STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Friday 4/19/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.

STAR GAZER

Episode # 02-19 / 1274th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 5/6/2002 through
Sunday 5/12/2002

"May 14th Is Super Venus/Moon Day!
And the Great Planet Gathering And Dance Continues"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. As most of you know, right now we are experiencing one of the most wonderful planetary gatherings of the 5 naked eye planets that you're ever likely to see, all of which occurs just after it gets dark out. Plus next week on May 14th Venus and the Moon will present one of the most spectacular pairings you've ever seen. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for last Sunday, May 5th just after sunset at dusk, facing west where you would have seen 3 planets forming a wonderful triangle ... 8,000 mile wide Venus, 75,000 mile wide Saturn and 4,000 mile wide Mars; 3 planets in a super huddle. And up to their left the king of the planets, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter and to top it off, below the super huddle, 3,000 mile wide Mercury which this week is at its very best viewing for the entire year. 5 planets in an absolutely super gathering which changes from night to night. Indeed, if you are watching this show early in the week you will be able to see how the triangle changes its shape as the planets move from night to night. Monday May 6th, Tuesday the 7th, Wednesday the 8th, Thursday the 9th and on Friday the 10th Venus and Mars are so close that only half a full moon would fit between them. Saturday they're still very close and on Sunday still close. And next week on Monday the 13th the drama intensifies as a slender sliver of a crescent moon sneaks up alongside Mercury. But the big night is Tuesday the 14th, a night which you absolutely have to mark on your calendar because on that night the crescent moon and Venus will be only 1 degree away from each other, a sight you will never forget ... a picture that has awed human beings even before the dawn of written history in the most ancient of cave drawings.

Venus the most brilliant of all the planets, side by side with our nearest neighbor the Moon. Plus the crescent moon will look like it has a grayish-black full moon cradled in it, a phenomenon called the " old moon in the new moon's arms" which is created by sunlight bouncing off our Earth, then back up to the dark portion of the moon and then back to Earth once again. And if you have any way of photographing this event please do so because it's simply the kind of celestial picture that will take your breath away. And while you're looking up Tuesday night remind yourself that on that night our 2,000 mile wide Moon will be only 239,000 miles away whereas 8,000 mile wide Venus will be 130 million miles beyond. But because of the exquisite never ending dance of Venus and the Moon, every once in a while the 2 of them line up in our line of sight to give us a picture of true celestial awe and wonder. On Wednesday the 15th the Moon will be between Venus and Jupiter and on the 16th, just past the king of the planets. Once again: Monday the 13th the Moon beside Mercury, then the big night, Tuesday the 14th the Moon beside Venus. Wednesday the 15th and Thursday the 16th. Wow! Lovely celestial sights on lovely May nights. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#02-19 M

5/06/2002 thru 5/12/2002

"May 14 Is Super Venus/Moon Day"

Horkheimer: You still have time to see one of the most wonderful gatherings of the 5 naked eye planets you'll ever see. On the 13th the Moon will sneak up alongside Mercury, but the big night is the 14th when brilliant Venus and the crescent Moon complete with earthshine will be less than 1 degree away from each other in a sight you will never forget. Indeed although they'll look like they are huddled side by side, in reality our 2,000 mile wide Moon will be only 239,000 miles away whereas 8,000 mile wide Venus will be 130 million miles beyond. On the 15th the Moon will be between Venus and Jupiter and on the 16th just past the planet king. Don't miss this! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.

Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer







STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Friday 4/19/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



 

STAR GAZER

Episode #02-20 /1275th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 5/13/2002 through Sunday 5/19/2002

"Awesome Arcturus : Star Of A Million Years"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and do you know that when we look up at the stars at night we see the same star patterns which our ancestors saw thousands of years ago, and which our descendants will see thousands of years from now? Indeed, the star patterns we see every night appear to be never-changing and fixed in their positions relative to each other. But in reality they're not. In fact all of the stars we see are moving at incredible speeds throughout space in every conceivable direction but because they are all so incredibly far away it takes many generations to notice even small changes in their positions relative to one another, except for a couple of them.

And it was Edmund Halley for whom Halley's Comet is named who discovered this, when almost 300 years ago he discovered that the bright star Arcturus had changed its position from its location in ancient star charts which made him wonder if perhaps the stars were not as permanently fixed as everyone thought. Of course he was right, because we now know that all the stars are moving and that Arcturus changes its position among the stars faster than any bright star except Alpha Centauri. But that's just one of the extraordinary things about Arcturus. And before I tell you more, let me show you how to find it.

