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 1010
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1114, 1115, 1116, 11173


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 11-14 / 1739th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/4/2011 through
Sunday 4/10/2011

"Awesome Arcturus, Star Of A Million Years"


James: Greetings fellow stargazers! I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla plane-tarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida and I'll be your guest host this month on Star Gazer. How often have you heard the term "fixed star"? Often, I'm sure, be-cause when we look up at the constellations at night we essentially see the same star patterns which our ancestors saw thousands of years ago and which our descendants will see thousands of years hence. And indeed, for all practical visual purposes the stars are fixed, but in reality they are not. Indeed, they are all moving at incredible speeds throughout space in all different directions. But because they are so incredibly far away it takes many lifetimes to notice any changes in their positions relative to one another, except for a couple of them.

In fact, Edmund Halley for whom Halley's Comet is named, discovered almost 300 years ago that the star called Arcturus had changed its position from its location in older star charts which made Halley wonder if perhaps the stars were not as fixed as everyone thought. And he was indeed right for we now know that Arcturus changes its position among the fixed stars faster than any bright star other than alpha Centauri. But that's just one of the extraordinary things about Arcturus. And before I tell you more let me show you how to find it.

O.K., simply go outside any clear evening, look north for the Big Dipper and then use it as a guide; because to find Arcturus all you have to do is shoot an arrow through the handle of the Big Dipper and that arrow will land smack dab on Arcturus, the brightest star in Bootes. Or as any amateur astronomer will tell you, arc to Arcturus. Now once you've found Arcturus think of this: although all the other stars are in reality moving in differ-ent directions at different speeds, Arcturus' direction and speed is special because Arcturus' real space velocity is almost 90 miles per second and is moving toward the constellation Virgo. And at that incredible rate it will change its position among the stars as seen from our Earth, by the width of one full Moon every 900 years. That's fast!

So, Bootes is the one constellation that is changing its visual shape faster than all the rest except for Centaurus. So fast that I like to think of Arcturus as the star of a million years because it was only 1/2 a million years ago that Arcturus first became visible to the eyes of man. And incredibly, in just 1/2 million years more it will disap-pear from naked eye view altogether. You see, although ancient records listed Arctu-rus as the 6th brightest star in the heavens, we now see it as the 4th brightest. And in fact we who walk this planet now are seeing Arcturus as bright as any humans ever will, because right now Arcturus is about as close as it will ever come to our planet earth. Indeed it will soon, cosmically speaking, pass us by and fade away into the void forever. Just think of it, Arcturus, one of the brightest stars of our time, was invisible to our ancestors a mere half million years ago. So look for it now while it's still around, and it's easy if you just keep looking up!

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

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"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-14 M

4/04/2011 thru 4/10/2011

"Awesome Arcturus, Star Of A Million Years"

James: Hey there star gazers. Edmond Halley discovered almost 300 years ago that the star called Arcturus was moving in the sky. And we now know that Arcturus moves across the sky faster than almost any bright star. Here let me show you. Alrighty, go out any clear evening, look north for the Big Dipper. Then shoot an arrow through its handle and that arrow will land smack dab on Arcturus. We who walk this planet now are seeing Arcturus as bright as any humans ever will because right now Arcturus is about as close as it will ever come to our planet Earth. Arcturus will pass us by and fade away into the void forever. So look for it now while it's still around. It's easy if you just 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 1010
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1114, 1115, 1116, 1117


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode #11-15 /1740th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/11/2011 through Sunday 4/17/2011

"There's A New Triangle In Your Sky Next Week"


James: Hi star gazers. I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida and I'm your guest host this month on Star Gazer. You'll be able to see a bright triangle of lights in your eastern sky after sunset next week but it's not usually there. So what's up? Let me show you.

O.K. I've set up our skies for any night next week just after dark facing east. You should have no trouble seeing stars in the sky because the Moon won't be there to wash them out. The Moon will rise later each night as the week goes on so you'll have more time each night to spot this triangle of bright lights. Now I said that this triangle is not usually there. Well two of the lights are there every year at this time. They are the stars Arcturus and Spica but the third light is a wandering star, the ringed planet Saturn. Saturn wasn't in this spot in the sky last year at this time and won't be here when you look next year at the same time. You'll have to wait until spring 2040 to see Saturn, Arctu-rus and Spica do a repeat of this triangle thing and as a bonus, giant Jupiter will join them in 2040. So be sure to catch the triangle next week.

Arcturus and Spica are stars and they are much bigger than our Sun. They make their own light since they are suns and they are unbelievably much farther away. Let's take a look at dimmer Spica first. Spica has been a symbol of spring planting since ancient times. One of its many names translates as "ear of wheat". It is the brightest star of the rather arbitrarily named Virgo the Virgin. There is no strong pattern of stars showing us a human figure in Virgo. In fact Spica itself is really marking a stalk of grain held in her hand.

