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. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

PBS Transponder 512 GE 3

4/26/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from:

NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

If you mail them a VHS video cassette they will duplicate the current set of shows for you.



 

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR GAZER Episode # 99-14

1113th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/5/99 through Sunday 4/11/99

"A New Way To Use The Big Dipper, And

Venus Pays A Visit To the Seven Sisters"


Greetings! Greetings! Fellow stargazers and let me again remind you that during the last week of this month Mars will be closer to Earth and brighter than it's been since 1990. And you can watch it grow steadily brighter night after night, so let me show you an easy and fun way to find it. O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night the next couple of weeks between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. your local time and if you look just a little bit to the right of due North you will see our old friend the Big Dipper, 4 stars trace out its cup, 3 stars make up its handle.

Now as you regular star gazers of many years may remember, I've often said that in early April in early evening the Big Dipper is always positioned in such a way that its water would be pouring out of the cup on to the ground below, a kind of celestial metaphor for that old saying "April Showers Bring May Flowers". I also know that many of you regular Star Gazers remember that old trick about using the handle of the Big Dipper to find two other very famous objects in the heavens. But let me show you once again: Simply draw a line through the curving handle of the Dipper and extend that same gentle curve, that same gentle arc and arc to the bright orangeish red star Arcturus.

Then if you continue that gentle arcing line you will speed on to Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, the Virgin. Once again, arc to Arcturus, speed on to Spica. But this month we'll give that old phrase a new twist because after we speed on to Spica we'll move on to Mars, which with Arcturus and Spica will form a lovely celestial triangle for the next few weeks as Mars gets brighter and brighter. And while you're out there please compare night after night the colors of Arcturus and Mars which to some appear quite similar, kind of a reddish-orangeish pumpkin color, keeping in mind of course, that usually Mars and Arcturus are about the same brightness but that this month Mars will blow Arcturus away, at least visually as seen from planet Earth because Mars will be 4 million times closer. Also keep in mind that whereas Mars is a 4 thousand mile wide planet, Arcturus is an 18 million mile wide star which means that it would take over 4 thousand Mars' lined up in a row to reach from one side of Arcturus to the other. Wow!

And now for something really beautiful which you can see for four nights starting this Saturday night the 10th. Simply go outside about an hour after sunset, look west and there you'll see the exquisite planet Venus, the goddess of love, paying a visit to the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. On the next 2 nights, Sunday the 11th and Monday the 12th, Venus and the Seven Sisters will be at their closest and on Tuesday the 13th Venus will move on in preparation for a spectacular cosmic rendezvous the following weekend, which I'll tell you all about next week. So until then, get thee outside, arc to Arcturus, speed on to Spica, then move on to Mars and watch 8 great ladies exchange cosmic greetings as you Keep Looking Up.

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-14 M

4/5/99 thru 4/11/99

"How To Find Mars Using The Big Dipper"

 

Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". Since Mars will be at its brightest and closest to Earth since 1990 at the end of this month it's really fun to watch it grow brighter night after night. And I can show you an easy way to find it. Simply go outside between 8 and 9 p.m. look North and there you will see the Big Dipper. Draw an imaginary line through the curved arc of the handle and arc to the bright star Arcturus, continue that line and speed on to the bright star Spica, then simply move over to Mars. And you'll notice that Arcturus, Spica and Mars form an interesting triangle. Once again: arc to Arcturus, speed on to Spica, then move over to Mars and you'll see it grow brighter every night if you just Keep looking Up!

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here


* 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. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

PBS Transponder 512 GE 3

4/26/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


 

Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

If you mail them a VHS video cassette they will duplicate the current set of shows for you.

 





Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


 

STAR GAZER Episode #99-15


1114th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/12/99 through Sunday 4/18/99

"The Weekend Of Nine Cosmic Ladies and

The Great Red Star"


Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers and while we have a very special weekend coming up, first let me remind you once again to go out at least a couple of nights a week for the next two weeks just after sunset and look east where you will be able to watch the incredible red planet Mars grow brighter and brighter until it reaches its brightest and closest that it's been since 1990, the final week of this month. Indeed, I intend to go out every clear night I get just to watch it grow steadily brighter and brighter because it is indeed a wonderful, wonderful thing to see, plus if you look in the opposite direction this Saturday and Sunday nights you will see an extra cosmic attraction because this weekend 9 cosmic ladies, the Moon, the planet Venus and the Seven Sisters will form an incredible celestial grouping with a giant red star. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Saturday evening, the 17th at dusk or just just after it gets dark out where you will see an exquisite crescent Moon close to the horizon and directly above it, the brilliant planet Venus, and about half way between them, just off to the right, the tiny cluster of stars called the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. Nine lovely ladies, nine cosmic female principals in an exquisite setting. And to their left, representing one of the fiercest male principals of the sky, the red star Aldebaran which marks the eye of the mythical Taurus the Bull. and while the Pleiades always travel in company with Aldebaran across the sky, nevertheless it is a rare and lovely occasion when both a new crescent Moon complete with earthshine and the brilliant planet named for the goddess of love, Venus, all meet together. Don't miss this on Saturday, April 17th.

But if you do you'll see an even more beautiful and wonderful grouping the following night, Sunday the 18th, when the new crescent Moon complete with the old moon in her arms will have moved up and directly next to the great red star. In fact this will be the kind of cosmic picture anyone would love to photograph. But no photograph could ever do this sight justice, especially if you wait until it's gotten completely dark out, about an hour and a half after sunset, because then all these objects will be much brighter and absolutely breathtaking against a dark, dark sky. And keep this in mind as you look at them: while on this night the Moon is a 2 thousand mile wide world less than a quarter of a million miles away, Venus is an 8 thousand mile wide world 104 million million miles away. Aldebaran, on the other hand, is a 30 million mile wide cool red star 65 light years beyond, while The Pleiades is a cluster of very hot blue stars 400 light years beyond. Wow! So get thee out this weekend to see an exquisite meeting of 9 cosmic ladies and a great red star, which is easy if you Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-15 M

4/12/99 thru 4/18/99

"The Weekend Of Nine Cosmic Ladies

and A Great Red Star"

 

Horkheimer:Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". This weekend you can see an exquisite meeting of 9 cosmic ladies and a great red star. Go out Saturday evening the 17th just after it gets dark out, look west and grouped together you'll see a beautiful crescent Moon, directly above it the planet Venus and about halfway between them, to the right, the star cluster called The Seven Sisters, and to the left, the giant red star Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull. But Sunday night's even better because then the crescent Moon, complete with earthshine, will be snuggled up right next to the great red star. A 2 thousand mile wide Moon and a 30 million mile wide star accompanied by brilliant Venus and the Seven Sisters. A fabulous sight if you just Keep Looking Up!

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here




 
* 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. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

PBS Transponder 512 GE 3

4/26/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

If you mail them a VHS video cassette they will duplicate the current set of shows for you.




Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



STAR GAZER Episode # 99-16


1115th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 4/19/99 through Sunday 4/25/99

"Mars At Opposition This Week!

Closest And Brightest Since 1990!"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and yes indeed, this week on Saturday the 24th, Mars is officially at opposition which means that for the next two weeks Mars is at its brightest and closest since 1990 and it will be visible in the sky all night long from sunset to sunrise. Now when a planet is at opposition it simply means that that planet is in the sky in the opposite direction of the Sun. Which further means that as the Sun sets in the west the planet at opposition, in this case Mars, will rise in the east and will then slowly climb higher and higher during early evening hours until it reaches its highest point at midnight, after which it will slowly descend toward the western horizon and will set as the Sun comes up in the east.

Now astronomers always like it whenever a planet is at opposition because it means that they can view it with their telescopes all night long and that they'll be able to see it much better because it will be closer and much brighter than usual. For instance, exactly one year ago this week, Mars was 227 million miles away from earth. This week however, it is only 54 million miles away, 173 million miles closer, which means that if you have a small telescope you should actually be able to see one of its polar caps. And talk about brighter, Mars is actually 15 times brighter than it was one year ago. Wow!

To find it simply go outside any night for the next couple of weeks about an hour after it gets dark out, look east/southeast and there you'll see it, shining a bright orangeish pumpkin color, and I'd like you to take note of a bluish/white star just up to its right which is the brightest star of Virgo the Virgin, the star Spica, because Spica and Mars will ride across the sky together all night long. Additionally, if you observe Mars night after night you'll be able to watch it nightly move closer and closer to Spica, and on June 5th will reach its closest and be only 2 degrees away from it.

