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 March 19, 2004 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

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 # 04-14 / 1374th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/05/2004 through
Sunday 4/11/2004

"Arcturus And Spica : Two Super Stars
And How To Find Them As Easy As "Big Dipper"Pie!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know, early spring is always a good time to play the old Big Dipper - Arcturus - Spica game which is simply an easy way to find two of the most wonderful stars of spring. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in April between the hours of 8 and 10 looking due north where you'll see the Big Dipper almost directly above and just to the right of the North Star, its cup pointed down in such a way that if it were filled full of water, the water would be pouring out directly onto the ground below, which gives a celestial significance to that old saying "April showers bring May flowers" because every April in early evening the biggest water dipper of the heavens is indeed pouring its imaginary water onto the Earth below.

Now aside from the water pouring aspect of the dipper at this season, we can use its handle as a finder to find two stars of spring, which are absolutely wonderful. Simply draw an imaginary line through the handle of the Big Dipper and extend it in the same curve, or arc, as the handle of the dipper, and you'll "arc" to the bright star Arcturus. Then if you extend that curve, that arc, from Arcturus you can "speed on" directly to the brightest star of Virgo the Virgin, the star Spica. Once again, using the handle and its curve, arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica. Now brighter Arcturus is relatively close, only 35 light years away, whereas Spica is almost 8 times farther than Arcturus, 260 light years away. But while Spica is 8 times as wide as our Sun, Arcturus is a staggering 21 times as wide.

Size however, isn't everything because even though Arcturus is much, much larger than Spica, it is a much, much cooler star with a surface temperature of only 9 thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Spica, on the other hand, has a surface temperature of 46 thousand degrees, which actually makes Spica 20 times brighter than much bigger Arcturus. The reason Spica doesn't look as bright to us is because it's so much farther away. But the really mind boggling thing about these two spring stars is their incredible speed in relation to our Earth. You see, while more distant Spica is flying away from us at a speed of 2,000 miles per hour, Arcturus is racing toward us at the incredible speed of 12,000 miles per hour, so fast that Arcturus will eventually pass us in several thousand years. In fact, in just a few hundred thousand years Arcturus will no longer be visible to the naked eye. Wow!

So before it's too late, find the Big Dipper, arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica. Two huge wonderful spring stars, one running away from us and the other racing toward us, and as easy to find as pie Big Dipper 'pie' that is. 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.


Star Gazer Minute

#04-14 M

4/05/2004 thru 4/11/2004

"Arcturus And Spica : Two Super Stars
And How To Find Them As Easy As "Big Dipper"Pie!"

Horkheimer: Want to learn an old star gazing trick to find two of the most wonderful stars of spring? Simply find the Big Dipper, then shoot an arrow through its handle and you'll come to Arcturus, which is 21 times the diameter of our Sun. Then continue that curved arrow and you'll come to Spica, which is 8 times as wide as our Sun. The really fascinating thing, however, is that while Spica is flying away from Earth at a speed of 2,000 miles per hour, Arcturus is actually racing toward Earth at the incredible speed of 12,000 miles per hour, so fast that Arcturus will eventually pass us and disappear from sight. So arc to Arcturus then speed on to Spica. 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 March 19, 2004 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

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 #04-15 /1375th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/12/2004 through Sunday 4/18/2004

"Celebrate National Astronomy Day Saturday April 24th
And Watch The Moon Visit Three Planets During Astronomy Week"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers and mark Saturday April 24th on your calendar as National Astronomy Day for 2004. And also mark that week as the time to watch a growing crescent Moon visit three planets with, as a spectacular finale, a pairing with the ringed planet Saturn on astronomy day night. O.k., we've got our skies set up for Wednesday April 21st just after sunset facing west where you'll see an exquisite two day old crescent Moon parked right next to the little group of stars called The Pleiades, The Seven Sisters which through a pair of binoculars looks something like a tiny dipper. Plus you'll also notice one of my favorite lunar phenomena called Earthshine.

Indeed if you look closely at the Moon you will see what looks like a black full Moon nestled inside the bright crescent. We call it Earthshine because that's exactly what causes it. You see when we look at the bright crescent part of the Moon we are actually seeing sunlight bouncing directly off the Moon to Earth. But that black dark, almost full Moon, within the crescent is created by sunlight bouncing off the bright cloud layers and oceans of our Earth onto the dark portion of the Moon and then bouncing back to Earth again, thus the term Earthshine.