Go outside any clear evening in spring, look north for the Big Dipper, then use it as a guide, because to find Arcturus all you need to do is shoot an arrow through the handle of the Big Dipper and that arrow will land on Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Bootes, the herdsman. And once you've found it think of this: while all the other stars are moving in different directions at different speeds, Arcturus' direction and speed are special. You see Arcturus is moving almost 90 miles per second toward the constellation Virgo which causes it to change its position among the stars one full moon width every nine hundred years. And that's fast!

So Bootes is the one constellation that's changing its shape faster than all the rest ... So fast I like to think of Arcturus as the star of a million years because it was only one-half a million years ago that Arcturus first became visible to the eyes of man. And incredibly in just one-half million years more it will disappear from naked eye view. You see, although ancient records listed Arcturus as the 6th brightest star in the heavens, it has moved so much closer it is now the 4th brightest. In fact, we who walk this planet now are seeing Arcturus as bright as any humans ever will because right now Arcturus is as close as it will ever come to planet Earth. Indeed it will soon, cosmically speaking, pass us by and speed away into the void forever. Arcturus, one of the brightest stars of our time, invisible to our ancestors only half a million years ago will be invisible once again half a million years from now! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.



Star Gazer Minute

#02-20 M

5/13/2002 thru 5/19/2002

"Awesome Arcturus : Star Of A Million Years"

Horkheimer : You know many people believe that all the stars are fixed in position relative to one another but they're not. Take Arcturus for instance which you can find by shooting an imaginary arrow through the handle of the Big Dipper. Arcturus is moving so fast, 90 miles per second, that it actually changes its position by 1 full moon width every 900 years in the direction of Virgo. Indeed, whereas ancient records listed Arcturus as the 6th brightest star it has since moved so close to us it is now the 4th brightest. But not for long it will soon move away from us and in a mere half a million years will disappear from sight all together. So catch it while you can. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Friday 4/19/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



STAR GAZER

Episode # 02-21 / 1276th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 5/20/2002 through Sunday 5/26/2002

"The Two Brightest Planets Meet
While The Twin Stars Of Gemini Look On"

 

Horkheimer : Greetings greetings fellow star gazers and what an exciting month this has been and continues to be because as you regular viewers know, 5 naked eye planets were lined up in a row at the beginning of the month and have been constantly changing their places day by day. And while several spectacular groupings have already occurred, nevertheless a super meeting of the 2 brightest is yet to happen. And the twin stars of Gemini will oversee it all. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for a week and a half ago, Tuesday May 14th just after sunset, facing west where you would have seen an incredible crescent moon parked right alongside the brightest planet, Venus. Up to their right the second brightest planet, Jupiter; just below them tiny Mars and below it the ringed planet Saturn and below it Mercury. Then as night after night passed the Moon moved on and Mercury and Saturn slowly descended and eventually disappeared below the horizon, leaving however the 2 most brilliant planets of them all hovering under the twin stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux.

And we can watch as these 2 brightest planets slowly approach each other for a super side by side meeting on June 1st. Now a full moon is 1/2 a degree wide and on Saturday the 25th Venus will be only 9 degrees away from Jupiter which means we could line up 18 full moons side by side between Venus and Jupiter. On Sunday the 26th they are 8 degrees or 16 full moons apart. On Monday the 27th, 7 degrees or 14 full moons apart. On Tuesday the 28th 6 degrees or 12 full moons. On Wednesday 5 degrees or 10 full moons; on Thursday 4 degrees or 8 full moons apart; 3 degrees or 6 full moons apart on Friday the 31st and on June 1st they're a mere 2 degrees or 4 full moons apart lined up side by side just below the side by side Gemini twins. On June 2nd , less than 2 degrees apart but Venus now appears a bit higher above the horizon than Jupiter. Then 1 day later on monday the 3rd Venus is even higher and the 2 planets are at their absolute closest and little more than 3 full moons would fit between them. Don't miss this!

