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 STAH 810
Friday March 20, 2009, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0914, 0915, 0916, 0917


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

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.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 09-14 / 1635th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/06/2009 through
Sunday 4/12/2009

"See Planet #1 At Its Very Best
For The Entire Year!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. If you've never seen the most elusive of all the naked eye planets this is the month to do so because planet #1 will be easier to find this month than any time this year. The reason it is so elusive is because it is the closest planet to the Sun and completes one trip around the Sun once every 88 Earth days, which means that it quickly changes its place with respect to the Sun as seen from Earth and never gets very far away from it. So it's usually lost in the Sun's glare. When it's on one side of the Sun it is visible only for a couple weeks after sunset and when it's on the other side of the Sun it is visible only for a couple of weeks before sunrise.

Plus it seldom ever gets very high above the horizon, which is why we call it the pink planet because we always see it through our Earth's dusty and dirty, horizon hugging, lower layers of atmosphere which makes it appear pink, although it really isn't. It's also called the iron planet because it has more iron in its core than even our Earth does. It is the smallest planet only 3,000 miles wide, which makes it only a thousand miles bigger than our 2,000 mile wide Moon, and much smaller than our 8,000 mile wide Earth. In fact we could line up 2 2/3 Mercurys across our Earth's middle.

It's called Mercury for the ancient Roman messenger of the gods who had wings on his heels and was the fastest of all the gods and was designated to carry messages between them. So not coincidentally, the NASA spacecraft which has been currently visiting Mercury for the past few months is also named Messenger and has been sending back some of the most spectacular picture messages we've ever seen of this wonderful tiny world. Let me show you how to find it.

It will be at its best from about April 10th to the 30th. Simply look west northwest any night about 45 minutes after sunset and although it will be at its brightest next week it will continue to climb higher and higher each night and will reach its greatest height above the horizon on Sunday the 26th. And although it won't be as bright on the 26th it will be very easy to find because an exquisite two day old Moon will hover just above it. And sandwiched in between Mercury and the Moon will be the fabled Pleiades, the Seven Sisters.

So you can use the Moon and the Seven Sisters to find Mercury. Plus on Monday the 27th Mercury will cuddle up right beside the Seven Sisters in a super close meeting, a perfect sight in binoculars. And for those of you who have small telescopes you'll have fun watching Mercury grow in size and change its shape throughout the month. On the 15th it will look like a tiny gibbous shaped Moon and night after night it will grow in size but get skinnier in shape and will eventually become a wonderful crescent. So start your Mercury watch next week and see it climb higher and higher every single night. And on Sunday the 26th watch it form a wonderful trio with a crescent Moon and the Seven Sisters. Keep looking up!

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Star Gazer Minute

#09-14 M

4/06/2009 thru 4/12/2009

"See Planet #1 At Its Very Best
For The Entire Year!"

Horkheimer: Planet #1 will be easier to find this month than any other time this year. From April 10th to the 30th face west northwest 45 minutes after sunset and you can watch it climb higher and higher each night until it reaches its greatest height on Sunday the 26th when an exquisite crescent Moon and the star cluster called the Seven Sisters will hover just above it. Look at it through a pair of binoculars and watch it change its shape eventually looking like a tiny crescent Moon itself. It looks pink because we always see it through Earth's dusty, horizon hugging, lower layers of atmosphere. And at 3,000 miles wide it is only 1000 miles wider than our Moon. In fact we could line up 2 2/3 Mercurys across our Earth's middle. See Mercury at its best for the year. Keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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 STAH 810
Friday March 20, 2009, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0914, 0915, 0916, 0917


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core


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.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #09-15 /1636th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/13/2009 through Sunday 4/19/2009

"Moon Hop To Find Jupiter, Venus And Mars
And An Occult Occurrence For Some Of You"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Starting this Sunday April 19th you will be able to use the Moon to find planet #5, planet #4 and planet #2. Plus on Wednesday the 22nd the Moon will occult planet #2 in the western part of the United States, which means that it will pass directly in front of it and hide it which is always exciting to watch. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday April 19th about 45 minutes before sunrise facing east where smack dab in front of you, will be the brightest of all the planets, planet #2, same size as our 8,000 mile wide planet Earth, the planet named for the Roman goddess of love, Venus. And directly below it very close to the horizon and much, much dimmer, the planet which is only half the size of Earth and Venus, the 4,000 mile wide rouge gold planet named for the Roman god of war. Mars.

Then up to their right in the southeast a super beautiful meeting between a 23 day old, 2,000 mile wide crescent Moon and the second brightest planet of them all, named for the Roman king of the gods, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. Believe me this pairing of the Moon and Jupiter will be absolutely beautiful. And if you have a small telescope use it, please.

