astronomy are immense. He is most notable for being the promoter of a design for large, portable, low-cost Newtonian reflecting telescopes that bears his name, the Dobsonian telescope - a telescope that brought amateur astronomy to a whole new level.

On September 14 2010, John is turning 95 and here's your chance to send birthday wishes to him!

How to send the birthday messages:
1) Email your message to wishdobson95@gmail.com.
2) Leave your message as a comment to this article.

Make sure to include your name and location (city, country)

Do you have any photos taken with John Dobson? We would like to make a community album for him as well. Email your photos to wishdobson95@gmail.com please include: when and where was the photo taken.

The birthday wishes will be put together by Thilina Heenatigala (Astronomers Without Borders) and these will be presented to John Dobson by Donna Smith (Sidewalk Astronomers).

Let's get together and wish John Dobson many more healthy orbits around the Sun!

John Dobson in January 2010

Some links:
A Brief Biography of John Dobson
Articles by John Dobson
Articles About John Dobson
Official John Dobson page on Facebook

A Sidewalk Astronomer - a DVD featuring John Dobson
The Moon is New - science fiction book by John Dobson
John Dobson's 90th Birthday - a commemorative Book
Beyond Space and Time - book by John Dobson

Image credit: Louisville Astronomical Society.


Joseph Marteleur said...

Thank you John, for all you have done and ared doing for us.

Mike said...

Warmest wishes from New Zealand for your 95th birthday John! Well done, what a magnificent innings. Thank you for inspiring generations of sidewalk astronomers and encouraging people everywhere to just look up.

Kind regards,
Mike White
Levin, NZ

Vicente said...

The best wishes for your 95th birthday John! Great inspiration for all of us amateur astronomers!

Vincent, Dublin (IE)

Pedro said...

Happy birthday & many happy returns!

Anonymous said...

Congratulation to you John !

Happy birthday & all the best wishes to you and thank you so much for all your inspiring ideas and influence to generations of skywatchers.

Johannes Stübler

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, John. "Here's the birthday song they sing at Knott's Berry Farm, "This is your birthday song. It isn't very long." Hope you have a fabulous birthday. Julie Taylor, Victorville, CA, USA

Miguel Rodríguez said...

Happy birthday John, thanks for your enthusiasm. You inspired many of us to share the stars with people.

Madrid, Spain

James McEnanly said...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Dobson

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday from Australia, John. Many thanks for your work which made the wonders of the night sky accessible to me and millions of others.


Anonymous said...

All the very best to you John. May you continue to look into eyepieces as we enjoy the legacy you've help provided for us. Heres to 95 years and continuing health.

Maria Berbeo said...

Hi John,

You and your journey and discoveries are in my mind and heart every day. I hope to celebrate your 95th with you in September. Still wanting to work on changing the book name & putting it on Amazon for you!!!

Thinking of you,
Maria Berbeo

Spacecat5000 said...

Happy Birthday, John!

Alan Dyer said...

Happy birthday, John and thanks for making the sky more accessible for all of us to share. You changed the universe -- or at least how we see it!

- Alan Dyer
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

erika said...

Hi John,

A very very happy birthday to you from the Philippines. I am hoping we could meet someday. Thank you for being an inspiration for all of us amateur astronomers.

To the stars!

Erika Valdueza

rudri9 said...

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Sir! Hope a great many number of people get inspired by you and continue your good work forward. Thanks for all that you have done! Hope you have a 'starry' Birthday!


Howard Dew said...


Wow, 95 years young. That is amazing and you still look 50. As Treasurer of the Goddard Astronomy Club, I still remember when you visited Goddard Space Flight Center to help us and the Greenbelt Astronomical Society out with several days of treating the public to astronomy. You still had the enthusiasm of a new person to the subject and not the usual jaded (“ I’ve seen and heard it all”) that you usually get from experienced astronomers who have lost the zeal of their hobby/profession. You corrected me several times when I was showing the public the sun through the Coronado Solar scope and I still remember the corrections to this day. I hope that you are blessed with the health and mental facilities that you now have for the rest of your life. By the way, I now own a Dobsonian telescope to add to my collection of SCT and refractor. You get more bang for the buck from a Dobsonian. Thanks for your participation in a hobby and profession which could stand to have a lot more of folks like you in it.


Emilio Lepeley said...

Very best wishes in your 95, and well done to fullfill ours lifes with the wonders of the skies, trought your simple and amazing telescope design used worldwide for the skygazers all over the world. Dobsonian telescopes are the very best ones!!
Cheers John!

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration to all of us, an example of dedication and enthusiasm! Happy Birthday!

Joe Lalumia said...

John, happy birthday! Personally I hope to live as long as you have and continue to observe the night sky.

Joe Lalumia
Rockwall, Texas

Nick said...

All our best to you Mr. Dobson. Happy 95th! I was thrilled to meet and talk with you during a "Space Day" event in Massachusetts a decade ago. You shared the outdoor stage with an Apollo 12 astronaut and some other noteworthy space scientists. What a fabulous day. You walked up to us and explained to my 4-year old son about lying on one's back on the grass while gazing at the 'heavens.' Through the years you have inspired us in many ways with your infectious optimism and constant state of wonder. The likenesses of you and Carl Sagan should be enshrined somewhere on the Washington DC Capitol Mall.
Nick Beck, Sterling, MA

amateur said...

The Amateur Astronomers Association Delhi (INDIA) wishes John a very very Happy Birthday. We wish that you continue to inspire astronomers around the world to do more Astronomy every day.... :)

emilia said...

Happy birthday to a remarkable scientist and also an unforgettable men from an Italian lady who had the privilege to meet you in her charming town and home in Gubbio Italy . A big hug
Emilia Valentini

Anonymous said...

