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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 3/20/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0814, 0815, 0816, 0817


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 08-14 / 1583rd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/07/2008 through
Sunday 4/13/2008

"Don't Miss The Mars And Gemini Twins
Cosmic Triangle"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every once in a while a planet lines up with stars or other planets and creates an eye catching cosmic triangle. And such is the case right now with the red planet Mars and the two brightest stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux. And once you understand how different these three objects are from each other you'll definitely want to rush outside and see them. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next around 10 p.m. your local time facing west where extremely close to the horizon getting ready to set you'll still be able to see the brightest constellation of winter Orion the Hunter. And to his left the brightest star we can see in the sky, Sirius the eye of his bigger dog. But directly above Orion you'll see three objects, which if connected by lines make an exquisite right triangle. The object closest to the horizon is our old friend the reddish gold planet Mars. And directly above him are the two brightest stars of the constellation Gemini the twins, Castor and Pollux, Pollux being slightly brighter. But the difference between these objects is slightly mind blowing.

Mars for instance is half the size of our planet Earth, 4,000 miles wide and relatively close cosmically speaking. In fact it takes its light only 12 minutes to reach us this week so we say it is 12 light minutes away. Pollux on the other hand is another story. It is a whopping 11 times as wide as our almost one million mile wide Sun, which means we could fit over 10 billion Mars inside it. And is so far away that it takes its light 34 years to reach us. Quite impressive huh? Besides which we recently discovered that it has a planet moving around it which is 3 times as massive as our king of the planets Jupiter. Wow!

Castor is even more impressive because even though Castor looks like one star to the naked eye it is actually a 6 star system, all of which orbit each other in pairs. Pair C consists of two stars much smaller than our Sun, which we call red dwarfs. Pair B consists of two stars, each one and a half times bigger than our Sun. But pair A consists of two stars each two times bigger than our Sun. And all six are involved with each other in an intricate cosmic ballet. And talk about distance! Castor's six stars are 52 light years away. Double wow! So there you have it. A cosmic triangle for you to see and contemplate this week and next in the west around 10 p.m. A close old friend dinky planet Mars, Pollux the brighter of Gemini's bright twin stars, 11 suns wide and Castor the dimmer twin to the naked eye, but in reality six stars waltzing together in the great beyond, perhaps to the music of the spheres? Is this a fabulous universe or what? 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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-14 M

4/07/2008 thru 4/13/2008

"Don't Miss The Mars And Gemini Twins
Cosmic Triangle"

Horkheimer: See Mars and the two brightest stars of Gemini form a cosmic triangle now! Around 10 p.m. face west and you'll see three objects which make a great triangle. Dinky 4,000 mile wide Mars is only 12 light minutes away. Pollux the brighter Gemini twin, is a whopping 11 times as wide as our Sun and could hold over 10 billion Mars and is 34 light years away. Castor, 52 light years away, is the real winner though because although Castor looks like one star it is actually three pairs of stars, all orbiting each other in a cosmic ballet. Two are smaller than our Sun, two are 1 1/2 times as big and two are twice as big. Is this a fabulous triangle or what? 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
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.j
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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 3/20/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0814, 0815, 0816, 0817


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #08-15 /1584th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/14/2008 through Sunday 4/20/2008

"Fun With The Big Dipper In April"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every April I like to remind you of how you can have fun with the Big Dipper in early evening because it is positioned in such a way that it gives credence to a very old folk saying. Plus it is so high above the horizon it can be used to easily find two 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 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 positioned so that it is pouring its imaginary water onto the Earth below. Plus because it's so high above the horizon it makes it very easy to use the three stars of the Dipper's handle as a finder to locate two wonderful stars of spring which are also very high above the horizon.

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 Arcturus", the brightest star of Bootes the Herdsman. Then if you extend that curve, that 'arc', on from Arcturus you can speed on 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 37 light years away. Which means we see the light that left it 37 years ago in 1971. Spica, however, is 7 times farther away than Arcturus 260 light years. Which means we see the light that left it 260 years ago in 1748, 28 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

But to make finding Arcturus and Spica even more special just remind yourself that when we look at them now we are really looking back in time, because when I say that Arcturus is 37 light years away I really mean that when you look at Arcturus this month you are not seeing Arcturus as it actually exists now in the present but as it actually existed 37 years ago. And when you speed on to Spica and look at it this month you are really seeing Spica not as it exists now but as it actually existed 260 years ago. Wow!

Which inevitably leads one to the question, "Is it possible that some of the stars we now see are no longer in existence?' the answer is, yes. Although we are quite sure Arcturus and Spica are still there. So some time this April between 8 and 10 p.m. find the Big Dipper as it rains down April showers for May flowers, then arc to Arcturus 37 light years away and speed on to Spica 260 light years beyond! 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-15 M

4/14/2008 thru 4/20/2008

"Fun With The Big Dipper In April"

Horkheimer: Every April it's time to play the Big Dipper game. Between 8 and 10 p.m. look north and the Big Dipper will be high above the North Star. If you use the Dipper's handle you can find two wonderful stars of spring. Simply 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 37 years ago. So we see it not as it exists now but as it existed in 1971. Spica however is so much farther away we see it as it existed 260 years ago in 1748. So arc to Arcturus then speed on to Spica. 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
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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 3/20/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0814, 0815, 0816, 0817


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-16 / 1585th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/21/2008 through Sunday 4/27/2008

"The Naked Truth About The North Star"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. If someone asked you right now to name the brightest star we can see, what would you say? The North Star? Well if you did, you're wrong. If you said Sirius you're right. Don't feel bad though because most people think the North Star is the brightest star even though there are more than 50 other stars visible to the naked eye which are even brighter. So why do so many people think that the North Star is the brightest star? Well it's probably because it's mentioned more often than any other star because its position in the sky makes it the most important star. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up facing north any night during April between the hours of 8 and 10 your local time where you'll easily see the four stars which make up the Big Dipper's cup and the three stars which make up its handle. And once you've found the Big Dipper you can use it to find the North Star. Because all you have to do is take the two stars at the end of the cup which are called the pointer stars, mentally measure the distance between them and then shoot an imaginary arrow 5 1/2 times that distance through them and that arrow will always land smack dab on the North Star. And once you've found it you'll notice that it is indeed not the brightest star in the heavens and is in fact no brighter than the two pointer stars we used to find it.