24 hours later on Monday the 20th a slightly slimmer crescent Moon will have moved past Jupiter but will still create a beautiful picture with Jupiter to its right and Venus to its left. And 24 hours later on Tuesday the 21st it will be just past half way between Jupiter and Venus and on its way to a spectacular meeting on the 22nd. Indeed mark Wednesday morning the 22nd as the morning you must go out before sunrise and see an extremely thin 26 day old crescent Moon parked right next to and almost on top of Venus.

In fact in some parts of the U.S. the Moon will actually glide over Venus just before the Sun rises, a sight you absolutely have to see either naked eye or with binoculars or a small telescope. This event is called an occultation and unfortunately the eastern United States will not see any of it, although they will see the Moon super close to Venus making a breathtaking picture. Get out your cameras, please. This occultation will be visible in the Midwest if you know where to look just after sunrise. Binoculars will help but make sure you don't aim them at the Sun. In the western U.S. The occultation begins in twilight and ends just as the Sun comes up. But ta da! All throughout California and the Baja the entire occultation begins and ends in twilight and will absolutely knock your socks off!

Once again on Sunday the Moon is to the right of Jupiter, Monday past Jupiter, Tuesday half way between Jupiter and Venus and on Wednesday the super sensational I-can't -believe -it meeting of Venus and our Earth's closest neighbor. This is one time I really wish I was living in the Golden State. You may be down economically, California but, cosmically, you've got it all over the rest of us on the 22nd! Go to our website for the nitty gritty and keep looking up!

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

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"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

Star Gazer Minute

#09-15 M

4/13/2009 thru 4/19/2009

"Moon Hop To Find Jupiter, Venus And Mars
And An Occult Occurrence For Some Of You"

Horkheimer: From Sunday the 19th to Wednesday the 22nd you can watch a shrinking crescent Moon travel from the second brightest planet to the brightest. On Sunday 45 minutes before sunrise face east and you'll see the brightest, 8000 mile wide Venus and up to its right the second brightest, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter which will be paired with an exquisite 2,000 mile wide Moon. On Monday a skinnier Moon heads for Venus, on Tuesday it is half way between Venus and Jupiter and ta da! on Wednesday it is so close to Venus, it will take your breath away. Don't miss this Moon journey between Jupiter and Venus culminating on the 22nd in one of the closest meetings between the Moon and Venus you'll ever see! Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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 STAH 810
Friday March 20, 2009, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0914, 0915, 0916, 0917


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core


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.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 09-16 / 1637th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/20/2009 through Sunday 4/26/2009

"Mercury At Its Best For 2009 Joined By
The Moon And The Seven Sisters
Plus Celebrate National Astronomy Day
On Saturday May 2nd"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. This Sunday you'll have an opportunity to find planet #1 at its best for the entire year by using the Moon and the Seven Sisters, which will make a fabulous visual threesome. Plus mark Saturday May 2nd as National Astronomy, fun for the whole family, Day.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday night April 26th about 45 minutes after sunset facing west northwest where you will see an exquisite crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a dark full Moon nestled within the crescent and just below it the tiny star cluster known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters and just below it the most difficult of all the naked eye planets to find but easy to find this Sunday by using the Moon and the Seven Sisters.

It is the tiniest planet of them all, planet #1 from the sun, 3,000 mile wide Mercury, only a thousand miles wider than our Moon. And if it looks pink to you don't worry because it's called the pink planet even though it really isn't pink at all. We call Mars the red planet because it actually has a reddish color to its soil. But Mercury appears pink due to the fact that it never ever gets very high above the horizon, so we always look at it through dusty and dirty layers of our Earth's atmosphere which gives it a pink coloration. The dirtier the atmosphere the pinker it will look.

So if you've never seen Mercury before you can make sure you've seen it this Sunday simply by looking below the crescent Moon and the Seven Sisters. And might I suggest you get out a pair of binoculars or a small telescope to really make this sighting even more fun because you may be surprised to see Mercury looking like a tiny crescent Moon smaller than our own crescent Moon directly above it. And here is something to think about. Our Earth is 93 million miles away from the Sun and takes 365 1/4 Earth days to make one trip around it. Mercury however is only 36 million miles away from the sun and makes one trip every 88 Earth days. And since one trip around the Sun equals one year if you are ten years old on planet Earth you would be 41 1/2 years old on Mercury. Which makes it safe to say you should probably never ask a Mercury maiden her age.