Now the following night Thursday the 22nd, a slightly larger crescent Moon complete with Earthshine will be parked right underneath the most dazzling of all the planets which will reach its greatest brilliancy in less than three weeks on May 2nd our nearest planetary neighbor 8,000 mile wide Venus. And if you look just up and to Venus' left you'll see the reddish orange planet which was over 63 times brighter than it is right now last august, very dim and very distant 4,000 mile wide Mars, the planet which is playing host to two emissary rovers from planet Earth. In fact on the next night Friday the 23rd, a slightly larger Moon with Earthshine will be parked right above this intriguing red planet. But then on the next night Saturday April 24th National Astronomy Day night an outrageously beautiful crescent Moon will be parked just to the side of the most beautiful planet in our solar system, 75,000 mile wide, ringed Saturn which is almost as good as it ever gets for viewing right now because its rings are tilted wide open and reflect light like a giant mirror back to our Earth.

Once again Wednesday, the Moon and The Pleiades, Thursday, the Moon underneath Venus, Friday, the Moon just above Mars, and ta da! Saturday astronomy day night the Moon right next to Saturn. And if you want to see the Moon and Saturn through a telescope then visit your nearest astronomy club, observatory, museum or planetarium because all over the U.S. they'll be celebrating National Astronomy Day with special events during the day and telescopic observing at night, go to our website for astronomy day activities near you. Wow! The Moon and Saturn together on Astronomy Day night! It just doesn't get any better than this. What a night to 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.



Star Gazer Minute

#04-15 M

4/12/2004 thru 4/18/2004

"Watch The Moon Visit Three Planets Next Week"

Horkheimer: Next week a growing crescent Moon visits three planets and the Seven Sisters. On Wednesday the 21st just after sunset an exquisite crescent will be parked right next to the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, which through a pair of binoculars will look like a tiny dipper. On Thursday a slightly larger crescent will be parked right underneath the most brilliant planet of them all, 8,000 mile wide Venus. And on Friday it will be parked right above 4,000 mile wide Mars. Finally on Saturday night, April 24th, which is National Astronomy Day, it will be parked right next to the exquisite ringed planet 75,000 mile wide Saturn. What a week! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


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 March 19, 2004 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

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 # 04-16 / 1376th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/19/2004 through Sunday 4/25/2004

"Celebrate National Astronomy Day This Saturday
Plus The King Of The Planets Meets The King Of the Beasts
And The Moon Visits Both"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers. Just a reminder that this Saturday April 24th is National Astronomy Day which means that all across the u.s., astronomy clubs, observatories, science museums and planetaria will be hosting all sorts of exciting daytime presentations and evening telescopic observing. Plus at some organizations you may even get to win a telescope signed by Moon walker Buzz Aldrin. For details go to jackstargazer.com, meade.com, astronomy.com or astroleague.org. In addition to which the following week a waxing Moon will slowly pass in front of the stars of the king of the beasts, and park right above the king of the planets. Wow!

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Saturday April 24th one hour after sunset, Astronomy Day night, facing west, where all across the country you will see an exquisite 2,000 mile wide crescent Moon parked right next to 75,000 mile wide ringed planet Saturn. And if you have a telescope both Saturn and the Moon will knock your socks off. But if you don't have a telescope all you have to do to look through one is visit your local astronomy related institution on that night because there'll be thousands of telescopes aimed at Saturn and the Moon all across America Saturday night the 24th just waiting for you and your family. And when it's your turn to look through a telescope just say, "Star Gazer sent me."

And now on Wednesday April 28th if you look almost overhead one hour after sunset you'll see an exquisite one day past first quarter Moon parked just above the bright star Regulus and the super bright planet Jupiter. Regulus is the brightest star of the constellation Leo. In fact Regulus is the bottom star of what looks like a backward question mark or sickle of stars, which mark the front part of Leo, the back part of Leo being marked by three stars forming a right triangle. And for thousands of years Leo has been depicted the way the ancient Egyptians saw him, a sphinx like lion reclining majestically in the heavens. He is just south of overhead every April in early evening. And this April the king of the cosmic beasts is being visited by the king of the planets. And on the next night Thursday the 29th our Moon will be parked directly above it making an absolutely beautiful pairing. But don't let appearances deceive you because our 2,000 mile wide Moon will be only 239,000 miles away Thursday night whereas 88,000 mile wide Jupiter will be a whopping 451 million miles away.

