Celestial shower
10 Images

Putting stars in reach

A time exposure of the night sky taken at Yosemite’s Glacier Point during a gathering of amateur astronomers, many of whom were directly inspired by John Dobson. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
The southern Milky Way lights the lower horizon as it arcs overhead at Yosemite National Park. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
A planisphere, or star chart is a visual guide to the night sky. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
Jane Jones positions her telescope at Glacier Point. Half Dome juts above Yosemite’s granite landscape. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers have a potluck before stargazing. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
John Dobson presides over a telescope making class. (Hugo Martin / LAT)
Russ Cashin of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers sets up his telescope for viewing at Glacier Point. Dobson’s busy schedule prevented him from attending the annual event. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
Stars appear to swirl around the North Star in this time exposure at Yosemite National Park. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
Craters of the Moon as seen through a telescope in Yosemite National Park. (Bryan Chan / LAT)
To his admirers, John Dobson’s a hero, and to his detractors he’s a crackpot. And for those who have gathered in Monmouth — his stargazing disciples — it is an honor to sit at the feet of the master (never mind that the three-week class costs $120, plus about $350 for materials). ()