But if you do, on Tuesday the 4th Venus will be directly above Jupiter yet another truly spectacular pairing, and only 4 full moon widths away. Once again: the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, June 1st, June 2nd, June 3rd, and June 4th. And while you're looking up you may want to remind yourself that 8,000 mile wide Venus is brighter than 88,000 mile wide Jupiter only because it's so much closer, a mere 120 million miles away at the beginning of June while Jupiter is 560 million miles away. In fact, if Jupiter was as close as Venus it would be dazzling in broad daylight. Indeed, in reality Venus is so small 11 Venuses could be lined up across Jupiter's middle. Wow! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#02-21 M

5/20/2002 thru 5/26/2002

"The Two Brightest Planets Meet"

Horkheimer : Since the beginning of this month the 5 naked eye planets have been changing their positions from night to night and next week a super meeting of the 2 brightest planets will happen while the twin stars of Gemini look on. Every night Jupiter and Venus have been coming closer to each other, frequently moving 2 full moon widths closer every single night. On the 30th they will be only 4 degrees apart, on the 31st, 3 degrees and on June 1st they'll be only 2 degrees apart and lined up side by side. They'll be even closer on June 2nd and ta da! closest on June 3rd little more than 1 1/2 degrees apart, so close it'll knock your socks off. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer





STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Friday 4/19/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #02-22 /1277th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 5/27/2002 through Sunday 6/02/2002

"Venus and Jupiter Versus the Gemini Twins!"

Horkheimer : Greetings greetings fellow star gazers and although the great gathering of the 5 naked eye planets has come to an end, nevertheless during the next 2 weeks the 2 brightest planets will dance beside each other while the 2 brightest stars of Gemini look on. And this week I want to give you a much closer look at these 4 contenders for your attention in the night sky.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday May 27, just after dark facing west where you will see the 2 brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter and directly above them the 2 brightest stars of Gemini, Pollux and Castor and if you watch from night to night you will see Venus and Jupiter approach each other, meet and then change positions. Tuesday the 28th, Wednesday the 29th, Thursday the 30th, Friday the 31st, and Saturday June 1st Venus and Jupiter will be side by side. Sunday June 2nd Venus passes Jupiter, on Monday the third it is closest to Jupiter and Tuesday the 4th it is directly above it. In fact, on the 4th Jupiter, Venus and Pollux are lined up in a row and although Venus and Jupiter seem to be the winners as contenders for our attention because they are so brilliant, I think that after I explain what Pollux and Castor are all about you will declare them the real winners on a cosmic scale.

You see while Venus is the brightest and the apparent winner, it is actually the smallest of the 4, a mere 8,000 mile wide planet, 120 million miles away. The 2nd brightest, Jupiter, is dimmer only because of its distance, 560 million miles beyond and really wins out against Venus if size counts because 88,000 mile wide Jupiter is so huge 11 Venuses could be lined up across its middle which leaves Pollux and Castor. And here again we are fooled by brightness because even though Pollux is brighter than Castor, when we're finished you'll see that Castor takes the prize. Pollux is actually 11 times the diameter of our own sun and so huge 108 Jupiters could fir inside it. It is only dimmer than Jupiter because it is 240 trillion miles away which is 40 light years distant. And even though it is bigger and brighter than its twin brother Castor, Castor takes the celestial whopper prize because Castor isn't just 1 star but is in reality 6 stars, all spinning in an intricate cosmic waltz like 3 stellar couples. Pair A is twice the diameter of our sun, pair B 1 1/2 times our sun's diameter and pair C, 3/4 our sun's size. And all 6 of these stars that make up Castor are a whopping 300 trillion miles away that's 50 light years distant. So who do you think wins the cosmic prize? Is it the brightest, Venus? 2nd brightest, Jupiter? 3rd brightest Pollux? Or 4th brightest Castor? It's a no brainer for me. Castor tops them all! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!



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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#02-22 M

5/27/2002 thru 6/02/2002

"Venus and Jupiter/Pollux and Castor"

 

Horkheimer : Right now the 2 brightest planets are hovering underneath the 2 brightest stars of Gemini, Pollux and Castor. On June 4th Venus will be directly above Jupiter on a direct line with Pollux. And although Venus is the brightest, it's the smallest of the 4. The others are less bright only because they're so much farther away. 88,000 mile wide Jupiter is 560 million miles away; Pollux, 11 times our Sun's diameter, is 240 trillion miles away and the celestial whopper, Castor is in reality 6 stars all spinning in an intricate waltz like 3 stellar couples and a whopping 300 trillion miles away. So who gets the prize? Brightest Venus or dimmest Castor? It's a no brainer. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer

 



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