Thinking About a New Scope? Think Big!
From the Obsessed
Don Himes, 20" owner in Chagrin Falls, Ohio - March 2, 2015
The scope is astonishingly easy to move in Az... and stays put... perfect. The dual-speed Feather Touch focuser is literally a dream come true! Marvelous! Lined up the moon and zeroed the main optics and finder and I was on my way... M-42 amazing deep blue green... fifth star in Trapezium easy.. Looking around absolute delight to clearly see subtle tint in nearly every star... Yes!! this is one of the main reasons for the scope. Contrasty and clean view... I was back in business finding the scope easy to point and aim with no aids. Looking forward to years of awesomeness...
Update: March 10, 2015
Hi Dave; Second light under a clear, moonless sky. Setup fast the second time around. The no-tools secondary adjustment is a delight, and again secured laser bullseye in 30 seconds or so. For the first time saw the face in the Eskimo nebula bright planetary in Gemini, and star colors all over the Double Cluster. But really amazed to be literally clubbed by galaxies M-81 and 82. I have had my own observatory here for 15 years a while back with a 12-1/2 inch and this is so far beyond...
Update: April 30, 2015
A remarkable experience here; by luck rising just before dawn to catch summer favorites with my brother;
- M13 Breathtaking with the 13mm Ethos star deep into the core, huge and bright... truth in advertising for once!!
- M57 Luminous smoke ring bright
- Alberio Vivid, vibrant electric sapphire and topaz like Beta Andromedae...
That evening, against expectations rolled out again for the moon and Jupiter... to my astonishment laid out before me the full aperture resolving power of a 20" telescope working at the theoretical limit. After laser collimation in less than a minute...
Jupiter watching GRS turn into view with a white oval nearby, festoons and much more. Amazed to actually have the impression of Ganymede as a 'ball' rather than a disc and dusky color as opposed to nearby icy Europa.
But at last on the good old moon astonishment is no longer adequate and I was forced to resort to mind-blending for here a beheld a new world as if seen from halfway... I am veteran lunar observer with many instrument and hi def video and have never in 30 years seen the moon like this.
My favorite Apollo 15 landing site Hadley Rille was plainly visible, in the bright, clear and clean image with only the slightest fluttering.
I dared hope, and yes the fabled rille down the length of Lunar Alpine Valley was clearly visible.
The great tragedy of the evening was I only had 360x available; I believe the scope would have supported 500x or more.
Recently picked up planetary nebula NGC 3242 and nickname should be Blue Eyeball nebula... the deep blue color at low power knocked me back, and even at highest power bright and can clearly see the outrageous eyeball 'CBS logo' within... insane!!!
Against all theory and urgent advertising, the big refractor guys will not be hearing from me.
Obsession 20" is four times the telescope for half the money!!!
Dave, I have made major purchases in the past and few so quickly and decisively returned the investment. I once had a Questar...
This is the breakthrough, revolutionary telescope I have needed and deserved all these years.
Update: November 5, 2015
Hi Dave; Four straight nights of superb seeing and clear and mild temps...
Ran the mighty 20" Obsession at 460x with complete ease... Even near zenith moves with one hand light touch...
Just a few amazing planetaries revealed in an entirely new light...
Nearly a year with the 20"... One of the best big purchases ever in my life... Will retire in 5 years and really bear down!
Update: March 17, 2016
Hi Dave... Just past first anniversary with the Obsession 20" f/5. I am rewarded with a magnificent view of the moon, especially Apollo 15 landing area... elusive Hadley rille not difficult.. a feat not long ago I thought only the view in large refractors. Buffeted by 35 mph gusts, still the 20" Obsession is easy to set up and move about with precision at 275x. I rolled the scope into the garage and will retire until 3am for Jupiter and galaxy hopping! Again and again, the 20" comes through with lunar/planetary views I only dreamed impossible a few short years ago even with excellent 12.5 and 16 inch scopes.
Simon, 20" owner - August 1, 2014
The bearings are silky smooth and an absolute dream to work with …
The Ring nebula M57 surpassed expectations given the light pollution etc I was dealing with. Im certain in better conditions I will see the central star, I kidded myself there was a faint hint of it :D
My neigbour walked over to see the beast and I repeated many objects and left him suitably WOWed out
In summary then, I’m a happy bunny, the scope is a dream to setup and use, ArgoNavis was easy to setup.
More at this Blog Post.
Yann Vivien, 20" owner in France - August 1, 2014
Good evening Dave, I send you this e-mail, to give you some news (short stories) of the French youngs happy owner of 635 f5.
Yesterday evening we participated in the star party public in the monitoring center (observatory) of the Provençal baronies in the presence of the French TV for the realization of a report on the astronomy.
We had specially collected three 635 f5 for the opportunity (occasion) to make you a small publicity stunt for obsession in France and for the monitoring center (observatory) of the Provençal baronies which is one of top quality places of the astronomy amateur in France.
Three owners of dobsons 635 f5 are Bertrand Laville, Jean-François Verrier and me same Yann Vivien.
Under the dome there is a telescope of 800mm which belongs to Breton Marc.
I give you the link of the monitoring center (observatory) http://www.obs-bp.com
I send You photos three Dobsons in front of the dôme.
Cordially Yann Vivien.
Ralf Lamsbach, 20" owner in Austin, Texas - June 30, 2014
I bought a used 20" f/5 over the weekend and have been blown away by the view on Saturn this evening. Wow! I am speechless. Waking up this morning from a short night I still had the view of Saturn in my mind with 7 moons easily to spot and in phases of steady air the picture really great, compared to my 180 APO so much brighter and I was able to see colors in the cloud belts! I did not spend tons of time to perfect the alignment so there might is even a better picture achievable. What a great scope! I would have never expected that great quality. I was also able to see M57 and M13 both with details out of the City with heavy light pollution (maybe down to mag. 3 barely visible). The stars were pin points. Again, a phantastic scope.
Keith B., 20" owner in Mason, Ohio - March 7, 2014
I took my scope out to its first star party.
I need to mount a paper towel dispenser on it to help viewers with their drooling.
Robin Evans., 20" owner in San Diego, California - Jan 30, 2014
Just wanted to drop you a line about 20" Classic Serial number 007 (built in 1990). It is still alive and well teaching astronomy to thousands of children a year in San Diego, California. This is after a two decades teaching astronomy to hundreds of thousands of children in Orange County, California. For all of the abuse it takes through all of the school and camp star parties, the only issue the scope has is a loose secondary mirror. I can still pack 007 in the truck and get amazing views out of it out in the Desert.
- Robin Evans
Dave Lillis, 20" owner in Ireland - December 12, 2012
I bought one of your 20" f/5 scopes back 2006, and I have to say it has lived up to all my expectations and stood up to all reviews I’ve read.
I have to say when I got it, I wasn't expecting any great planetary views through it given stories you hear about some big dobs, but when I saw Saturn through it the first night I had it, I nearly fell off the ladder in shock. It was the most amazing view of it I’ve ever seen. Same goes for nearly every object I’ve seen through this 20" scope!
I live in the west of Ireland, not the best weather for such a scope, but when it is clear, the skies are some of the darkest in Europe. It's deep-sky heaven when the clouds are not around.
I added a Servocat two years after I bought the scope. When one of my friends in the local club saw it in action, he called it “the obsessionator”, the name has stuck.
Chairman, Shannonside Astronomy Club - Ireland
Joe K., 20" owner in Upton, Massachusetts - October 21, 2012
I was out last night continuing to be amazed at what I am seeing in this scope, even in unsteady skies. The Orion Nebula peeked out between some trees enough for me to get a view for the first time. Low on the horizon, but I was still blown away by its immensity and detail. I could rattle off the NGCs, ICs, UGCs, etc., but you know, incredible. Can't wait to get under some really good skies.
Terry B., 20" owner in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - October 16, 2012
Hi Dave, Just thought I'd pass along another observing experience with my 20" f/5. At our latest star party I attached an h-beta filter to a Nagler 31mm and there it was.... the Horsehead! The nebula cloud was an opaque, smokey white with the dark patch of horsehead clearly visible to all who climbed the ladder! Simply amazing! This is quite the scope, Dave!
Terry B., Winnipeg, Canada
Joe K., 20" owner in Upton, Massachusetts - August 23, 2012
The scope is awesome! It is a joy to use, and moving it while on the ladder is effortless. I think my wife is nervous that she won't see me any more on clear nights (probably true).
I finally got another clear night last night, since last Thursday when I first put the scope together. I tried the Argo for the first time and its capabilities are remarkable.
