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!

Monday 3/20/06 - 1000-1030 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 # 06-14 / 1478th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/03/2006 through
Sunday 4/09/2006

"April Showers Bring May Flowers

And Our Annual Big Dipper Game"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every April I like to remind all star gazers how to play the old Big Dipper game because the Big Dipper in April is positioned in such a way that it gives relevance to an old folk saying and can be used to find two incredible stars high in the heavens. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in any April between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m. 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. But aside from the water pouring aspect of the Dipper at this season, we can use the three stars which make its handle as a finder to locate two stars of spring, which are absolutely wonderful and which are also high up in the heavens in April.

Simply draw an imaginary line through the handle of the Big Dipper and extend it in the same curve, or arc, as the handle, and you'll "arc" to the bright star Arcturus the brightest star of Bootes the Herdsman. Then if you extend that curve, that arc, on from Arcturus you can "speed on" directly to Spica, the brightest star of Virgo the Virgin. Once again, using the handle and its curve, arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica. What could be easier? Now brighter Arcturus is relatively close, only 35 light years away, which means we see the light that left it 35 years ago in 1971. Spica, however, is almost 8 times farther away than Arcturus, 260 light years, which means we see the light that left it 260 years ago in 1746, 30 years before the signing of the Declaration Of Independence. Indeed, incredible as it seems, even though we rarely think about it when we look at the stars, we are really looking back in time whenever we star gaze. And how far back in time depends on how far away each star is.

So when I say that Arcturus is 35 light years away it really means that when you look at Arcturus this month you are seeing Arcturus not as it actually exists at the present but as it actually existed 35 years ago. And when you speed on to Spica and look at it this month you are in reality seeing Spica not as it exists now but as it actually existed 260 years ago, indeed, in 1746. Which inevitably leads one to the question, "Is it possible that we ever see stars now which are no longer in existence?" The answer is, yes indeed, although we're quite sure Arcturus and Spica are still there. So some time this April between 8 and 10 p.m. play the Big Dipper game. Arc to 35 light year away Arcturus, then speed on to 260 light year away Spica. I'm Jack Horkheimer, keep looking up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
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Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#06-14 M

4/03/2006 thru 4/09/2006

"Play Our Annual Big Dipper Game"

Horkheimer: Every April it's time to play the old Big Dipper game. Between 8 and 10 p.m. look north and the Big Dipper will be almost directly above the North Star. You can use the dipper's handle to find two wonderful stars of spring. Draw an imaginary line through the handle in the same curve or arc and you'll arc to brilliant Arcturus. Extend that line and you can then speed on to Spica. Arcturus is so far away we see the light that left it 35 years ago. So we see it not as it exists now but as it existed 35 years ago in 1971. But Spica is so much farther away we see it as it existed 260 years ago in 1746, 30 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Wow! So arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Monday 3/20/06 - 1000-1030 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 #06-15 /1479th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/10/2006 through Sunday 4/16/2006

"Venus Visits A Planet Named George, 3 Nights In A Row"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And you heard me right. Venus will pay a super close visit to a planet named George on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday April 17th, 18th and 19th. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for a week from Monday April 17th an hour before Sunrise facing east where right in front of you you'll see a dazzling bright object which is our old friend planet #2 from the Sun, 8,000 mile wide Venus which is often called the twin sister of Earth because it's almost the same size. It's the brightest planet of them all, but if you look down and to its left you'll see a faint tiny blue green dot of light which is the dimmest naked eye planet of all, the planet formerly known, no kidding, as George. But if you can't find George with the naked eye don't feel too badly because I never can either. I always use a small pair of binoculars. Then it's absolutely easy to find.

Now George is much bigger than Venus, 32,000 miles wide. So huge we could line up 4 Venuses side by side across its middle. The only reason it appears so much dimmer than Venus is because it is so incredibly much farther away. Venus' average distance from the Sun is only 67 million miles while George is a whopping 1.8 billion miles. Away! And if you remember the old rule that states that the closer a planet is to the Sun the faster it travels and the farther a planet is from the Sun the slower it travels, Venus is so close, it makes one trip around the Sun once every 225 Earth days whereas it takes George 84 Earth years to make one trip around the Sun. And unlike the other planets it circles the Sun tilted on its side. So for 42 years its north pole is pointed toward the Sun and the other 42 years its south pole is pointed toward the Sun. Weird to say the least, just like its former name.