So why is it so important? Simple, #1 the North Star is always due north and #2 wherever you happen to be in the northern hemisphere it will always be the same number of degrees above the horizon as your latitude above the Earth's equator. So before the invention of the compass the North Star was extremely important to navigators and explorers to determine not only which direction north was but exactly how far north of the equator they were. And wherever you are you can also use the North Star itself to find out how far above the equator you are. You see we measure the distance from the equator to the North Pole in degrees of latitude. The equator is 0 degrees and the North Pole is 90 degrees.

We also measure the distance from any flat horizon to overhead in degrees. 0 degrees is at the horizon, 90 degrees is overhead. If you were at the North Pole the North Star would appear 90 degrees above the horizon, directly overhead. If you were in London it would appear 52 degrees above the horizon, New York, 40 degrees, Miami, 25 degrees. To see how many degrees north you are above the equator first find the North Star above a flat horizon, then hold your fist out at arm's length. A fist will measure ten degrees. So four fists means you're 40 degrees above the equator and so on. Simple and fabulous. And if you get lost at night simply look for the North Star because it will always be due north. If it's not you're either south of the equator or on the wrong planet. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-16 M

4/21/2008 thru 4/27/2008

"The Naked Truth About The North Star"

Horkheimer: Most people think the North Star is the brightest star but there are 50 other stars which are brighter. So why is it so special? Simple. You can use it to find your direction and your latitude because it is always due north. And it is always the same number of degrees above your horizon as your latitude. In London it's 52 degrees above the horizon, in New York, 40 degrees and in Miami, 25. To find it yourself look for the Big Dipper, shoot an arrow through the 2 stars at the end of the cup and it will land smack dab on the North Star. So if you're ever lost at night you'll not only be able to find due north but you'll also know how far you are above the Earth's equator. 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
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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 3/20/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0814, 0815, 0816, 0817


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-17 / 1586th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/28/2008 through Sunday 5/04/2008

"Planet #1 At Its Best Evening Viewing For 2008!
And Celebrate National Astronomy Day,
Saturday May 10th!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Have we ever got some astro goodies for you next week because not only will planet #1 be putting in its best evening appearance for the entire year but you'll also be able to easily find it by using an exquisite crescent Moon. On top of which, next Saturday May 10th is National Astronomy Day which means that astronomy clubs and planetariums and science centers all across the U.S. will be planning all sorts of special activities of an astronomical nature for the entire family. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Tuesday May 6th about 45 minutes after sunset facing west where you'll see an exquisite two day old crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a dark full Moon nestled within the crescent. And directly beneath it the elusive planet which keeps popping in and out of evening and morning skies but only for brief periods of time, planet #1 from the sun, tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury, a planet only 1,000 miles larger than our Moon. So if you've never seen planet Mercury before now is your chance because on Tuesday you can use the Moon as a finder. Make sure you look about 45 minutes after sunset because an hour later it will have set along with the Moon. And don't be surprised if it looks pink to you which is an effect caused by its always being so close to the horizon.

The pink color comes not from the planet itself but from all the dust and dirt in our Earth's atmosphere through which we see Mercury, the same reason the Sun looks so bloody red when it's close to the horizon just before it sets. Now Mercury is named after the swift Roman messenger of the gods probably because it darts in and out of sight so quickly. But unsuspected by our ancestors the name is even more appropriate because Mercury actually is the fastest moving planet. If you remember the old rule that the closer a planet is to the Sun the faster it moves take a look at planet #3 our Earth which orbits the Sun once every 365 and 1/4 days. Planet #2 Venus makes one trip around the Sun once every 225 days. But Mercury is so close to the sun it zips around it once every 88 days. So a year on Mercury is only 88 Earth days long. Wow!

So once you've found Mercury by using the Moon next Tuesday go out every night the following week at the same time and you'll see it just a little bit higher above the horizon. And on the evenings of the 13th and 14th it will reach its very highest and be at what we call greatest elongation, which simply means that it will be at its farthest distance visually from the Sun. After the 14th it slowly starts to dip a little bit lower in the heavens each night and towards the end of the month it's not only real low just after sunset but also much dimmer. So start your Mercury watch next week. And go to our website to get the latest space probe pictures of this wonderful desolate world plus more info on National Astronomy Day! 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-17 M

4/28/2008 thru 5/04/2008

"Planet #1 At Its Best Evening Viewing For 2008!
And Celebrate National Astronomy Day,
Saturday May 10th!"

Horkheimer: Saturday May 10th is National Astronomy Day. So make plans to visit your nearest science center, planetarium or astronomy club. Plus you can use the Moon to find Mercury at its best. On Tuesday the 6th just after sunset just below an exquisite crescent Moon you'll see tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury, which is only 1,000 miles larger than our Moon. It looks pink because we always see it through our Earth's dirty atmosphere. It's the fastest moving of all the planets and orbits our Sun once every 88 Earth days, which means a year on Mercury is only 88 Earth days long. It will reach its highest on the 13th and 14th. So start your Mercury watch next week. 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
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


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