All I can say is thank goodness for stock options. It was "found" money, and as far as I am concerned, put to excellent use.
Cheng Wang, 20" owner in La Mesa, California - September 26, 2011
Dear Dave, My experience with the 20" Obsession so far is just amazing. The views of lagoon, swan, and veil nebulae are breathtaking in my backyard, which is heavily light-polluted by two large car dealerships nearby. I still cannot believe I can get this kind of view in my yard under just above-average conditions. I cannot wait for going to the local dark site when the condition is great. Thank you for building a superb telescope.
Mike L., 20" owner in San Diego, California - January 20, 2011
A couple of years ago I got a 20" "Classic" f/4 Obsession and I could not be happier. I also got the StellaCat goto system with the Argo Navis computer. All told it was a bit over $10K and as far as I'm concerned worth every penny. Everything simply works with no muss or fuss. Of course, now I have to trek to the local dark sky site every new moon and die a little bit every time cloudy skies intrude (with as little rain as San Diego gets I never realized how many cloudy nights we have in the winter season); and let's not forget about having to politely shoo away other club members so that I can get at least a little time on my own scope. More seriously, however, I remain utterly convinced Dave's scopes are very good value, and the OMG feeling my friends and I have gotten from so many, many first time views of things not even hinted at in our 8" SCT's are, as the ads say, simply priceless.
I'm very grateful to Dave for making so much of the observable universe available to me and my viewing buddies, and I only hope he keeps making Obsessions for a long, long time to come. This last sentiment, however, isn't entirely altruistic. I'm already saving up for a 25"
Terry B., 20" owner in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - September 7, 2010
I attended our local star party this weekend at a nearby provincial park. This is the first time I was able to take my 20" Obsession. We had 2 very clear nights at a dark site.... and the views were incredible !!!
Jupiter was a 3D orb with little orb moons nearby. The oblate disc was cream coloured and the numerous bands, up to 13, were sepia toned, with the visible equatorial band containing purple tones at whorl and festoon tips. The Big Red Spot was huge, clearly defined and a salmon colour.... absolutely fantastic !!
Uranus was a beautiful turquoise ball. And the myriad deep sky clusters, nebulas and galaxies were virtually picture quality, right at the eyepiece !! The Veil was simply incredible !!
Astro club members were lining up at the scope all night and the "oohs and aahs" and "Wows !!" just left me smiling quietly as I knew beforehand what this big scope can do. I kept warning them that the views would change them forever and I was not mistaken. Now, our club has the usual quota of experienced astronomers and astro-photographers, and we even had an expert guest speaker, all of whom had to come over to check out the big scope. Their response was surprisingly different in that the most knowledgeable viewers, to a person, did not utter a sound when they viewed the target at hand..... they just quietly observed, and then did not want to come off the ladder !!! It appears they too were changed, and have become "obsessed"!!
This is quite the scope, Dave!!! And that .98 strehl mirror from OMI is astounding!! Now, if only I can get that Arrgghhho-Navis to work properly!! The problem is that I'm not willing to take the time to get the bugs out of it as the views are so good !!!
Terry B., Winnipeg
p.s. You may be getting a couple of enquiries about a 15" classic and an 18" UC from two Winnipeg members in the near future. Your scopes sell themselves!!
George, 20" owner - May 8, 2010
I was working on the scope today and several people in my neighborhood stopped by and said what the hell is that. When I tell them that it's a telescope they invariably say one of two things. "How far can you see with it" or "are you looking into your neighbors windows". I generally don't answer this but I tell them that Obsessions are like the Stradivarius violins of telescopes. Hand made and they only get better with age.
I wonder if Obsessions will be remembered this way in 300 years the way Stradivarius are today.
Allen D., 20" owner in Enfield, North Carolina - October 23, 2009
This scope has seen about 4.5 years of steady use since I bought it from you and I love it. It is really something I treasure.
Frank C., 20" owner in Springfield, Oregon - October 16, 2009
That scope you built for me has been a real treasure to use. I can't thank you enough for taking the time and effort to make them SO nice and easy to use. Great views too.
Obsession, was and still is the BEST.
Frank C, very happy 20" owner.
George Andrew, 20" owner - September 25, 2009
I purchased my dream scope, an Obsession 20" f/5. I found someone that had more aperture fever than me. He sold me his 20" Obsession because he needed to pay for the repairs on a 24" some-thing-or-other. I drove from my home in White Plains NY to Chicago IL. to pick it up on the weekend!
I say dream scope because I think that Obsession telescopes are like Stradivarius instruments. And a 20" is the largest scope I can personally handle. I'm able to pick it up and put it into my truck by myself! Rocker and mirror box separately mind you.
Allen D., 20" owner in Enfield, North Carolina - July 8, 2009
I have been very pleased with my 20. I have owned it just a little over 4 years.... bought new from Dave. It has a Galaxy mirror. Great images..... Dave said the the planetary images would even be better than my Tak FS-152 and I didn't believe him... but on nights where the seeing allows, he is right. Every so often that mirror topic comes up here.... Torus or Galaxy or whoever.... I think most seem to agree that it hasn't mattered which mirror folks have received.
I also have the Argo Navis and servoCat.... both have worked terrific. I still marvel at how this scope can GOTO objects so accurately. And it is an easy setup.
I don't know if you have those options, but if not in manual mode the scope is butter smooth. I sometimes unhook the gears to look at objects like the Veil.... somehow I just like pushing the scope around on some objects like this.
Dominique Auprince, 20" owner in Wissous, France - July 2, 2009
Hi Dave, First, this is the greatest news, you did not fool me with the optics. The good interferogram and 0.98 strehl seems to translate in reality with the star test.
When reaching equilibrium, this is the first time were I see extrafocal and intrafocal pictures look so similar on a reflector. The closest thing from this is my Takahashi FS-128, anything else (C-11, Tak CN-212..) are far away. And the details on Jupiter in early morning when turbulence is quieting are confirming this. Not to mention the full structure of M51, the Veil nebula, the Makarian chain in Virgo which I could see for the first time with the larger aperture.....
Collimation is also a joy with a very sturdy structure and easy settings using the Astrotech barlowed laser.
Terry B., 20" owner in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - April 24, 2009
The views were SPECTACULAR !!!! In the span of a couple of hours we viewed edge-ons, ovals, spirals, pairs, interacting galaxies and galaxy clusters..... more galaxies than I had ever seen before.... ON THE FIRST NIGHT AT A DARK SITE !!!! They were all readily identifiable right there in the eyepiece.... simply awesome !!! In fact, they reminded me of the b/w photos in the Night Sky Observer's Guide , only fainter.... but there they were, in all their glory...galaxy after galaxy.... right there in the eyepiece !!! And just for the sheer enjoyment, we turned to M13 and M92...... ABSOLUTELY JAW DROPPING !! This scope is definitely worth the wait and the expense..... and will provide me and my family with a lifetime of wonder and awe !! I am now truly "Obsessed" !!! Thanks Dave
Mark K., 20" owner in Jacksonville, Florida - February 2, 2009
The star images in the OMI Mirror are pinpoints. The view of the moon with a 13 mm Ethos was mind blowing. The 6" refractors just cant keep up. Nothing like the power of a large, well made scope and mirror.
After 6 months of crummy skies I finally got to take the 20" with Torus optics to our dark site. There are no other Dobs that comes close to the silky movement of this scope. It moves equal in any direction with no backlash. The views simply blew me away easily twice as bright as my 13" dob. There is no match for World Class Dobs and this is what you deliver.
Lon Henderson, 20" Owner in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire - December 28, 2008
Here's a picture of Mary Pearl (12) and Adeline (9) with the telescope during non-astronomy hours. Addy hadn't looked at the mirror in daylight before and couldn't believe just how reflective it is compared to a household mirror. As you can see, I have a fabulous south east exposure. My opinion of my girls is even more obvious. Lon Henderson
Barry J., 20" owner in Montreal, Canada - December 7, 2008
Hi Dave, Barry up here in Montreal. Owner of #1437 20". Am extremely happy with this scope. Finished Hershel 400 last week and have logged over 1000 other objects in a little over 18 months. One night I found over 114 objects with a little help from Argo Navis. The only thing I don't like about this scope is poor views when completely overcast. To any folks considering buying any other type of scope think again. This is an extremely reliable super well built scope that will last a lifetime. Thanks Barry J.
