John Dobson | Inventor of the Dobsonian

There’s no questioning it; John Dobson is one of the most famous astronomers alive today. But even though you may be interested in astronomy, you still might not know exactly who John Dobson is – even though you’ve likely used one of his telescopes in the past.

That’s right – John Dobson is credited with creating the Dobsonian telescope. If you’re interested in astronomy, then you’ll already know what the Dobsonian is and how it’s become one of the most popular types of telescope today.

Dobson was born in Beijing, though his parents moved to San Francisco when John was still young. Dobson was already in his fifties, after spending 27 years in a monastery as a younger man, when he founded the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers in the late sixties. As the name suggests, Dobson was pivotal in enabling the everyman to build their own telescopes.

Before Dobson, amateur astronomy wasn’t common as the materials and telescopes themselves were particularly expensive and unaffordable to ‘sidewalk astronomers’. Dobson taught the other members of the club how to build their own telescope out of cheaper materials.

For example, instead of using expensive fiberglass for tubes inside the telescope, Dobson used Sonotubes – most commonly used to hold cement. This was a much cheaper material, but proved to be as effective as the fiberglass – for just a portion of the price.

It was after creating these telescopes with other members of his club that the telescope itself was dubbed as the Dobsonian. Rather than an invention, the Dobsonian is generally credited to John Dobson as a combination of other ideas from other astronomers – Dobson was the first to combine all of these ideas together.

So, it only makes sense than nowadays, a Dobsonian is a go too for many young astronomers who are looking to get started. When looking for a new telescope, it’s often best to start with a Dobsonian if you’re on a budget. A Dobsonian will allow you much higher magnification at a lower price, which is extremely important, especially when comparing it to other types of telescope like reflectors and cassegrains.

If you’ve got the time, here’s a great video of Dobson going through all the steps to build a Dobsonian telescope.

Overall, it’s clear to see that although in the present Dobson may not be regarded as highly as other astronomers like Newton, in hundreds of years people will look back and realise his contribution to the growth of astronomy within society.

Best Space YouTube Channels

If you’re interested in space, then one of the best places to learn a little more about the topic is by visiting YouTube. There, you can find a wealth of different information and experiences from astronomer, astronauts and even just hobbyists.

Taking advantage of YouTube and using it to your advantage is extremely important. So, here’s a quick look at some of my favorite YouTube channels that are related to Space.

PBS Space Time

If you’re interested in learning more about Space, then PBS Space Time is undoubtedly one of the best videos resources that you’re going to find online. Their videos are up to date and informative, so much so that they’re now one of the most watched Space related channels on the whole of YouTube.

PBS Space Time has a ton of useful, intriguing content to look at.

If you’re looking to broaden your general knowledge, as well as just finding out some super cool, interesting information too, then you should definitely check out PBS Space Time.


If you want something a little bit more in depth, then you can look at following TMRO. Their information is a little more complex and they actually show you more moon landings and the like, so it’s suitable for any space enthusiast.

As well as landings themselves, TMRO also delve into a ton of quesitons related to space and they have pretty regular interviews with people within the Space industry too.

Space Flight 101

Space Flight 101 is the go to if you’re looking for space ships taking off, as well as a host of other interesting information related to spaceships and space in general.

Although the site itself hasn’t been updated in a little while, it’s definitely worth checking it out and looking at some of their past posts.

Crash Course

If you don’t know anything about astronomy or space whatsoever, then there are some good crash courses on YouTube that can bring you up to speed. I like this one in particular, as it’s designed for complete novices and can give you a great idea of what you need to learn.

There’s a whole series of videos which don’t run too long, so if you do have a few hours to space then you can fit them all in and learn a bunch.


Overall, these are just 4 of the best Space YouTube channels that I’ve enjoyed online. There’s a bunch out there for you to check out, some have a scroll online and find some of the better YouTube channels around.

How do Astronauts drink in space?

One of the most common questions that people ask when thinking about astronauts is exactly how they drink whilst they’re in space. It can be difficult to imagine, especially when you consider the gravity – your imagination probably visualises water floating all over the place!

A while ago, I stumbled across this explanation video which helps people understand exactly what occurs when you’re drinking water in space. I guess it can be pretty overwhelming, but this video helps to explain how you can go about drinking when you’re in space itself.

If you watch the video, it’s actually pretty amazing! You get the opportunity to see what liquid actually looks like when you’re in space, which is pretty impressive. Not long ago you would never have got the chance to witness this kind of stuff, but fortunately there are a few good space YouTube channels out there that you can watch if you want to learn more about space.

Anyway, in the video we learn that the way that astronauts drink when they’re in space is by using a special straw that’s specifcally designed not to allow water out. This way, astronauts can be sure that no water escapes (you can see the bubbles floating around in the video!).

In the past, astronauts always used to eat through straws too for this same reason. If they have biscuits, they’d end up with crumbs all over the place! But nowadays, there are specially made foods that can ensure that they don’t break and make a mess, so astronauts eat in a very similar way to us down on earth do now too.

Many people think that astronauts have a drastically different diet than humans, but they really don’t. Most astronauts actuallydrink and eat exactly as they would on earth, with breakfast lunch and dinner being a staple. Of course if you’re in space for a long period of time, then it’s important to keep strict on your schedule, as it’s very easy to feel depressed and isolated when you’re an astronaut (even if you’re with other astronauts).

Overall, astronauts lifestyles aren’t that much different than the average day of someone on earth – escept that they’re confined to one gravityless environment for extended period of time, that is!