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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. 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 3/18/05 - 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 5 MINUTE

Episode # 05-14 / 1426th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/04/2005 through
Sunday 4/10/2005

"An Exquisite Crescent Moon Pays
A Very Close Visit To The Pleiades
The Seven Sisters"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Mark next Monday night April 11th as a super duper night to see an exquisite crescent Moon parked right next to the most famous star cluster of them all, The Pleiades, also known as The Seven Sisters. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Monday evening April 11th, 8:30 p.m. your local time facing due west where directly above the horizon you'll see a beautiful three day old crescent Moon complete with earthshine, which will look like a bright crescent with a dark full Moon nestled inside it. And only two Moon widths away to its right the exquisite tiny cluster of stars called The Pleiades, The Seven Sisters which have been talked about all throughout history and are even mentioned in the Bible.

Now most people can count only 6 stars here and there are all sorts of legends as to why most people can't see the seventh but the truth of the matter is if you've got very good eyesight and if you're far from city lights under a dark sky you may be able to count ten or even twelve stars in this tiny cluster. Plus if you look really close you will see that the 6 brightest stars trace out a very tiny little dipper. In fact many people mistake this tiniest of all the dippers in the heavens, for the famous Little Dipper which is always parked directly opposite the even more famous Big Dipper.

Be that as it may you may also notice that The Pleiades look a little bit fuzzy and that's because they are embedded in a huge cloud of gas and dust called a reflection nebula. And the light from these stars is actually reflecting off this gaseous material, which is easily seen in any time exposure photograph. Now one of the most beautiful ways to observe The Pleiades, especially next Monday when the Moon is so close to them, is to use a pair of binoculars because then not only will you see all seven of the Seven Sisters you'll also see many, many more. In fact The Pleiades are really a huge cluster of over a hundred very big very hot blue-white stars, which are all much younger and hotter than our Sun having been born less than a hundred million years ago, compared to our Sun which was born 41/2 billion years ago. All The Pleiades' stars are much bigger and hotter than our Sun and spin much faster. In fact the brightest of the sisters Alcyone is a thousand times as luminous as our Sun and spins a hundred times faster. Wow!

Now on a cosmic scale The Pleiades are relatively close, just over 400 light years away, which means that it takes light from The Pleiades 400 years to reach us. So when we look at them Monday night we are seeing them as they actually appeared over 400 years ago. Nifty huh? In comparison our Moon is extremely close only 242,000 miles away, which means it only takes 1 1/3 seconds for its light to reach us. So next Monday night be sure to see a sight both exquisite to the naked eye and absolutely breathtaking through binoculars. Believe me you'll be stunned by the cosmic beauty of our nearest neighbor and the sisters of legend! 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

#05-14 M

4/04/2005 thru 4/10/2005

"An Exquisite Crescent Moon Pays
A Very Close Visit To The Pleiades
The Seven Sisters"

Horkheimer: Mark Monday the 11th as our Moon visits The Pleiades night! Around 8:30 Monday night face west and an exquisite three day old crescent Moon with a dark full Moon nestled inside it will be parked right next to the most famous star cluster in history, The Pleiades the Seven Sisters. They look like a tiny little dipper and through a pair of binoculars you can see over 2 dozen stars here although in reality there are over a hundred very big and very hot blue white stars, all much hotter and younger, bigger and brighter than our sun. In fact the brightest Alcyone is 1000 times brighter and spins 100 times faster. Don't miss this cosmic duo: our nearest neighbor and the fabled Seven Sisters. Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. 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 3/18/05 - 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 #05-15 /1427th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/11/2005 through Sunday 4/17/2005

"Get Ready For National Astronomy Day
This Saturday April 16th! The Biggest And Best Yet"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Mark this Saturday April 16th, 2005 as National Astronomy Day, which will be the biggest and best since we started celebrating it in 1973. Indeed I implore you to make sure that you make this Saturday a family event and find your nearest astronomy club, observatory, science museum or planetarium where all sorts of different events will be taking place across the nation. Including spectacular free telescopic viewing of Jupiter at its very best for the year, the exquisite craters of an 8 day old Moon and the wonderful ringed planet Saturn let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for astronomy day evening this Saturday April 16th, one hour after sunset facing southwest where the brightest thing you'll see will be an exquisite 8 day old Moon and which when seen through any observatory telescope will simply blow you away. And just below them, a very bright light which our Cassini spacecraft is visiting right now, the magnificent 75,000 mile wide ringed planet Saturn which will blow you even farther away with its moon Titan which is larger than the planets Pluto and Mercury, and which we just landed on for the first time in human history. Then if you turn around and face east you'll see the largest of all the planets, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter as it gets ready to travel across the sky all night long.