Lon H., 20" owner in Sugar Hill New Hampshire - October 15, 2008
I've had my 20" for almost 10 years and now my daughters are old enough to enjoy it (12 & 9). Trouble is, they take it for granted that galaxies have arms and dust lanes and globulars resolve to the center. They don't know about finder scopes because the fov with a 26mm Nagler is so huge. For something far different from deep sky observing, I put in a 10mm eyepiece and let the earth's rotation carry them across the moon. They said it was like orbiting in a space ship and did it several times. Neither ever miss a session, but I think the eldest is truly hooked. She's reading O'Meara's Messier Objects, has my laminated star atlas in the bathroom, and has a list of things we are to look at when the moon is new again. I bought the scope for me, but now it's become family time too.
Joel W., 20" owner in Gallatin, Tennessee - October 3, 2008
Suffice it to say that this design is genius, and the pre-install of the Servocat and encoders made setup a breeze. I have rehearsed setup and break-down in the living room (much to my wife's chagrin). It could not be easier.
This is a wonderful product and truly impressive, you have cured another case of aperture fever.
All the best, Joel W.
Terry B., 20" owner in Winnipeg, Manitoba - October 2, 2008
Absolutely FAbulous !!!! And the feel of the scope was so smooth..... it's hard to imagine how anything so big can move so well !!! My wife came out for a peek and instantly saw how much better I had the unit set-up !! And now she can hardly wait for the first trip to a dark site !! I'm glad I practiced on the driveway for a bit so that travel with it will be the satisfying experience it should be !! What a scope !!! Never mind..... last night I became a true believer !!!! This scope is dynamite... I never knew what I was missing! Thanks Dave !!!
Patrick, 20" owner in Switzerland - April.28.08
just a short note. yesterday i saw m13 first time in my 20" - good seeing-conditions. i never thought that this object, that ver used argo navis - one encoder is broken as the cable stroked the base of the encoder in two parts. i will try to prepare it at a electronic store, if this is not possible, can i order just one encoder? i didn't miss argo navis so far - i like to set up all objects by hand...but, i think, when argo navis is working, i will have fun!
best regards, patrick (frank)
Chris Richter, 20" owner in Nagano Prefecture, Japan - April 3. 2008
The Orion nebula just seemed to go on forever in the 31mm Nagler, offering a feast of detail. Moreover, acquiring objects was never easier with this mount, Telrad and a star atlas. I thought it was a much better way to go than a traditional finder scope. I just pointed the Telrad at a point in the sky corresponding to M1's location in the atlas, and it was right there in eyepiece. Moreover, aiming and locating with with this dob is so much more counter-intuitive and stable than the equatorial mount on my old C-8. I totally agree. You can't beat a big Dob with a Telrad. So easy to use and the views are the best.
Craig Averell, 20" owner in Kingman AZ - March 14, 2008
Dave, I purchased a 20" from you in 2002, and never e-mailed you back. Better late than never. Without question, the best scope I've ever looked though or owned. Period.
Robert Payne, 20" owner - September 17, 2007
I started observing about 11 years ago. I was able to buy an Obsession 20" #574 last Oct. and it has completely changed the way that I look the hobby. Your scope is such a pleasure to set up and use. I finally have the scope that I feel like I want to fill out the observing logs to record the great views.
Thanks, Robert Payne, 20" #574
Len Harasemow, 20" owner in Grand Forks, BC Canada - September 2, 2007
Hi Dave, Just thought I should drop you a line. My Obsession 20" arrived in perfect condition with all parts 2 days early. The instruction pages/DVD were excellent and I had no problems with the assembly of the scope. Due to other problems (weather, mobility,etc.) I was unable to get the scope out for a full month. I got 3 excellent nights of viewing in...... (one at my prime dark site and 2 at my close dark site). I am totally happy with the scope! It's simple, elegant, functional as well as beautiful............ Easy to move, set up, collimate and use! The views of M51's Spiral Arms, the dust lane in NGC 891, all of the Globulars and OC's are hands down the best I've ever seen and the star images are superb! Awesome job!!! You are an amateur astronomy icon, right up there with Al Nagler!!! Thanks Again, Sorry for not getting back to you sooner...
Barry J., 20" owner in Montreal Canada - June 8, 2007
Dear Dave, Barry up here in Montreal. Received the scope today. Started putting it together. The woodwork is beautiful. The mirror has a strehl of .96 so I am very happy. Going to relax look at video, read instructions before installing mirrors and collimating. My girlfriend cannot believe how big it is. She is jealous that she did not receive a t-shirt as well. I said no problem, all you have to do is buy a 25 inch and you can have one as well. Thanks for the t-shirt. I will ware it proudly. Thanks for making the universe accessible to the little guy like me without costing 100k. Will keep in touch and impress as many people as possible and hope they buy one as well. Yours truly Barry
Follow-up: June 15, 2007
Hi Dave, Barry here in Montreal. Will send photos soon. This telescope is nearly killing me as it has been clear 3 or 4 nights in a row. Lack of sleep is hard on a working man. Great optics and smooth operation make this scope fun. My god this scope is huge. Saw M 51 and was amazed to see the detail that I cannot see with old 12 inch scope. I have seen M13 many times but not like this, not with such penetration. To my surprise, right next to M13 was a galaxy I had never seen before I identified it as NGC 6207. I keep bumping into objects I've never seen before. This is going to keep me busy for years finding all the Uranometria objects. Oh hell, I have the rest of my life and it sure beats the crap on TV. We will keep in touch. Maybe someday we will meet at a star party. Hope so.
Alton Luken, 20" owner in Boise, Idaho - March 20 2007
Superb Night at 8596 ft. Altitude:
Hello Dave, I had my first serious Observing session with The new 20". The Photo was taken at The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest near Bishop California. The Views were Incredible! so many Galaxies I lost count!! Cheers to you and James!
Elliott McKinley, Buffalo, New York - March 04 2007
I have told the story several times and will repeat: My old astronomical club in Buffalo has a 20" Obsession purchased in 1993. The thing lives in an unheated shed attached to the observatory building and is rolled out when needed. Year in, year out, the thing is repeatedly abused by the public (think boy-scouts and girl scouts), left out in the swampy air of the summer (Buffalo is moist... and the observatory is near a swamp to boot). Freezes in the winter. No lightbulbs under the mirror - not even a cover! It just sits in its shed, uncovered. The mirror has been cleaned a total of ONE time in that period and sent for a re-coat back in 2004. Often I would look at the mirror and saw it was full of spider-webs, sap, dust, and God knows what else. Sure, the outer finish of the scope is somewhat worn and could benefit from some loving care, but the scope functions perfectly. The mirror, even with ten years of non-cleaning, threw up some of the nicest views I have seen--especially one night when we observed Saturn at 951x. I have never seen Saturn as well through any scope. Seeing the BAA scope has cured me of all my fears about storage in severe conditions as well as regular usage in the often underwater and frozen environment of the North American northeast. Bottom line: These scopes are much sturdier than we might expect.
Dale Rosemeyer, 20 inch owner in Napa, California
Hi, I own one of your 20" scopes, which by the way, is everything it was stated to be. I've been enjoying it now for about 3 years, and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Justin Turner, 20" owner in Leicestershire, England
Been a member here for many years before placing the order a few months ago. My fears were that all the hype and build up from many of you guys and gals would not be a reality, how foolish of me! This scope is a joy to look at, look through, and I kick myself for not getting this earlier.
Assembly was fairly easy though I read things through about a half dozen times and the galaxy mirror has star-tested beautifully. I also own an 8" f20 Mak and TMB Apo and the Obsession definitely belongs in a category of great instruments.
Dale R., 20 inch owner
Hi, I own one of your 20" scopes, which by the way, is everything it was stated to be. I've been enjoying it now for about 3 years, and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Dale R
Rich P., 20 inch owner in Tucson AZ
Hi Dave: Despite a rainier-than-usual summer and only a few good observing nights, the 20 inch has been an absolute joy! I was out last night for 3 hours, saw the Cat ?s Eye nebula for the first time, moons of Uranus, the Saturn nebula (which is unmistakably blue!) & great observing!
2002 COMET AWARDS ANNOUNCED
Congradulations to Doug and Vance, both Obsession 20" owners. The following text taken from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, MA web site.