So how did this lovely planet get the name George? Well when it was discovered in 1781 by English astronomer Sir William Herschel he named it George's star after King George the Third of England. Other astronomers not in favor of this royal boot licking immediately renamed it Herschel but later in keeping with the mythological names of the other planets it was finally decided that it should be renamed for the Greek god of the sky Uranus, a name which has been abused and amused many ever since. So get out those binoculars next week! Through them Venus will look like a brilliant diamond and only one degree away, which is the width of two full Moons placed side by side you'll see the bluish-green dot, which is Uranus. But the best is yet to come because on the next day Tuesday the 18th Venus and Uranus will be only 3/10 of one degree apart!, about the same width as a quarter Moon. Then on the next day, Wednesday, they'll once again be only one degree apart. Three days of Venus and George and at their absolute closest! Dust off those binoculars and 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#06-15 M

4/10/2006 thru 4/16/2006

"Venus Visits A Planet Named George, 3 Nights In A Row"

Horkheimer: The planet Venus pays a super close visit to a planet named George on April 17th, 18th and 19th. On Monday before sunrise face east and 8,000 mile wide Venus will dazzle you. And through a pair of binoculars planet George will look like a faint blue-green dot of light. George is so huge however we could line up 4 Venuses across its middle. It's dimmer because it's 24 times farther away. Venus makes one trip around the sun every 225 Earth days. But George makes one trip every 84 Earth years. And unlike the other planets it's tilted on its side. In 1781 its discoverer named it for King George the 3rd. But other astronomers who didn't like royal bootlicking renamed it Uranus the name we use today. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Monday 3/20/06 - 1000-1030 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 # 06-16 / 1480th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/17/2006 through Sunday 4/23/2006

"The Moon And Venus Make An Awesome Pair
And Jupiter Sidles Up To The Scorpion's Claw!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and mark next Monday April 24th on your calendar as the morning just before Sunrise when not only will you see an exquisite pairing of the most brilliant planet of them all Venus with our nearest neighbor the Moon but you'll also see the king of the planets Jupiter in a super close meeting with the southern claw of the scorpion. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Monday April 24th an hour and a half before Sunrise facing southwest where just above the horizon you'll see the second brightest planet of them all, brilliant 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And not only will it be beautiful to the naked eye but it will also dazzle you through a small telescope. And just below Jupiter, only one degree away, which is about the width of two full Moons lined up end to end, the star with the strange sounding name, Zuben Elgenubi, which translated means "the southern claw" because it and the star directly above Jupiter Zuben Eschamali, "the northern claw", were formerly the two claws of the ancient constellation Scorpius the Scorpion, which went through a dramatic change in Roman times when the scorpion was declawed and Zuben Eschamali and Zuben Elgenubi became the two brightest stars of the new Roman constellation Libra, the scales.

Be that as it may you will be able to see Zuben Elgenubi easily with the naked eye but through a small telescope or pair of binoculars Zuben Elgenubi and Jupiter side by side will make an exquisite picture. But keep this in mind, while Jupiter is an 88,000 mile wide planet, 500 million miles away, Zuben Elgenubi is a star over two times the size of our almost million mile wide Sun almost a million times farther away than Jupiter, 77 light years. Wow! Don't miss these two please.

And while you're outside Monday morning if you wait another half hour until about an hour before sunrise and look east south east you'll see a super close pairing of the brightest planet of them all, 8,000 mile wide Venus and a super thin waning crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a bright slender crescent with a dark almost black full Moon nestled within it. We call the darkened portion of the Moon earthshine because unlike the bright crescent which is sunlight bouncing directly off the Moon to the Earth, earthshine is Sunlight bouncing off our Earth onto the darkened portion of the Moon and then back to Earth again, thus its name, earthshine.

