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Astronomy/Portable Telescope introduction in High Schools.


Portable Telescope
Portable Telescope  
Dear Philip

1. Do you feel Telescopes can be introduced in Optics, Light
chapters/topics as a sub topic in High Schools, Colleges  ?.

2. Do you feel Portable Telescopes instruments purchase in High schools could be a good investment and can be taken in physics labs for practicals and demonstrations ?.

3. What could be the appropriate ages for Portable Telescopes Introduction in High Schools, Colleges i.e. 12-15 years, 16-18 years etc ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar


Here are the answers to your questions:

1) Telescopes can certainly be introduced in Optics sections of high school or A-level physics. I also give examples of this in my text: 'Physics Notes for Advanced Level'

2) Portable telescopes are probably more appropriately used as an adjunct to regular physics labs as opposed to being their centerpiece. I believe use of the optical bench and assorted lens experiments comprise a better use of physics (optics) lab time. But again, the applications can be shown as in after school activities using portable telescopes, to observe the Sun (with solar filter), Moon and even at night to observe nebulae, planets if the potential for such extracurricular use exists.

3)There is no reason portable telescopes can't be introduced at the 12-15 year age level, provided the students have been exposed first to the basic optics of telescopes, i.e. in physics labs.  


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Philip Stahl


I have more than forty years of experience in Astronomy, specifically solar and space physics. My specialties include the physics of solar flares, sunspots, including their effects on Earth and statistics pertaining to sunspot morphology and flare geo-effectiveness.


Astronomy: Worked at university observatory in college, doing astrographic measurements. Developed first ever astronomy curriculum for secondary schools in Caribbean. Gave workshops in astrophysics and astronomical measurements at Harry Bayley Observatory, Barbados. M.Phil. degree in Physics/Solar Physics and more than twenty years as researcher with discovery of SID flares. Developed of first ever consistent magnetic arcade model for solar flares incorporating energy dissipation and accumulation. Develop first ever loop solar flare model using double layers and incorporating cavity resonators.

American Astronomical Society (Solar Physics and Dynamical Astronomy divisions), American Mathematical Society, American Geophysical Union.

Solar Physics (journal), The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, The Proceedings of the Meudon Solar Flare Workshop (1986), The Proceedings of the Caribbean Physics Conference (1985). Books: 'Selected Analyses in Solar Flare Plasma Dynamics', 'Physics Notes for Advanced Level'. 'Astronomy and Astrophysics: Notes, Problems and Solutions'.

B.A. Astronomy, M. Phil. Physics

Awards and Honors
American Astronomical Society Studentship Award (1984), Barbados Government Award for Solar Research (1980), Barbados Astronomical Society Award for Service as Journal Editor (1977-91)

Past/Present Clients
Caribbean Examinations Council, Barbados Astronomical Society, Trinidad & Tobago Astronomical Society.

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