But super huge Regulus which is 5 times our Sun's diameter will look the dimmest only because it is so incredibly far away, 85 light years away, which means that it takes 85 years for its light to reach us. In contrast it takes only 40 minutes for light to reach us from Jupiter and only 1 1/4 seconds for light to reach us from our Moon. So there you have it, our Moon parked above the king of the planets in front of the stars of the king of the beasts on Thursday the 29th. And on National Astronomy Day night our Moon parks right next to wonderful Saturn. Go to our website for more and 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.


Star Gazer Minute

#04-16 M

4/19/2004 thru 4/25/2004

"Celebrate National Astronomy Day Saturday April 24th!"

Horkheimer: This Saturday april 24th amateur astronomy clubs and observatories, science museums and planetaria will celebrate National Astronomy Day with tons of events for the whole family. On Astronomy Day night an exquisite crescent Moon will be parked right next to the most beautiful planet of all, 75,000 mile wide ringed Saturn. And participating organizations all across the U.S. invite you to view them through their telescopes, a sight that will absolutely knock your socks off. For more details go to jack stargazer.com, meade.com, astronomy .com, and astroleague .org. The universe awaits you and your family on April 24th! So start your rocket engines and 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 March 19, 2004 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

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 #04-17 / 1377th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/26/2004 through Sunday 5/2/2004

"Venus Has Its Best Year Since 1882!
And Reaches Its Greatest Brilliancy This Sunday May 2nd!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, this year our nearest planetary neighbor Venus has its best year in 122 years. Why? Well this year Venus not only reaches its greatest brilliancy twice but will also on June 8th make a rare transit of the Sun which means that it will actually pass across the face of the Sun as seen from Earth, an event no human being alive has ever seen because it has not happened since December 1882. And which we'll explain further as the big transit event approaches.

But now let's show you where Venus is all this week and next and especially this Sunday when it reaches its greatest brilliancy. O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week and next, an hour after sunset facing west where the most dazzling, brilliant thing you will see will be breathtaking Venus shining at an incredible astronomical magnitude of ­4.5. Which means that it will be 16 times brighter than the brightest star we can see in the sky, Sirius the eye of Orion's great dog. But Venus is a planet and comes closer to us than any other planet because if you remember from grade school the first planet out from the Sun is tiny Mercury, the second planet, Venus and the third rock out, good old planet Earth. But don't be fooled into thinking that the only reason Venus shines so brightly, brighter in fact than any other object in the sky other than the Moon and the Sun, is because it comes so close. That's only one of the reasons.

The other reason is because Venus has the highest reflectivity of any planet in our solar system. Why? Well Venus is completely enshrouded by a brilliant cloud cover, which acts like a giant 8,000 mile wide mirror. So Venus reflects much more sunlight back to Earth than say Mercury or Mars, which have much lower reflectivities. But there's something else fascinating about Venus. You see, if you looked at it last January through a telescope when Venus was just beginning its ascent towards greatest brilliancy, it would have looked like a very small well past first quarter moon. But by April 1st it would have looked like a much, much larger quarter Moon and by May 1st it will look like a much, much larger crescent Moon and by June 1st an even skinnier but humongous crescent. Why is this?

Well just like our Earth and Moon, one side of Venus is always illuminated. On January 1st Venus was very far away from us so it looked much smaller than it does now but we saw more of its illuminated half. On April 1st Venus was much closer to us so it looked bigger but we saw less of its illuminated half. And by this Sunday, its night of greatest brilliancy it will be much closer and will look absolutely huge through a telescope but we'll see even less of its illuminated side and so on until it disappears at the beginning of next month. So get thee outside all this week and next and see Venus at its greatest brilliancy and I think you'll understand why our ancestors were in absolute awe of it. 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.


Star Gazer Minute

#04-17 M

4/26/2004 thru 5/2/2004

"Venus Reaches Greatest Brilliancy
This Sunday May 2nd!"

Horkheimer: This year Venus has its best year since 1882. Why? Well on June 8th it will make a rare transit of the Sun, which means it will actually pass across the face of the Sun which is an event no human being alive has ever seen. Plus this Sunday Venus will reach its greatest evening brilliancy and will knock your socks off. All this week and next and especially Sunday face west an hour after sunset and breathtaking Venus will dazzle you because right now it is 16 times brighter than the brightest star we can see, Sirius, the eye of Orion's great dog. In fact Venus is the brightest object we can see in the sky other than our Sun and Moon. So see this third brightest cosmic object now! 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


[SmilinJack]Return to the [STAR GAZER Main Page]