Spica is 250 light years away and puts out more than 10,000 times as much radiation as our Sun. Arcturus, though it's visually brighter, is actually a dimmer star than Spica. Located in the constellation Bootes the herdsman, Arcturus looks brighter only because it is so much closer, only 37 light years away compared to Spica's 250 light years. Arcturus is a single orange star 26 times wider than the sun while Spica is actually two hot blue stars that orbit very close to each other. The bigger star is about 7 times the diameter of the sun while its smaller companion is only 4 times bigger than our sun. Arcturus is 113 times brighter than the sun while Spica is a whopping 1900 times brighter.

And just to repeat what I said earlier, these two stars will be in the same place in the sky at the same time year after year as long as you live. That's not true of the third member of this trio. Saturn is the one that moves. Saturn is a planet and the word planet itself means wandering star. The ancient Greeks called them Asteres Planetes or wandering stars. This became shortened to the one word we use today "planets". Saturn like all the planets is orbiting the Sun and moves in our sky. Be-cause Saturn is the most distant planet visible with the naked eye it moves the slow-est and takes 29 1/2 Earth years to orbit the Sun one time. This means that we see Saturn move across the sky very slowly, only 12 degrees each year. Last year Saturn was here and next year it will be here. It kind of messes up the triangle doesn't 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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-15 M

4/11/2011 thru 4/17/2011

"There's A New Triangle In Your Sky Next Week"

James: Hi star gazers. I'm James Albury. You'll be able to see a bright triangle of lights in your eastern sky after sunset next week but it's not usually there. So what's up? Let me show you. O.K. I've set up our skies for any night next week just after dark facing east. Now I said that this triangle is not usually there. Well two of the lights are there every year at this time. They are the stars Arcturus and Spica but the third light is a wandering star, the ringed planet Saturn. Saturn wasn't in this spot in the sky last year at this time and won't be here when you look next year at the same time. You'll have to wait until spring 2040 to see Saturn, Arcturus and Spica do a repeat of this triangle thing. So be sure to catch it next week. Arcturus and spica are joining Saturn for a once in 30 years event. Don't miss it and 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 1010
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1114, 1115, 1116, 1117


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 11-16 / 1741st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/18/2011 through Sunday 4/24/2011

"An Ancient Drama In The Night Sky"


James: Greetings fellow stargazers! I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla Plane-tarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida and I'll be your guest host this month on Star Gazer. Over the next few weeks, in the evening sky just after sunset you'll get to see an ancient drama played out in the night sky between two great constellations, Orion the hunter and Scorpius the scorpion. You'll also be witness to a tea party of cosmic proportions. Here, let me show you!

Alrighty! Our sky is set for approximately 9:30 p.m. any night next week and in the southwestern sky you will see the constella-tion Orion. The three stars of his belt make him easy to spot. These three stars are named Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka. From where we are in the galaxy those stars appear to be in a perfect line, however, space is 3-dimensional and the center star (Alnilam) is a blue supergiant star over 1300 light years away. The two outer stars (Alnitak and Mintaka) are both multiple star systems and much closer to us, a mere 800 light years away for Alnitak and 900 light years away for Mintaka.

Orion was a fearless hunter and he once boasted that he could hunt and kill all the creatures of the earth. Gaia, the goddess of the Earth was not pleased at his boasting so she sent Scorpius the scorpion to punish him with a deadly sting. So while Orion was out hunt-ing, the scorpion stung Orion and he fell to Earth mortally wounded. So if you watch the night sky, you can see Orion gradually falling toward the western horizon, only to be pursued a few hours later by the dreaded Scorpius the scorpion.

Scorpius will be visible on the south-eastern horizon shortly after midnight local time. Its bright star Antares marks the heart of the fierce creature. Antares (also known as the "rival of Mars") is a red supergiant over 600 light years away. It's one of the largest stars in our part of the galaxy and if we were to put it in our solar system its outer edge would lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter! Wow! So, the legend has it that after Orion sets in the west, the scorpion is searching for him, starting in the southeast. All night the scorpion looks for him, but cannot find him. The next night however, Orion rises again, restored to full health, and this cosmic chase goes on night after night, year af-ter year.

Now, if you think that's exciting, there's yet another character to add to the mix, Sagittarius, the centaur archer. He's visible just to the left of Scorpius the scor-pion and he was sent to avenge the attack on Orion (his bow and arrow are aimed di-rectly at the heart of the giant scorpion). If you look closely at Sagittarius, you'll see yet another star pattern we affectionately call "The Teapot". Here, I'll show you. These 3 stars mark the lid, these 3 stars mark the spout, these 4 stars mark the body and these 4 stars mark the handle. And if you watch the sky long enough, you'll see that the teapot is gradually pouring tea on the scorpion's terrible tail. So either way, Sagittarius gets his revenge on that nasty old scorpion.