Then something interesting will happen, because during the second week of June, Mars will appear to reverse its direction and move eastward among the stars, which is its normal motion. And if you watch it at least one night a week for the next few months you will be able to see Mars slowly move beyond the constellation Virgo, through the constellation Libra and on September 17th pay a close visit to the star which the ancients called the rival of Mars, the orange/red star Antares, the heart star of Scorpius the Scorpion. Indeed, the name Antares means the "Rival of Mars" and when the two of them are close together you'll be amazed how much alike they look. But for now you may wish to compare Mars' color to another bright red/orange star, the star Arcturus which is up and to Mars' left. Indeed, many say that Arcturus also rivals Mars colorwise. So get thee outside to see Mars at opposition and watch it travel across the sky all night long with Spica and Arcturus which is fun if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#99-16 M

4/19/99 thru 4/25/99

"Mars At Opposition This Week!"

 

Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". If you've never seen Mars before, this week and next is the time to see it because this week Mars is at opposition and is at its closest and brightest since 1990. Indeed it is 173 million miles closer to us than it was one year ago and a whopping 15 times brighter. To find it, go outside one hour after sunset and there you'll see it rising in the east/southeast, a bright orangeish pumpkin color and you can watch it travel across the sky all night long with the bright star Arcturus which some say rivals Mars in color. And if you've got a small telescope you may even be able to see one of Mars' polar ice caps. It's fun if you just Keep Looking Up!


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here


* 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. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

PBS Transponder 512 GE 3

4/26/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

If you mail them a VHS video cassette they will duplicate the current set of shows for you.





Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


 

 

STAR GAZER Episode #99-17


1116th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 4/26/99 through Sunday 5/2/99

"The Truth About The North Star

and How To Find It"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and if someone asked you right now to name the brightest star we can see from planet Earth what would you say? Well, if you said the North Star, you're wrong. If you said Sirius, you're right. But don't feel bad if you said the North Star because most people actually believe that the North Star is the brightest star, when in fact there are 50 other stars visible to the naked eye which are brighter. So why do so many people think the North Star is the brightest star? Well, I think that people have heard so much about the North Star that they assume it's the brightest when in fact it is really the most important star, at least for practical uses by mankind. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up so that we're facing due north any night during the month of May between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m. your local time where you should be able to see the Big Dipper, the 4 stars that make up its cup and the 3 stars that make its handle and if you want to find the North Star for your self 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, then shoot an arrow 5 1/2 times that distance through them and that arrow will always point to the North Star. Or if you prefer, hold your fist out at arm's length and the North Star will be 3 fists away from the 2 Pointer Stars.

Now once you've found it you'll notice the North Star is no brighter than the Pointer Stars, so why is it so important? Well I'll give you a clue: The North Star is also called Polaris because it is the closest bright star to the north celestial pole which simply means that if we could stand at the North Pole, the North Star, Polaris would be directly overhead, which further means that it is directly above the Earth's axis. Now if you think of the Earth's axis as a huge nail we could insert at the south pole and which would go all the way through the Earth and come out the North Pole and extend out into space; that nail, the Earth's axis, would point to the North Star which further means that as the Earth turns on its axis all the stars in the heavens would seem to move except one... the star directly above the Earth's axis, Polaris the North Star. That's why Polaris, the North Star is so important.

You see it is the only star which remains stationary in the heavens while all the other stars slowly circle around it. It is always due North, so before the invention of the compass this star was extremely important to navigators and explorers to determine direction. In fact, if you're lost at night and don't know which direction you're headed, simply find the Big Dipper, then use the Pointer Stars to find the North Star and for as long as you live the North Star will always be due North. And if it's not, you're on the wrong planet, which isn't likely if you Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-17 M

4/26/99 thru 5/2/99

"The North Star and How To Find It"

 

Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". You know most people think the North Star is the brightest star, but actually there are 50 stars which are brighter. So why is it so important? Simple. It is the only star which appears stationary in the heavens and is always due North so ancient explorers and navigators could always find directions by using it. And you can too. Simply find the Big Dipper, then take the two stars at the end of the cup, which are called the Pointer Stars, mentally measure the distance between them, then shoot an arrow 5 1/2 times that distance through them and that arrow will always point to the North Star. So if you ever get lost at night now you know how to find North if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here


* 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]