Mercury is actually the fastest moving of all the planets. In fact whereas our Earth moves 67,000 miles per hour in its orbit Mercury zips around the Sun at the breakneck speed of 107,000 miles per hour. Wow! So look for Mercury this Sunday when it will be almost as high as it ever gets and super easy to find. And now let me remind you to check your local astronomy clubs, science centers and planetariums to see what they're planning for National Astronomy Day, Saturday May 2nd, which is always great fun for the whole family. Win prizes and look through telescopes and bump elbows with people who just love stargazing. Check our website for the nitty gritty and keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-16 M

4/20/2009 thru 4/26/2009

"Mercury At Its Best For 2009 Joined By
The Moon And The Seven Sisters
Plus Celebrate National Astronomy Day
On Saturday May 2nd"

Horkheimer: The pink planet, planet #1 is at its best for the year this month. On Sunday April 26th about 45 minutes after sunset face west and you'll see an exquisite crescent Moon, just below it the tiny star cluster called the Seven Sisters and just below it, the smallest planet, planet #1, 3,000 mile wide Mercury only a thousand miles wider than our Moon. It is the fastest moving planet and makes one trip around the Sun every 88 Earth days. And since one trip around the Sun equals one year if you're ten years old on planet Earth you'd be 41 _ years old on Mercury. Never ask anyone from Mercury their age. Get out your binoculars for a super view of Mercury, the Moon and the Seven Sisters this Sunday. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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:

Half Hour Feed STAH 810
Friday March 20, 2009, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0914, 0915, 0916, 0917


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

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.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 09-17 / 1638th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/27/2009 through Sunday 5/03/2009

"Use The Moon This Astronomy Day Weekend
To Find Springtime's Leo The Lion And Everyone's
Favorite, Saturn"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Let me remind you again that this Saturday May 2 is National Astronomy Day all across the U.S. which means that planetariums and science centers and astronomy clubs will be hosting all sorts of stargazing events for amateurs including fascinating shows, lectures, demonstrations, telescope observing at the Sun in the day time and at the stars and planets at night and opportunities to win all sorts of door prizes including telescopes. Go to our website for more info and a listing of astronomy clubs near you. And now let me show you some fascinating things you'll be able to see on this special astronomy weekend right after sundown.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Saturday Astronomy Day night just after sunset facing south where high above the horizon you'll see an exquisite just past first quarter Moon. And if you've never seen a Moon like this through a telescope you'll be absolutely flabbergasted because the detail will be exquisite especially along the line called the terminator which marks the divide between night and day time on the Moon. So if you're at an astronomy club event please ask someone to show you the Moon through a telescope.

You'll also be able to use the Moon on Saturday to find the brightest star of springtime's Leo the Lion. The bright stars in the front part of Leo, if connected by lines, make a sickle shape or backwards question mark and three stars in the rear make up his rear, which if connected by lines make a perfect right triangle. Now close to the Moon Saturday night you will see Regulus, the bright blue star which marks Leo's heart. And down to Regulus' and the Moon's left just below Leo's rear you will see the exquisite ringed planet Saturn. And on Saturday night Saturn, Regulus and the Moon will themselves form a wonderful triangle. And make sure you ask someone to show you Saturn through a telescope too.

And think of this as you gaze up at these three objects. Even though our Moon looks the biggest, it is actually the smallest only 2,000 miles wide. Super dinky compared to Saturn because we could line up 82 Moons from one edge of Saturn's rings to the other. Regulus, however is another story. In fact it is so huge we could line up over 2000 Moons across its middle. Wow!

And although our three friends look close to each other Saturday night they really aren't. Indeed our Moon will be only 233 thousand miles away while Saturn will be a whopping 820 million miles away. Regulus however will be 460 trillion miles away. That's 560 thousand times farther away than Saturn! Plus on Sunday night the Moon will move super close to Saturn making a super duo! So celebrate National Astronomy Day weekend with a celestial threesome! Your kids will love it. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-17 M

4/27/2009 thru 5/03/2009

"Use The Moon This Astronomy Day Weekend
To Find Springtime's Leo The Lion And Everyone's
Favorite, Saturn"

Horkheimer: On National Astronomy Day this Saturday the 2nd our Moon will team up with Leo's heart star and the ringed planet. And if you go to your nearest astronomy club, science center or planetarium they may let you see them through their telescopes. Just after sunset face south and an exquisite gibbous Moon will be parked next to Regulus, Leo's brightest star and to their left will be ringed Saturn. Now although the Moon looks like the biggest, it is really the smallest, only 2,000 miles wide. Saturn is so huge we could line up 82 Moons across it! But Regulus is so gigantic we could line up over two thousand Moons across it! Go to our website for a list of astronomy day participants. It's fun for the whole family and you may even win a telescope! Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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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