So the next time you're out-side, remember, we have not one, not two, but three constellations involved in a cos-mic drama that's played out for centuries. And that brings us just one step closer to being a part of that great universe we call home. Alrighty, well out under the stars with you my friends, and remember to 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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-16 M

4/18/2011 thru 4/24/2011

"An Ancient Drama In The Night Sky"


James: Over the next few weeks, just after sunset you'll see an ancient drama played out in the night sky between two great constellations, Orion the hunter and Scorpius the scorpion. Here, let me show you! At about 9:30 pm in the western sky you will see the constellation Orion. The three stars of his belt make him easy to spot. Orion was a fearless hunter who was stung by Scorpius the scorpion as punishment for being boastful. After Orion falls below the Earth, Scorpius the scorpion can be seen rising in the east looking for him. The bright star Antares marks the heart of the dreaded scorpion. So when you go outside tonight look for the mighty hunter Orion who becomes the prey for the giant scorpion. Remember to 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 1010
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1114, 1115, 1116, 1117


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 11-17 / 1742nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/25/2011 through Sunday 5/01/2011

"Stars, Planets And The Moon For Astronomy Day This Year"


James: Greetings fellow stargazers! I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe college in Gainesville Florida and I'll be your guest host this month on Star Gazer. Please mark Saturday May 7th 2011 as National Astronomy Day, which promises to be the biggest and best Astronomy Day 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 Saturn is at its closest, biggest and brightest to earth for the rest of the year hundreds of institutions will be offering free telescopic viewing of the ringed planet. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Astronomy Day evening Saturday, May 7th about an hour after sunset facing east where half way up the sky you'll see a large triangle of bright lights. The brightest light in the triangle is Arcturus a bright orangeish star about 37 light years away. The other light at the bottom right is the not quite as bright star, Spica, the brightest star in Virgo the Virgin. The upper right light in the triangle is the ringed planet Saturn. And Saturn is the only planet available this Astronomy Day night.

Through a telescope Saturn will reveal its beautiful rings which are widening now and they will continue to get wider over the next several years as Saturn twists and shows us more and more of them. And if you visit an astronomy club with a big telescope you may also see three of its many moons, Rhea to the left of Saturn and Tethys and Dione off to its right. All three of these moons are smaller than our own 2,000 mile wide Moon. But if you look farther to the right of Saturn however you'll spot Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. This is the best time for the rest of this year to view Saturn and its beautiful rings!

And think of this, while our Moon is 2,159 miles wide titan is almost one and a half times bigger 3,200 miles wide, whereas Saturn minus its rings is a whopping 75,000 miles wide! So for Saturn and Titan to appear as small as they do from Earth, they must be much farther away. And such is the case. Indeed, on Astronomy Day night the Moon will be only 238,000 miles away while Saturn and Titan will be a whopping 817 million miles away.

Plus if you turn and face west you'll get super telescopic views of a five day old Moon for free. And although all such moons are very bright and beautiful to the naked eye you'll be astonished at how much detail you can see through even the smallest telescope because the shadows created by the Sun on the mountains and craters are absolutely breathtaking. So be sure to ask your hosts to let you peak at the Moon on Astronomy Day night.

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 Celestron Corporation are teaming up with several science museums, planetariums, observatories and astronomy clubs offering free "getting started in astronomy" materials plus drawings for Celestron telescopes. Go to our website for a list of participating institutions and mark Saturday May 7th as one of the best family fun days you'll have all year! It'll be an out of this world experience, believe me. 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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-17 M

4/25/2011 thru 5/01/2011

"Stars, Planets And The Moon For Astronomy Day This Year"


Dean: The ringed planet Saturn is replacing Jupiter as the big planet in the evening sky and the Moon will put on quite a show next week as she visits the Seven Sisters. Let me show you.
O.K., we've got our skies set up for just after dark, any night next week, facing east. You'll notice two bright star like objects not far above the horizon. The brighter one to the left is a star, Arcturus and the slightly dimmer, yellowish object to the right is Saturn. If you can't tell a planet from a star, ask yourself, "Does it twinkle?". Stars will twinkle while planets won't. Try it yourself. Turn around and face west on Monday night April 4th just after sunset and you'll see a one day old Moon below the Pleiades. Tuesday at the same time the Moon will be closer to the Pleiades. Then on Wednesday the Moon will be just below the Pleiades. I'm Dean Regas from the Cincinnati Observatory reminding you to 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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