"Want some quick money in these days of WorldCom and Enron? Go and find a comet! An annual award of several thousand dollars for discoveries of comets by amateur astronomers has just been announced for the fourth consecutive year. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has announced the recipients of the 2002 Edgar Wilson Award for the discovery of comets by amateurs during the calendar year ending June 10. The award was set aside as part of the will bequeathed by the late businessman Edgar Wilson of Lexington, Kentucky, and administered by the SAO. The following seven discoverers will receive plaques and a cash award: Vance Avery Petriew of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, for his visual discovery of comet P/2001 Q2 on August 18, 2001. Douglas Snyder of Palominas, Arizona, and Shigeki Murakami of Matsunoyama, Niigata, Japan, for their independent visual discoveries of comet C/2002 E2 on March 11, 2002."
Read more from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CONGRATULATIONS to Doug Snyder, 20 inch owner in Palominas, Arizona on his recent comet discovery. It is very rare to visually discover a new comet. This is the second comet discovered visually with an Obsession 20 inch. Doug reports
"I've been thrilled with my 20 f/5 Obsession (#567) for the two years that I've owned it, and have had so many great compliments on its construction, operation and consistent optical performance. I thought nothing would exceed my enjoyable use of it when observing deep sky objects out here in the Arizona desert, but just a few days ago (March 11, 2002), I discovered a comet in Aquila while intentionally searching for one of these elusive objects. Now this event has topped all previous enjoyable nights! I was working at 149x (32' field), and the scope picked this mag. 13 (at the time) comet up with absolutely no problem. Earlier in the evening, I was sweeping through mainly southern constellations that are visible from my 31 degree N. location, and had noted a great number of faint galaxies and nebulae. It took me a while to determine what I was looking at in Aquila was a comet, but once I determined its motion, I knew for sure. My comet hunting interest began just a few weeks ago, and I had only about 70 hours under my belt before finding my first comet. The comet's name is Comet Snyder-Murakami C/2002 E2, and although not expected to become a bright object, it will be remaining in the northern sky for several months. I just wanted you to know about this latest discovery with an Obsession, and I'll keep looking for my #2."
Richard P., 20 inch owner in Tucson, Arizona
Last Friday night I had a wonderful "first light" experience with the 20 inch! I couldn't believe how stable a scope of that size could be!! Ended up going to bed VERY late (or early depending upon your point of view) but saw the spiral arms of M101, the detail in M27, Jupiter, etc & it was worth every penny!
Greg Haubrich, 20" Owner in Champlin, Minnesota
I had a great time with my 20" f/5 at TSP with the Argo Navis and ServoCAT drive too. Everything was incredible. Great planetary views of Saturn and Jupiter too (Crepe ring, and white banding detail on Jupiter that I had never seen before visually). I can't say enough about that Galaxy mirror. Awesome! One of my surprises was the Pillars of Creation in M16 visually! The big pillar with the little attachment clearly visible. The Veil Nebula had stunning detail. The SC and AN worked very well. I am very pleased.
Claus Bagger, 20" owner in Denmark
Finally I have had a chance to compile a small observation report to you about my new wonder-scope. I received the telescope half a year ago because I wanted to get the dream scope of my life after having used telescopes ranging in size from 8 to 13 over a period of 25 years. And I certainly have received my dream scope, it has by all means exceeded my expectations.
The first thing I tested was to check the scopes limiting magnitude. Where I live, I can see magnitude 6.1 with the unaided eye. The central star in M57 was obvious and visible about half the time. Close to M57 with certainty I could see a 16.8 magnitude star. I guess the limit is 17.0 or even a little more !
My favorite deep sky objects are planetary nebula, and observing many of these require high magnification and pinpoint focusing to discern them from background stars. My old 13 Dobsonian was not possible to work with at magnifications above 300X. The Obsession easily reaches 600X and still keeps a tight focus. At this power, the ServoCat drive maintains a very even and smooth tracking, enabling observation of fine details.
A good example is the observation I recently made of PK83-8.1, a 15,5 magnitude planetary nebula in Cygnus. Despite the fact that the nebula was quite faint, it s 10 arc second diameter disk was very conspicuous at 368X. Another example is the observation of PK86-8.1, a bright 32 nebula in Cygnus. At 515X, it displayed the interesting shape shown in the drawing at right.
The quality of the optics is probably best illustrated by observation of planets. I have included the images I have taken of Mars during this 2005 apparition. These are my first ever webcam images of a planet. Their quality is limited by the seeing conditions, but details as small as 0.5 arc seconds can be seen. All were taken with a Philips ToUcam attached to my 20 with a 2.5X Barlow lens in between.
And this is just the beginning. I can t wait for the next clear night to come, unfortunately it can stay cloudy for 14 days or more here in Denmark. This incredible scope is driving me to the heavens with a force never experienced before in my life !
Claus Bagger, Owner of 20 F/5 with ServoCat drive and Argo Navis digital setting circles for half a year. Grøndalsvænge 4
DK 3460 Birkerød
Harlan, 20" owner
"I keep walking away from this scope completely astounded. I had been using a Meade 16" Dob for about 4 years. I feel like I'm seeing everything for the first time. My friend who teaches astrophotography at the local amateur observatory and has been into astronomy for 40 years said that he was extremely impressed with the mirror and that it was the best view of M13 he ever saw (from my backyard with Mag 5.75 skies). I viewed the Orion nebula Late last night and couldn't stop talking about it this morning. I had previously caught glimpses of the fifth and sixth stars of Trapezium, but they were clear as could be l and the nebulosity around the area extendeD beyond anything I thought existed and looked three dimensional."
Robert H, 20" owner in Fremont, California
"By the way, I had absolutely no problem seeing the new supernova in the Whirlpool galaxy when I was in Yosemite at Glacier Point, on July 3rd. What's more, not one scope up there even came close to the ease of use and quality of my Obsession 20"."
Mark Leonard 20" owner in Moscow, Russia
"It was -24 C (about 10 degrees F) on this evening and I had problems with frost from my breath on the eyepiece. I would like to take the telescope down to Red Square and do some sidewalk observing so I can get a picture of the Obsession with St Basil's Church in the background. Unfortunately, the militisa will probably think I am setting up a cannon and drag me away first."
Frank P., 20" owner in Rochester, Minnesota
"You were absolutely right, I LOVE this telescope. I had first light last night, full moon and all. I started with lunar observing and discovered this telescope gathers so much light that my eyes started to hurt. Saturn was magnificent, I was able to see some atmospheric detail and was able to pick out (what I think were) five moons, I had never seen more than Titan before. Jupiter was even better. After five hours under the stars I stopped only because of dew."
Doug H., 20" owner in Pocono Lake, PA
"Last weekend, my scope really strutted it's stuff. One night was best for DSOs, and the Veil damned near gave me a religious experience. On the following night, the seeing was best for planets -- the views of Jupiter and Saturn literally knocked our socks off!"
Steve V., 20" owner in Kirtland, Ohio
"I have been a planetary observer for about 30 years. Over the last eight years, my scope has been chiefly an AstroPhysics 7inch. Great scope. A couple years ago, I purchased a 20inch Obsession. It was my attempt to break through to deeper objects, but I have enjoyed great lunar and planetary views with it as well...in fact, there are times when I wonder why I have two scopes... I still love the AP refractor but I have seen whole dimensions of new detail on the lunar terminator with the Obsession. So far, on Saturn, everything is easier when the sky co-operates, Encke's minima, bands and colors on the globe, etc...all seem more solid with more light available."
Charlie S., 20" owner in Charlotte, North Carolina
"Last night with my OBS 20 #467, the central star of M57 was observed, and using the Sept, 2001 issue of S&T's article on M57 faint stars, was able to see the 16.1 mag star and occasionally the 16.6 mag star. Not bad at all! That is very close to its limiting magnitude, I would think. Ha! The observatory director is very complimentary of the scope. It performs every bit as well as the club's fork mounted 24 inch."
Ed K., 20" owner in Trappe, Pennsylvania
" Well the wait was worth it. This scope is what "Made in the U.S.A." is all about. It is a fine piece of rock solid furniture. And it operates just as it looks - exquisitely - like a charm. This scope was made to observe the stars - for many, many years. Tremendous optics! What a relief. What a scope!! Everything seems 3 dimensional. The "eyes" in the Owl Nebula at 194x - clearly visible and looking right back at me. I've only seen them in photographs until now. NGC 3226/3227 - clearly distinctive, separate, descriptive galaxies as opposed to the view from my 8" SCT. The NGC 3190 group - just like the photograph! I can tell I'll be in even more trouble with my wife every dark window. I am just so lucky to have finally been able to access your website and then, just for the heck of it, ordered your video. Yes, the Obsession telescope was just a little more expensive than the other ones out in the marketplace. But let me tell you, it is worth it. The 3 club members that came out with me to star test this Baby were simply in awe of this machine. By the way, after 4 1/2 hours of observing that first night, March 6, 2000 collimation was still dead on. And I went from horizon to horizon. Thanks for everything. Thank you for your continued support. And thank you for investing in and sharing your obsession."