I teach Astronomy at NMSU-Grants, NM. My classes all begin with "sidewalk astronomer". You have many fans in this part of the world. Dios te cuide, Billy O'Keefe

Ian Maclean said...

Happy Birthday John.
We will be out with our "Dobs" here in NE Arnhemland in the NT Australia this weekend.We are having a "Feast of the Planets" night with Venus close to the moon for the public's viewing pleasure.
And of course the mighty Jupiter at its best.
Thanks for all you have given to public Astronomy outreach.

Ian Maclean
Gove Amateur Astronomers

Pornchai Pacharin-tanakun said...

Happy Birthday, John!

Pornchai Pacharin-tanakun
Bangkok, Thailand

Anonymous said...

I built a telescope with my late grandfather when I was in my teens based upon his design - it was a 10" short focal length telescope and engineered to be the biggest thing I could carry in the back of a 1968 Camaro! It was a fun project. I have a fancy telescope now but somehow it's not as satisfying.

Thanks for a great idea!

Mammifero Bipede said...

You changed my mind and my life. Many thanks!!!

D.C. Taylor said...

John Dobson
Carny barker for the stars...
Come see the moon...
Everybody is born curious...
Come see the sunspots...
Nothing but the suns...
a chance for everybody on Earth...
Don't thank me, it's your Sun. Why isn't it made of butter.
Get thrown out of a monastery
for helping some kids make telescopes...
What's the use of someone that doesn't wonder?

Happy 95th!

David Taylor
Portland, OR

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Dobson. Hope you have a stellar celebration! Thank you for everything you've giving us.

Rick-EPOGUY said...

John, Happy Birthday! Thanks for
all your trips to Oregon to help
us build telescopes and to promote
viewing the sky!

robert said...

Happy Birthday John, Having owned several "dobs" I cant thank you enough for being directly responsible for the many, many hours of enjoyment, serenity and enlightenment I receive from your idea to stick a newt on a simple alt/az mount, you down play that achievement but the truth is you are the one who did it and you deserve all the accolades and recognition for it. I wish a dob would have been my first telescope, but instead I was given a department store special for Christmas one year when I was a child, and that thing caused me so much frustration that I eventually turned it into a potato gun and forgot all about astronomy for about 30 years. In my 40's I returned to my love of the sky and I bought a used 8" dob and haven't looked back since. I now own several telescopes from small refractors on a eq mount, To large Cass's on goto mount and everything in between, but when i want to get out by myself and just star hop and explore - I grab my 12" dob. Thanks for returning spirituality back into my life.

Take Care

Rob M said...

Happy birthday Mr. Dobson. Thanks to your innovation I have been able to open a window to the universe for my three children. No one can measure the value of igniting that spark of curiosity in the next generation. Again, thank you and happy birthday.

Rob in Iowa

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday Mr. Dobson! I bought a Dobsonian telescope a year and a half ago, and it's showed me some wondrous things. Thanks for making such a great contribution to amateur astronomy. Will Taylor, Toronto

Jonatas Ribeiro said...

Happy birthday from Brazil, Mr. Dobson!

Thank you for inspiring many generations of amateur astronomers.

Jonatas Ribeiro

Anonymous said...

Your gift of the universe to we the people is deserving of the greatest of thankful appreciation. Strangely in this world those that give the most receive the least. Regards and clear skies ahead for you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday.

And thanks for bringing the stars and planets a little closer to us.

Dave Hall
Spokane WA

lerika said...

Wishing you a happy birthday, John.
Thank you very much for giving us ATMers the Dob.

Lerika Cross, Johannesburg
South Africa

lerika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Happy 95th.

Mike Castles
Middletown CT

jesusdivinomestre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ssevern said...

John, thank you for being a good friend and such a wonderful influence on my son, Elliot. The time you've spent with him was a big influence on his passion for astronomy and pursuing science education with the public. We always look forward to your visits and enjoy spending time with you. Your stories are wonderful, and you've taught us a lot about so many things; not just astronomy!! Wishing you love, health, and happiness!

Stacey Severn
Stratford, CT

John said...

Happy birthday, John!

John C., Amherst, MA

Alexander Mallon said...

God Bless you John Dobson and Happy 95th Birthday!
John is such a wonderful man! My wife and I have spent many joyful hours speaking with John, especially at Stellafane conventions in years past. In fact, this year (2010) and last, my wife was so hopeful that John might attend - and sad when she found he did or could not... For her, John is THE highlight of every Stellafane!
We are all so blessed by John, especially because he has always joined Spirit with the spirituality of the Night Sky! - For that, we should be all so very greatful!

best to you John!

Anonymous said...

Wishing a honest man a happy birthday...live long and prosper!

Pat Johnston said...

Happy, happy day, John and many more! I am sending a couple pictures to the email address showing telescope making and mirror grinding at our home in Victorville. Thanks for the always interesting conversations.

Pat Johnston

Charlie Cotterman said...

Even though it's a day or so late...

I had the honor of meeting you and hearing you lecture at ScopeOut in Cincinnati OH a few years back -- a high point in astronomy for me.

Happy Birthday Mr Dobson!!!
(...and many more...)

Charlie Cotterman
Dayton OH

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday and thanks much! My first telescope was an 8" Dob just a few years ago. So fun!

MKMurtaugh said...

Thank you Mr. Dobson for your contributions to astronomy, and best wishes for your 95th birthday.

Mike Murtaugh
Albert Lea, MN

Birthday Messages said...

Happy Birthday!

markscosmiclight said...

I just attended the Memorial last week for his passing but Thought I'd post this also from his 95th Birthday that I attended and gave him my pastel sketch that I made while traveling there for over a thousand miles road trip. -Mark