Don't miss this please because historically super close pairings of Venus and a crescent Moon have been depicted in art all the way back through prehistoric times. Indeed every time I see such a pairing, it still, after all these years, takes my breath away. So there you have it Monday morning April 24th and hour before sunrise Venus parked next to the Moon in the east and in the southwest the king of the planets parked next to the ancient southern claw of the scorpion. Wow! 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


Star Gazer Minute

#06-16 M

4/17/2006 thru 4/23/2006

"The Moon And Venus Make An Awesome Pair
And Jupiter Sidles Up To The Scorpion's Claw"

Horkheimer: On Monday April 24th the brightest planet Venus will pair up with an exquisite crescent Moon and the second brightest planet Jupiter will pair up with a star named Zuben Elgenubi. Before sunrise face southwest and 88,000 mile wide Jupiter will be less than two full Moon widths away from the brightest star of Libra Zuben Elgenubi a star two times the size of our Sun and a million times farther away than Jupiter. Look east and 8,000 mile wide Venus will be parked right next to an exquisite waning crescent Moon in a sight so breathtaking it has been depicted in art throughout all of human history. Two pairings that will knock your socks off. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Monday 3/20/06 - 1000-1030 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 # 06-17 / 1481st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/24/2006 through Sunday 4/30/2006

"Celebrate National Astronomy Day Saturday May 6th!
The Biggest And Best Yet!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Please mark Saturday May 6th 2006 as National Astronomy Day, which will be the biggest and best since we started celebrating it in 1973. And please make this a family event. Simply contact your nearest science museum or planetarium, astronomy club or observatory because everywhere across the U.S. astronomy related institutions will be participating. And since Jupiter is at opposition Astronomy Day weekend, that is at its closest, biggest and brightest to Earth for the year hundreds of institutions will be offering free telescopic viewing of the king of the planets and its Moons. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Astronomy Day evening Saturday, May 6th about two hours after Sunset facing east where the brightest thing you'll see will be the king of the planets himself 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, which seen through any telescope will simply blow you away. Especially when you realize that since our Earth is only 8,000 miles wide we could line eleven of our Earths up side by side across Jupiter's middle. Through a telescope astronomy day night you also see its four largest Moons two of them on each side of Jupiter that night. Callisto, Io, Europa and Ganymede. And incredibly three of them are actually larger than our own 2,000 mile wide Moon.

Now because Jupiter is at opposition that Astronomy Day weekend this means that it is at its closest and thus biggest and brightest for the entire year, only 410 million miles away from Earth. You see opposition simply means that Jupiter is opposite the Sun as seen from Earth so it is visible all night long. As the Sun sets in the west Jupiter rises in the east. It travels higher hour after hour until at midnight it reaches its highest point and then hour after hour slowly descends toward the west until at dawn it sets in the west just as the Sun rises in the east. This is the best time in 2006 to view it!

Plus you'll also get super telescopic views of the first quarter Moon for free. Of course there's a lot more happening on astronomy day because all day Saturday at institutions all across the U.S. All kinds of astronomy events will be planned, featuring fascinating speakers including astronauts, and NASA experts, planetarium shows, telescope and astronomy hardware and software demonstrations, Sun gazing through special solar telescopes and astronomy workshops for kids and adults alike. Plus once again Astronomy Magazine and Meade Instruments Corporation are teaming up with several science museums, planetariums, observatories and astronomy clubs offering free getting started in astronomy materials and drawings for several Meade go-to telescopes. Go to our website for a list of participating institutions and mark Saturday May 6th as one of the best family fun days you'll have all year! It'll be an out of the world experience, believe me. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#06-17 M

4/24/2006 thru 4/30/2006

"Celebrate National Astronomy Day Saturday May 6th!
The Biggest And Best Yet!"

Horkheimer: Saturday May 6th is National Astronomy Day and your nearest science center and planetarium, astronomy club and observatory will be offering all sorts of astro events including speakers and astronauts, planetarium shows, Sun gazing through solar telescopes, astronomy workshops for kids and adults. And since Jupiter is at its closest, biggest and brightest for the year that night you'll see it and its four biggest moons at their best for 2006 through telescopes for free! Plus Astronomy Magazine and Meade telescopes are giving away all kinds of free goodies. Go to our website and make this Astronomy Day super family fun day! 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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]