Darryl W., 20" owner in Manassas, VA
"The scope (# 104) you made for me in 1994 was one of the best purchases I've ever made. I have unexpectedly seen the dawn many times after losing track of time at the eyepiece of an 18". The telescope is so well designed and built that it isn't just easy to use - it actually feels comfortable! The quality you delivered definitely lived up to the promises of your ads -thanks."
Charles C., 20" owner in Lewisville, Texas
"Just thought I'd drop you a note after spending a week at the Texas Star Party. We had some moments of extremely good seeing and the optics proved to be SUPERB. I also noticed from time to time (while waiting in line at my own scope) that the people looking in my 20" were the ones with your competitors scopes. They kept coming back and getting in line all week. Seemed the lines were only at the few Obsessions at TSP. Thanks for providing the best!!!!!."
John E., 20" user in Wayne Pennsylvania
"My old club, the Buffalo Astronomical Association, has a 20" Obsession they got in 1993. The scope is stored fully assembled in a shed and ready to roll out for use anytime. Its been disassembled ONCE in all of those years to clean the mirror... Its a great scope and has taken a lot of abuse during public nights as well as abuse as a result of the rather nasty Buffalo climate. The shed goes from -10 in the winter to 120 in the summer with acid dew and humidity and all manner of spiders and bugs... The Galaxy mirror hadn't been cleaned for 10 years and was full of spiders, webs, bird crap or something like that, and yet one night it gave me the best view of Saturn I ever had in a moment of good seeing (at about 933x). We finally cleaned the mirror and then decided it was time to re-coat. Came back like new! Moral of the story: Dont worry. These scopes and mirrors are a lot more durable than you think. Set it up and use it and have fun!"
Martin M., 20" owner in Redstone, Colorado
"WOW! Finally got out for two clear nights In addition to being able to star hop to objects I had previously barely see at best, the views of more familiar objects was spectacular to say the least. The Orion nebula filled the 17mm eyepiece and the delicate structure of both wings was so clear, it rivaled photographs I have seen. You already know all this but to me it was a real eyeopener on the benefits of aperture."
Johan van Dorp, 20" owner in the Sultanate of Oman
"All received in good order! It was a joy to assemble everything and note the design choices. The attention to detail makes all the difference. Last night was first light at a star party on a local mountain top (Jebel Tanuf at 2200 m - we have to go up to escape the 40 C+ heat and humidity...). Lots of Ooh's and Aahs. Everything worked like clockwork. The Argo-Navis finds things almost always within the field of view. In short - we had a blast. Veil, Sculptor galaxy, 891 with dark lane on disk, 146 was beautiful.... Etc. etc. etc. Knocked off a lot off objects. All the eyepieces were within range of the Crayford focuser! First time right! Balance was excellent! Bearing friction was perfect at 600x with the 4.8 mm on Uranus.Big thanks from the RAHAS (Ras Al Hamra Astronomical Society)! There'll be a few obsessed shortly..."
Bernie D., 20" owner in Prescott Valley, Arizona
"How can anything compare to an Obsession. It's the next best thing to the HST!"
Allen D., 20" owner in Enfield North Carolina
"I wanted to send off a note thanking you for the great mirror that was part of my new Obsession 20. At the Delmarva Star Gaze a couple of weeks ago many folks looked through it and oohed and aaad. Several people commented on how much better than average the star images were. I can only say that first, the images of globulars M3, M13, and M5 were inspiring, and much to my surprise the images of Saturn and Jupiter were absolutely sharp and contrasty. I own a Takahashi FS-152 on the NJP mount, and I have been used to some great planetary images. I now realize that what Dave K. told me is true the views through this 20 will exceed the planetary views through your Tak, and now I believe that is possible on nights of decent seeing. I also own a 15 inch Dob made by a friend and that has always been a great performer but this has it beat easily. I would have never thought so but it is true."
Dave P., 20 inch owner in Fergus Falls, Minnesotta
"I wanted to let you know how please I am with the 20" I purchased in July. It's everything I thought it would be and even more! Saturn and Orion Nebulae are two of my favorites, UNBELIEVABLE. Thanks a million Dave for the fantastic telescope!"
Mike I., 20 inch owner in Antelope Valley California
"Santa Claus came today and he brought me a wonderful present! I just got my 20 inch Obsession! I am finally one of the Obsessed! I had a 16 inch XXXX dob. What a difference! Also, the scopes rocker box is SMALLER than the 16! What genious in the design."
Gavin Stacey., 20 inch owner in England
"The scope is beautiful. Compared to my friends scope (one of our competitors and Obsession wannabees) it is in a whole different league! Thanks so much".
Steve V., 20 inch owner in Kirtland, Ohio
"Finally had a sky clear enough to enjoy the 20 inch you made for me this past Spring... Veil nebula with an O-III filter rivaled view from deserts of Arizona with excellent 14 inch reflector at Skywatchers Inn. Not bad for 30 miles out of Cleveland. Absolutely breathtaking. Finding many fainter (for me) deep sky objects that ever before possible from here (e.g. tiny galaxy near M13). The optics must be pretty good, I don't feel the moon and planets suffer at all in comparison to my 7 inch AstroPhysics. This instrument has made it possible for the first time in 30 years to seriously move from lunar and planetary work to deep sky work."
Erwin M., 20 inch owner in Pueblo Colorado
"I spent all of Saturday night dancing in the dark with my new Obsession. I must have lived this life before as the steps have come easily to me. I observed till dawn and enjoyed myself immensely. I am sorry I didn't go with the 25". Maybe later. Thanks for my universe."
John D., 20 inch owner in Glastonbury, CT
"Great job building my scope. It's sitting in my living room at the moment. I'm kind of afraid to take it outside. It looks better than my furniture!".
Howard B., 20 inch owner in Forest Grove, Oregon
"My nearly 11 year old 20" had an adventure last Friday that I thought you'd like to know about. The previous Wednesday night I left the scope set up and covered with a tarp as I normally do but this time things went bad. Sometime during the day on Friday a gust of wind got under the tarp and lifted the tube assembly out of the rocker box, flipped it over on its back and then crashed it to the ground - arrrggghhhhh!! Glad I didn't see it happen as I probably would have died right then. Anyway, the most heartening part of this episode is that the primary mirror is 100% undamaged - including the coating - thanks to your mirror cell. I've always thought highly of it, but my regard is even higher now. The diagonal mirror is also 100% ok as well although the force of impact deformed the diagonal holder. I was able to push it back into shape in a few minutes though. The whole thing was a heart attack at first, but the stoutness of the Obsession design and construction saved the day - or actually night. Two hours after discovering the scope as shown in the attached photo we had it back together, re-collimated and ready for observing. I'm amazed by all this the more I think about it. Even though sky conditions were less than ideal Friday night I've seldom enjoyed and appreciated my scope more. It not only survived a body slam to the ground, but got up and performed as if nothing happened after just a few small repairs. So once again, thank you. I'm sure you frequently hear how well your scopes perform, and now here's an example of just how stoutly and intelligently they're constructed."
Tim K., 20 inch owner in Cape Coral Florida
"Greetings, Now that the hurricanes have subsided here in SW Fla. I have finally gotten to use my new Obsession. The only nearly dark site is the Fakahatchee Strand state park in the everglades. October 16 we headed out there to set up. Several people showed up. Some from the Naples club and others who were new to astronomy. What was real funny was watching and listening to people freak when they looked through my scope. Actually it was kind of embarrassing to get so much attention especially when someone would practically scream "Oh my god!!!" when they viewed through the scope. Well anyways much thanks and gratitude goes to Dave K. for making such a fine instrument."
Troy R., 20 inch owner in Scotts Valley California
"It's a great scope! I love mine! I found it (all 6-7 boxes) on my front porch Sept 13th 04 when I arrived home from from running errands. I got to see M42 Orion for the first time. Oh sure I had seen orion in my other scopes, my 10" in particular I thought was amazing. Hahahah. With my 20" I got to really see the nebula (for the first time)."