And observatory telescopes all across the country will be also trained on it because Jupiter came into opposition on April 3rd which means that right now it is at its closest, biggest, brightest and best for viewing from Earth for the entire year. Not only will you be able to see its many equatorial layers of atmosphere but you'll also be able to see all four of its four largest moons Saturday night, three of which are larger than our own Moon. Who could ask for anything more? Jupiter at its best, the Moon at one of its most beautiful phases and ringed Saturn with Titan, all available for viewing for free through telescopes across the country. And that's just what's happening Saturday night.

All day Saturday at institutions all across the U.S. all sorts of astronomy events will be planned, featuring fascinating speakers including astronauts, planetarium shows, telescope and astronomy hardware demonstrations, Sun gazing through special solar filters and astronomy workshops for kids and adults alike. Plus this year Astronomy Magazine and Meade Instruments Corporation are teaming up with 28 science museums, planetariums, observatories and astronomy clubs to offer even more including tons of free getting started in astronomy materials and drawings for 30 super Meade go-to telescopes! Go to our website for a list of participating institutions and mark this Saturday as one of the best family fun days you'll have all year. Believe me you'll have an out of this world experience. 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

 

"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

#05-15 M

4/11/2005 thru 4/17/2005

"Get Ready For National Astronomy Day
This Saturday April 16th! The Biggest And Best Yet"

Horkheimer: This Saturday April 16th is National Astronomy Day and your nearest astronomy club, observatory, science museum and planetarium will be offering all sorts of astronomy events. In the day time you'll be able to see and hear fascinating speakers including astronauts, planetarium shows, telescope and astronomy hardware demonstrations, Sun gazing through solar telescopes and astronomy workshops for kids and adults Plus Astronomy Magazine giveaways and 30 drawings for Meade telescopes. At night there will be free telescopic observing of an 8 day old Moon, exquisite ringed Saturn and Jupiter at its very best for the year. Go to our website for participating institutions and have a galaxy of fun with your family this Saturday. Keep Looking Up!


Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

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 3/18/05 - 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 # 05-16 / 1428th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/18/2005 through Sunday 4/24/2005

"Jupiter Is At Its Closest To Earth
And Farthest From The Sun This Month!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Yes indeed this April is a very special month for the planet Jupiter because it is at its closest, biggest, brightest and best for viewing from Earth for the entire year. And just coincidentally it is also at its farthest from the Sun in almost 12 years. Plus you can watch the Moon travel across the sky all night long with Jupiter two nights in a row this week. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week Thursday night April 21st around 8 p.m. facing east where the brightest objects you'll see will be a 12 day old nearly full Moon directly above the king of the planets 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And because Jupiter officially came into opposition April 3rd it is still almost directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth and thus visible almost all the hours that the Sun is not which means that it is visible almost all night long which further means that not only can you see it just after the Sun sets in the east but you can watch it travel across the sky from east to west almost all night long and this Thursday in the company of an almost full Moon.

At 8 p.m. you'll see Jupiter in the east and about 2 hours before sunrise Friday morning the 22nd you'll see Jupiter and the Moon in the west. But you'll also notice that the Moon will be much closer to Jupiter Friday morning than Thursday night. And that's because the Moon travels its own diameter, about 1/2 degree, across the sky every single hour. At 8 o'clock Thursday night, the Moon is about 8 degrees away from Jupiter but by Friday morning it will have moved 6 Moon diameters closer to Jupiter and will be only 5 degrees away. Similarly if you go out at 8 p.m. Friday night you'll see that the Moon instead of being above Jupiter like it was Thursday night is now 5 1/2 degrees below Jupiter. And if you watch it all night you'll be able to see the Moon move away from Jupiter so that 2 hours before sunrise Saturday it will be well past it, a full 9 degrees or 18 Moon widths away. So here's your chance to see how fast the Moon really travels each night in relation to other celestial objects.

