Zane Landers is an amateur astronomer and telescope maker from Connecticut. He specializes in visual observing, specifically deep-sky objects. Despite living in the light-polluted surburbs, Zane regularly observes 16th-magnitude galaxies, tiny planetary nebulae, and other dim and obscure objects from his backyard using his colossal, homebuilt 20” (0.5m) Dobsonian telescope, which rivals most of the observatories in the area in size and capability.
Zane’s current telescope ensemble includes the aforementioned 20” as well as homebuilt 10” and 6” Dobsonians, along with numerous small catadioptric telescopes and a 35mm hydrogen-alpha solar telescope. Zane also owns and observes with a pair of 10x50 and 15x70 binoculars.
Zane specializes in building Dobsonians, having currently built just shy of a dozen instruments. He plans to launch a small business selling custom telescopes and accessories sometime in the near future.
Zane has been featured in Sky & Telescope (Sept 2018 and TBA 2019), TIME magazine (Labor Day 2018), and National Geographic for his homemade telescopes. He has also written numerous articles and reviews for CloudyNights.com and other astronomy websites.
Zane is a major advocate for amateur astronomers to join and assist the American Association of Variable Star Observers (aavso.org) to help monitor and study variable stars - which can be done even with a modest backyard telescope. He also highly recommends joining and assisting the International Dark Sky Association (darksky.org) to mediate urban light pollution, not only for the sake of astronomy but also to protect wildlife and improve human health.