Ron H., 20 inch owner in Los Alamos, New Mexico
"Dear Mr. Kriege, I have a 10" Star__ and always thought when it came time for a bigger scope I'd go with another one. But when I saw a guy set up his 20" Obsession and saw the construction advantages, that was it. So I found a used 20" Obsession and ended up buying it from the original owner. My wife and I pack it out into darkest New Mexico at least a couple of times a month. What a scope! It loads (Jeep Cherokee) and assembles easily, never have to touch the secondary, tracks thoughtlessly and without backlash, shows the planets just wonderfully sharp, with coma not a problem. But it's not just good, it's big. The Horsehead, detail in the Crab, structure in every popular planetary nebula, galaxies that really look like something, lots of color in open clusters. This scope is a huge joy. I plan to retire to Magdalena, New Mexico in a few years and look through this scope until I croak."
Chris W., 20 inch owner in Pittsburg California
"This September I took the scope to northern Nevada to the Opal mine I go to. The night sky there is unlike any I had seen before. When I used the 20" it was like looking at all the objects I had seen countless times before for the first time. The mine owner and family were also treated to these views, and the mine owner Glen, his first words while looking at M13 was "this is the most amazing thing I have ever seen," so needless to say the dark sky is the key to high performance with this instrument. I could gush more but, I am sure you have heard it all before.!"
Donovan B., 20" owner somewhere in South Korea
"I thought you would appreciate this picture of another "Obsession First". It is the first official gathering of an Obsession Viewing Session in the Republic of South Korea. The Seoul Astronomy Club know as "Night Flight" accepted my personal invitation to host their meeting and enjoyed a breathtaking evening with my new 20" Obsession with a Torus mirror. Amazing views of Jupiter and Saturn, spectacular deep sky viewing, inquisitive questions on the quality of the mirror and telescope construction, and of course a wonderful group of observers rounded out with some old fashion American hospitality. A world class educational and cultural evening! Thanks for an American legend. (I'm the big guy in the back row!)."
Eric S., 20 inch owner in Scottsdale, Arizona
"I can't quite find the words to describe my first night with my 20. The thing I like best about Daves' scope? It vanishes after you start observing.. This really struck me during take down. I had just finished observing the whole night with a scope I had never used before and the only thing that had gone thru my mind was which eyepiece and what target. Thanks Dave."
Allen D., 20" owner in the Enfield, North Carolina
"Well I finally was able to get the scope outside tonight. I am very happy with it. I first collimated the mirrors..the barlowed laser is a fine piece of equipment. Then I focused on a couple of bright stars & I got terrific star images even with bad seeing. I am still amazed at how relatively compact a 20" scope can be. The views were pretty incredible. I was knocked over by how great Saturn looked. I have been spoiled with my Tak 152 with planets and doubles, but I must say the the new scope rivaled it and the seeing was not even great. I can see a night of excellent seeing in the future when this might out do the Tak, and I never thought that possible. I hooked up the Argo Navis and did an alignment &then cut on the servoCat. I can't believe that it worked the first time! I had excellent tracking. M37 stayed centered in the eyepiece at 231 power for 40 minutes at which time I had to take the scope down. I did several GOTO s successfully and am very happy with that. Optically it seems to be a fine mirror. Rarely have I been able to use something right off the get-go with so little trouble. And the wireless hand-pad works terrific."
George H, 20 inch owner in Algonic, Michigan
"A very nice scope. I can't get over how fast I can set it up and take it down. The portability for this aperture is amazing!"
Robert Wade, 20 inch owner in Michigan
"One year with the 20" and I'm still impressed. I'm never without observing partners. This past winter we all got our first glimpse of M42. I practically had to step around the saliva directly under the eyepiece when I got the scope back! "
Dr. Ken H., 20 inch owner and physics professor at Hillsdale College in Michigan
"We just finished with our first night of viewing with the new 20". It worked great! It took just a few minutes to align things, then off we went gazing at the wonder of the night sky. We didn't use any of the electronics. It was so quiet! And I was forced to get out sky maps again... those goto scopes have eliminated my use of them. The most powerful image was just gazing at the star fields in the Milky Way. When you observe a field of view that has many hundreds of dim stars serving as a background for a set of beautiful, crisp bright stars, the impression is something akin to gazing at the photographs of massive star fields. The difference, of course, is that it's all in real time using just your eyes and a few pieces of glass. As I'd slew the scope through the fields, the powering image processing capability of our eyes and visual system really hit home. How quickly the hours flew by. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to those of us who have the privilege of using one of your fine telescopes. I look forward to many many hours of magic staring at the universe. I also look forward to sharing that experience with many students in the coming years."
Lon H., 20 inch owner in Massachusetts
"I finally got the scope put together and had a fairly clear night for northern New England. WOW! Even in the washed out skies I had to deal with, every Messier looked like a photograph--only richer in subtle detail. My Mother is still talking about diamonds (in Perseus--the double cluster) and Saturn took her breath away. Galaxies I couldn't even find in my 4.5 inch had dust lanes! Even without a filter, the Eskimo Nebula stuck out like a sore thumb, and Orion was an iridescent green beyond words. Even though there was a breeze that night, the scope didn't vibrate a bit, yet a gentle push moved it where I wanted with no backlash. Yes, you've got another happy customer. I am really looking forward to sharing the universe with our guests at the inn--I think they'll never forget us if they're there on a clear night."
Howard B., 20 inch owner in Lake Oswego, Oregon
"By the way, in the almost 9 years I've had this magnificent scope, I've grown to appreciate its superb design more every year. It is still the finest purchase I've ever made."
Mark E., 20 inch owner in Longview, Texas
"I can't begin to tell you all how much I have enjoyed my new 20" over the last 6 weeks. Incredible views! Great observing even when the conditions are not great! The ServoCAT and Argo-Navis are such fun to use! I'm looking forward to taking it to the Texas Star Party in May."
Joe H., 20 inch owner in Flagstaff, Arizona
"Last summer I had arc-second seeing, and the companion to Antares just jumped out and "bit" me. That was the best view of the faint secondary I have ever had. The central star in M-57 was visible about twenty percent of the time both with one eyepiece and with the bino-viewer. M-11, another local favorite, filled the eyepiece, and the detail in M-17 and M-20 was incredible. My observing partner kept saying he could almost, "reach out and touch the objects". Obsessions sure are fun telescopes!"
Bob S., 20 inch owner in Port Republic, Virginia
"Last month my wife Linda and I spent a week at the Star Hill Inn in northern New Mexico, where each night I observed with their 22" (it's an Obsession wanna-bee). My 20 inch Obsession is better. My Obsession handles much easier and provides better views. Buying the Obsession was one of the smartest moves I've ever made; I congratulate myself each time I use it!!"
Sam R., 20 inch owner in Arizona
"The craftsmanship of the telescope is second to none. I take this scope almost everywhere because it is very portable. I even use it in midtown Tucson, but dark sites are where this telescope is at its best.!"
Jack Shelly, 20 inch owner
"I am very happy with the 20 inch Obsession. It's a work of art. Orion's belt was fabulous!!!!!".
John T., 20 inch owner in Galway Ireland
"My eyepieces finally arrived and I set up my new 20" at the weekend. We have had a full moon so I restricted my viewing to Jupiter and Saturn up to 317x with my Radian 8mm, all I can say is AWSOME. The thrill of seeing something real with my own eyes after looking at images for the previous 25 years is indescribable. After waiting this long for a proper scope I know I have hit a winner. !"
John R., 20 inch owner in Nome, Alaska
"My thanks again for offering a great telescope that works (and looks) even better than as advertised."
Rob M. 20 inch owner in Anderson Indiana
"Well I just wanted to tell you how thrilled I am with the telescope. I have had views of Jupiter and Saturn that were UNBELIEVABLE! I saw so much detail you would not believe me if I told you. I saw detail on Jupiter's moon Ganymede for the first time since I have been in this hobby!"
Mark H., 20 inch owner in Coatesville, Pennsylvania
"I'm loving my Obsession! It is very easy to tear down, roll into my Subaru Forester (with plenty of headroom to spare) unload, and set up. The motion is smooth, and the views are awesome. I bought a pair of collapsible wheelchair ramps from Alumiramp; they're easy to use, lightweight, and collapse down to half their extended length, which makes them much easier to fit into the car. !"
John C., 20 inch owner in North Carolina
"This is truly one of the finest pieces of equipment I've ever seen. The craftsmanship throughout is great. Within a week I should get over the feeling that it's too good to take outside. Thanks for a great scope!".