Which leaves us with just one item, if Jupiter is at is closest to Earth this month why is it at its farthest from the Sun? Well if we could go out into space we would see that it takes our Earth one Earth year to travel around the Sun. And because all planet orbits are not perfect circles but ellipses once a year our Earth is at its closet point to the Sun and once a year it is at its farthest. The same is true of Jupiter only it takes Jupiter 12 Earth years to orbit the Sun so once every 12 years Jupiter is at its farthest from the Sun and once every 12 years at its closest to the Sun. And last week April 14th Jupiter was at its farthest point from the Sun since 1993, 507,238, 000 miles. But fret not because in only 6 years on st. Patrick's day March 17th 2011 Jupiter will be at its closest to the Sun only 460, 002, 000 miles away. Happy Jupiter watching! And Keep Looking Up!


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

#05-16M

4/18/2005 thru 4/24/2005

"Jupiter Is At Its Closest To Earth
And Farthest From The Sun This Month!"

Horkheimer: This April Jupiter is at its closest to earth for the year and at its farthest from the sun in 12 years. All this month you can watch Jupiter travel across the sky almost all night long from sunset to sunrise and this Thursday and Friday in the company of a full Moon. But although Jupiter is at its closest to Earth this month, approximately 416 million miles away, it is coincidentally at its farthest from the Sun in a dozen years, over 507 million miles away. Because it takes Jupiter 12 years to make one trip around the Sun and Jupiter's orbit is not a perfect circle Jupiter is at its farthest from the Sun and closest to the Sun only once every 12 years which means that on St. Patrick's Day 2011 Jupiter will be at its closest. Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

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 3/18/05 - 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 #05-17 / 1429th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/25/2005 through Sunday 5/01/2005

"An Update On One Of The Most Beloved
Star Patterns In The Heavens:
The Big Dipper"


Horkheimer: greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every year in early evening in May the star pattern known to North Americans as the Big Dipper reaches its highest point in the heavens. And although every year we tell you how to find it and give you some fascinating facts about it this year we've got some nifty updates. So if you think you really know the Big Dipper you may be in for a surprise. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night the first two weeks of May about an hour after sunset your local time facing due north where high above the horizon you'll see 4 stars which if we connect with lines form a cup and three stars to the east which if connected by lines form a handle. And a cup with a handle like this in early rural North America was called a dipper which people used to dip water out of a bucket. According to some early American natives however the four stars, which make the Dipper's cup represented the body of a bear and the three handle stars were three Indian braves tracking the bear across the northern heavens. And in England the Big Dipper is known as "the plough" or "King Charles wagon". And indeed the Big Dipper can look like either a plow or a wagon although upside down at this time of year.

Now one of the most interesting features about the Big Dipper is that you can always use the two stars in the end of the cup to find the North Star which is the end star of the handle of the Little Dipper. To find it yourself simply shoot an arrow through these two stars and measuring five and a half times the distance between them you'll land smack dab on the North Star, which is not as bright as many people suspect. Another interesting point about the Big Dipper is that if you look closely at Mizar the middle star of the handle you'll see that it is not one but two stars. The second star is named Alcor and together they're called the horse and the rider. But even more interesting is that things are always changing in the field of astronomy because as we develop more sophisticated astronomical tools we can more accurately measure things in the cosmos. So some of the distances we gave you to the stars in the Big Dipper in the past have been refined.

Mizar is 78 light years away, which means that the light we see from Mizar left it 78 years ago. Alcor is 81 light years away as is the star next to it, Alioth, and the star next to it, Megrez. Phecda above Megrez is 3 light years farther away, 84 light years and Merak is just 79 light years away which further means that all of these stars belong to a group approximately 80 light years away and that they're all moving together in the same direction through space, which leaves the end star in the handle Alkaid at a distance of 101 light years and Dubhe the star at the end of the cup at a distance of 124 light years. So there you have it our old friend the Big Dipper with new refined distances to each star. Reacquaint yourself! 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

 

"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

#05-17 M

4/25/2005 thru 5/01/2005

"An Update On One Of The Most Beloved
Star Patterns In The Heavens:
The Big Dipper"

Horkheimer: Everyone loves the Big Dipper but did you know that most of its stars are traveling through space together as a group? In early May just after sunset look north and you'll see the Big Dipper at its highest; four stars make the cup, three stars make the handle. And if you look closely at Mizar the middle star of the handle you'll see that it is actually not one star but two. Now most of the Dipper's stars form a cluster only 80 light years away but the star at the end of the handle is not a member of the group and is 101 light years away. And the star at the end of the cup is a whopping 124 light years away. What you see isn't always what you get. Happy Big Dippering and Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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]