George N., 20 inch owner
"Last August I used the following side-by-side: a C-14, a RC 20", an Astro Physics 6-inch APO and a friend's Obsession 20 with Galaxy mirror. The Obsession provided very noticeably better views of Mars than any of the other scopes. The next closest was the 20 RC and the refractor had high sky contrast. There were several experienced observers there who shared my opinion and there were at least a 100 people who had probably never looked thru a scope before. A number of these folks commented to me that the Obsession was providing the best views of Mars. Two months later I bought a used Obsession!!!"
Vance P., 20 inch owner in Regina, Saskatchewan
"One of my favorite First Light views was of the Swan Nebula, M17, in Sagittarius. The detail in the clouds was incredible! The necklace around the neck of the swan, the swan's shining crown, the tail feathers, the wisps of clouds behind the swan's neck looked as if it were emerging out of the morning mist. Simply awesome! The telescope is a dream to use with its precision motion and easy assembly. The claims on your website are all too real! Thanks Dave for crafting such a wonderful scope and curing my aperture fever!"
Mark E., 20 inch owner in Longview Texas
"I love the scope! Had a clear night this last week finally. I "ran" the telescope manually and had a great time. Had a friend bring over his NP101 TeleVue refractor and his set of eyepieces and I could barely keep him off the Obsession. (sure was nice when he left and I was able to have the scope to myself. !"
Vance P., 20 inch owner in Regina Saskatchewan
"I checked my 2003 logs and found I was out 111 nights. This telescope still brings me great pleasure and continuously impresses me. I'm sure happy I didn't buy a 12" Meade!"
Sam R., 20 inch owner in Arizona
"The scope's performance gets 5 stars out of 5. This baby is everything you advertised and then some."
Anthony P., 20 inch owner in Horseheads, New York
"Dear Dave, I just wanted to spend a minute and say THANK-YOU!! for offering such a fine piece of equipment to amateur astronomers. I have had my 20 inch for about 9 months and I am seeing things that I never ever could see in my 8 inch sct. When I saw M-42 for the first time through it, I got upset because I thought clouds were moving in. Little did I know that WAS the nebula! I was actually looking into the gas cloud seeing hints of red and green! With my other scopes I can only look at it--wishing for more. The veil nebula looks 3-D; I've spent hours starring at it thinking this is what it looks like out of a space ship. M-13 is crazy, looks like a photo. And I can finally see dust lanes in the arms of M-51! What else can I say? This scope is all I dreamed of & more! I never thought a guy could have this much fun with wood, glass & aluminum!! Thanks Again- Anthony!"
Rodger B., 20 inch owner in Huntington West Virginia
"Dear Mr. Kriege, Just a short note, I took the 20" out to Summersville, WV. A buddy has 400 acres near the Carnifax Ferry Battelfield park. There was a crescent moon. The people with me were an assortment of non-observers, mostly weekend kayakers and fishermen and my friend's contractor. I was showing them Messier Globulars. The response was the same: One would go up the ladder, look in the eyepiece and say "WOW!" - kind of drawn out - " wwwoooowww" Time after time. Other responses ran something like this: "Incredible" "You gotta see this". One guy was hanging out by the end of the line - I asked him if he wanted to look - he said " I've looked already. You said that you were going to look at M92 right? I'm waiting for that." This from a guy who'd never looked through a 'scope before. I'll end by saying to you what they all said to me about midnight when the clouds began to roll in: "Thank you"!"
Bob S., 20 inch owner in Port Republic, Virginia
"I am the ecstatic owner of magnificent Obsession #594, a 20 inch which I received in November of last year. I love to observe clusters, planetaries, and galaxies; my wife pointed out, while looking at M13, that the Obsession makes you feel you are IN the cluster - and so it does!"
Alan M., 20 inch owner in El Cajon, CA
"My favorite part is when we get newcomers at our Star Parties. After only a few months, the guy who couldn't find M31 without a computer can now find a dozen Messier objects without even looking at a book. To hear people gasp after taking their first look thru the eyepiece is music to my ears. I've had women take a look and then literally run away to find their husbands and bring them back saying, "Honey, you've GOT to see this!" This is the scope of a lifetime. It is extremely well made and easy to use. First-timers absolutely delight in the fact that they can track objects, move it around, sight thru the TelRad, and view what's in that red bulls' eye. It is so easy to use that anyone can learn how to use it in just a few minutes. Yours is the best, And I'm proud to own Serial Number 500."
Jim P., 20 inch owner in Charleston, South Carolina
"First to the Orion Nebula... Oh My Gosh!!! I could not believe my eyes!! The view was just unbelievable! The amount of detail was exquisite, very much like Bond's drawing (1859-63) only BRIGHTER!! I then turned to M51. As I looked into the eyepiece I almost lost my breath. The first glimpse reminded me of the impressionistic drawing by Lord Rosse. I could SEE the spiral arms!!! The drawing made by Herschel also made sense. I was truly amazed. Gorgeous! I kept thinking how magnificent the view was ( and by the way I was not fully dark adapted as I kept switching on outside lights this first night out) Over to M65, M66 and NGC 3628 WOW!! It's a beautiful, wonderful telescope. I'm very excited about Deep Sky now. I can tell I'm going to be a real Deep sky buff. Looking at galaxies and nebulae will be a real treat. I've enjoyed lunar, planetary and double star observing primarily up until now. But, with just a quick first look I'm already hooked. I really think Deep Sky with this telescope is going to be awesome! I've always enjoyed visual observing but I never thought I'd see the kind of detail I saw Tues night for myself. I am extraordinarily fortunate to own such a wonderful telescope and I want to thank you for pointing Obsession Telescopes out to me. Thanks VERY MUCH!!".
Richard L., 20 inch owner in Longmont Colorado
"I just wanted to share with you last evenings observing. It was a beautiful pleasant, cloudless day here in Colorado. I was only in my backyard which is OK but not great, since I live in town but have a park on three sides. I did a FIX ALT REF (with AUTO ADJUST OFF) on the Argo Navis, then a star alignment on Arcturus and Altair and got a WARP of .3 Virtually every object we picked was in the FOV and we spent 2 1/2 hours going all over the sky. I have never seen some of these objects in my 8" SCT. By the way M13 looks brighter and more resolved than the photo on your web site (contrary to some opinions). As the last items we plugged-in Neptune and then Uranus and both were in FOV with no adjustments. I could never do this with my SCT Go To system, never!!!."
John K., 20 inch owner in San Diego, California
"I am happy with the views this telescope is giving us. We actually saw color in M51. My friends were equally impressed. All in all this telescope works great.".
Stephan T., 20 inch owner in Delray Beach, Florida
"I finally got the opportunity to drive with the 20"into the mountains having there a few nights with clear sky. Interestingly, although looking for deep sky objects I found the views of Saturn and Jupiter very impressive. Especially the Red Spot on Jupiter became a fascinating object - with color and structure (with my previous telescopes it was not always easy to identify even with an apochromat). On deep sky objects I was surprised to be able to find the horse head nebulae just by looking for it at its approximate position through an eyepiece with a special filter. The veil nebulae gave me a three dimensional impression. The assembling of the telescope and the accessories and its operation was much easier than expected and seemed to me very logical."
Rodger B., 20 inch owner in Huntington, West Virginia
"Dear Mr. Kriege, Got out in the field tonight for the first time. Looked at M81 and 82 in spite of 1/4 moon, before and after moon set. Wow. Images are big and bright. Zapped cluster after cluster. Hit the "m's" in aurigula, the little NGC close by. Friend with AP 130mm photo'ed one of the M's in Aurigula. No comparison on views. Looked at GC in Lepius. Hit the PN there and near by in Erandius. Like headlights. Saw eye's in Owl with averted vision. Owl was big and bright. Saw the nearby galaxy M's (?106 and 109). never seen before. Orion nebula was spectacular, I've never seen such detail in its structure. Hit the M nebula and near by NGC nebula above belt star (about 2 degrees). Seeing things I've never seen before. Scope moves easily and is a joy to use. The number of things seen was limited only by my ability to find them. I'd find and object and just laugh. Jeff commented that the "little dumbbell" looks like the Dumbell in his scope. Paid homage to the ring. Big and bright. Can't wait to get out next new moon. Thank you again for the telescope. It is beautiful. I've had two of my buddies from our Astronomy club over to look at it and they are impressed. They commented on the overall "look", the cast aluminum side bearings, the UTA collimation, the tool less assembly, and smooth motion of the scope. All were impressed by the size of the device, its beauty and by its elegant construction and fluid motions."
Alva A., 20 inch owner in Texas
"The detail in the Trapezium was breath-taking. The detail was simply unbelievable as it more than filled the eyepiece. You could see all the stars, the dust lanes, even one of the "towers of star stuff". If it gets much better than this, I'll have a heart attack."
Philippe R., 20 inch owner in Saint Pierre France
"After two weeks of use, I enjoy the Argo Navis very much. I really appreciate the user interface and the accuracy of the pointing is good enough to keep the target within a field of view of a Nagler 16 (160 X with the 20" ). It is very comfortable to use , and especially the Guided Tour mode mode which allows me to glimpse very faint galaxies with the possibility to set up the limit of magnitude. The 20 " is realy a pleasure to use too. Thank you very much for that!"
Pierre T., 20 inch owner in Montreal, Quebec
"I never owned a telescope before and this 20 inch is my first one. It assembles like a charm. Everything fits perfectly well. I was alone to assemble it and did not require anybody' s help. It moves soooo smoothly.....A real charm and pleasure. Somebody wrote that M42 was a religious experience....He wasn't kidding ! What a sight !! and in full colours. M13 fills the eyepiece with an explosion of stars. The Veil nebulae is incredible with exquisitely fine trails of gas and dust.The best is pointing straight up. You would think it would be hard to move a scope this size to follow an object....No way...It' s easy to move it around just a bit to keep things in the center of the field of view. Your telescope is very well made. What can I say, I'm "Obsessed with the best". This is my first and last telescope.....I will not part with it. My astronomer friends are drooling over the design, details, finish, smoothness and the views. I' m a happy camper. Thank you making large telescopes available and transportable to amateurs. This is one purchase I am proud of and it will keep on pleasing me since the universe is endless and full of wonderful sights.....I can see so much with this telescope."
Vance P., 20 inch owner in Regina, Saskatchewan
"July will be 2 years with my scope and I still love it! Last weekend I made a positive identification of a variable star at 16.9 and I"m hoping to push down close to 18.0 at Kitt Peak in a few weeks. In 21 months, I've logged 162 observing sessions."
David B., 20 inch owner
"I spent about 4 hours last night with my new 20. All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW, and THANK YOU. Started with Jupiter and Saturn which were show stoppers. Then M31, 32, 33 110 and a few others. The Ring ws very clear and blue. I really had my first look at the Orion nebula with any detail. I could have spent all night just looking at the Veil. I have always looked for Obsessions at star parties because they were the best but it does not even come close to using your own at your own pace and without a line behind you."
John K., 20 inch owner in San Diego, California
"We have had our 20" scope for about a year now and enjoy using it more every time we take it out. The optics and craftsmanship are first rate. I especially like the giant aluminum side bearings and the external split blocks for the truss poles. Objects that we've viewed for years take on a new meaning while viewing them using a scope of this quality. The central star in M57 is viewed often. Galaxies have arms and dust lanes that previously were not observable. Being a galaxy lover, I find this an important advantage to the Obsession scope. The movement of the scope is silky smooth; so much so, that we take it for granted. At a recent star party (Nightfall in Borrego Springs) we had a chance to use one of your competitor's 18" Dobs. The movements were so stiff and sticky, that my wife complained she couldn't move it. Thanks for building us a great scope; we are so glad we chose Obsession."
Alan Mc., 20 inch owner in El Cajon, California
"I just got back in the house after taking my 20 inch Obsession out in my front yard for its' "first light." I know this is just scratching the surface of what the scope can do, but I couldn't wait because it has been cloudy for two days straight. So I jumped on the chance to try it out. Even in the city, the colors in the Orion nebula were outrageous! My 10 inch SCT has never given me even a fraction of the view we got ÷ in the city, an hour before the 3/4 moon rose. The STARS! There were deep reds, dusky greys, pale orange, baby blue, and mellow yellow. And so many in pairs; I have never seen so many obvious binaries. I have never in my life seen the colors I saw tonight while looking at stars! Before they have always been just little white pinpoints of light. This scope brings them alive. To say that I have a top-notch scope is like saying the F-16 is a nice plane. Everything about it, from the smooth way it pivots to the JMI focuser is just a pleasure to use. My friend Bob tracked a satellite at 150 power for over a minute with ease. It is so well-balanced, it is a joy to use. From the start, you impressed me with your patience and your friendly words of advice, even before it looked like I was seriously interested. When I'm ready for my 25 incher, you know damn well I won't go anywhere else. I promise to be more patient next time around. I can only imagine what a good night, miles from the city lights, is going to yield. All I can say is that all my hopes and expectations have been met or exceeded for this fine instrument. You were right when you said that it would be worth the wait. I will let you know how things go when I get someplace nice and dark. Thanks!!".
Brian W., 20 inch owner in Madison Indiana
"Had my first light this past Sunday after finally getting the collimation right. Hopefully I'll get better with this with time. It's first trial run was from my backyard, so there was a little light pollution, but that didn't take away any of my feelings about what I was seeing. I was truly amazed! Jupiter and Saturn showed more detail than I've ever seen. I think I spent most of my 4 or 5 hrs just looking at two objects. I love my new Obsession with Argo Navis and ServoCAT. What a combination! Thanks Dave for everything!"
Fred B., 20 inch owner in Sayreville, NJ
"I love it! Every bit of it and that's before I even get to use it to look at the sky! The craftsmanship is second to none. Even my WIFE said how well it was made and that it looks like a piece of fine furniture. Now THAT means something! The scope balances PERFECTLY with a Telrad and my 35 Panoptic in the focuser and that is with NO counterweights!"
Jeff B., 20 inch owner in Little Canada, Minnesota
"This was my first time at the Winter Star Party. I personally had my best ever views of Jupiter and Saturn with my scope at ~525X with a 4.8mm Nagler. I know that I could of used more power, but I had to borrow the 4.8mm, thanks Dave! I couldn't believe how steady the atmosphere was. We maybe get one of two nights like that in Minnesota, which is why I don't yet own an eyepiece under a 8.8mm."
John B., 20 inch owner in Homewood Alabama
" I was at Doug's place in Ft. Davis the first real good night I had with it. I put it on the veil and "The View of the Claw was Down Right Scary"! You can quote me on that. I have never seen deep sky objects like that before. It stood up against Bob's 36" for some of the objects I was looking at. The Fornax galaxy cluster was simply beautiful and fun to explore. Great scope and totally dark skies go good together."
Robert A., 20 inch owner in Los Gato, California
"This night of observing turned out to be an incredible experience! The telescope is not only beautiful to look at, it also is of excellent craftsmanship, well put together, done with exact precision and it is sturdy. I appreciate the careful construction mirror box, the careful alignment of the box to the UTA with the truss poles, careful assembly of the UTA, vanes and secondary mirror holder. I appreciated the exactly fitted NGF focuser that when precisely measured with sight tubes required no adjustment. I appreciated the carefully done fitting for the NCGmax. I could go on more... This is a beautiful, well-thought-out and well-constructed telescope. The "first night out" was an experience of a lifetime! Even though the first half of the observing session was with a quarter moon in the sky, I could see incredible fine detail, color, and shadowing in some of my favorite Messier objects. Although I had sketched an observing plan, I ended up spending four hours just observing about a dozen objects. The clarity and structure of these was so well seen that I enjoyed just spending lots of time just looking and then trying to draw what I saw. Of course, the experience had to be shared and equally savored by a several other astronomers on the mountain top. So thanks for the excellent telescope. I am sure that I will have many enjoyable hours of observing in the months to come."
Bob L., 20 inch owner in Salt Lake City, Utah
"It's sure fun to have a big telescope instead of a camp fire at night. I have enjoyed amateur astronomy since the mid-60's when I ground and polished an 8" f7.5 mirror. This scope is a lot more fun than any I have had to date. First light, out of the blare of Salt Lake, was on Cedar Mesa with Monument Valley 1000' lower and 20 miles away forming the southern horizon. I never imagined a 20" scope could produce such steady images of objects in Grus or Fornax at our latitude, just amazing. Happy days and dark skies."
Dan B., 20 inch owner in Albany Missouri
"Wanted to report that this telescope keeps surprising me every night with something that I didn't deem possible. Last night I saw no less than 20 members of the Perseus galaxy group around NGC 1275 and very near Algol. Quite a sight in all eyepieces. Give it a try if you haven't been there yet."
Mark K., 20 inch owner in Jacksonville, Florida
"After 6 months of crummy skies I finally got to take the 20" with Torus optics to our dark site. There are no other Dobs that comes close to the silky movement of this scope. It moves equal in any direction with no backlash. The views simply blew me away easily twice as bright as my 13" dob. There is no match for World Class Dobs and this is what you deliver. Thanks a Million."