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:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Fri 7/18/03 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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

STAR GAZER

Episode # 03-31 / 1339th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/04/2003 through
Sunday 8/10/2003

"Use The Moon To Find Mars As Mars
Races For its Closest Meeting In
Almost 60,000 Years : Plus
Sorry About The Perseids"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and mark August 2003 as the best month for Mars in almost 60,000 years because on August 27th Mars will be closer to Earth and brighter than it's been since 57,617 b.c. And although it is the brightest object in late evening skies other than the Moon, if you are one of those people who still has a hard time finding the planets then you can use the Moon next Tuesday and Wednesday to find it. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Tuesday August 12th, an hour after sunset facing east southeast where the brightest thing you will see will be the August full Moon which traditionally is called the Green Corn or Grain Moon. And off to its left you'll see an absolutely brilliant ruby-gold light, which is the planet Mars racing toward us at a speed of 7500 miles per hour and getting 180,000 miles closer every single day. So if you haven't done so already start your Mars watch next Tuesday because the Moon will make it so easy to find. And as you look up at the Moon and Mars next Tuesday I'd like you to think of this. Our Moon appears much bigger and brighter than Mars only because it is so close. In fact, our Moon is only one half the size of Mars, only 2,000 miles wide compared to Mars' 4,000 mile width. And whereas our Moon next Tuesday will be only 238,000 miles away, Mars will be a whopping 35 million 974 thousand miles away, and getting closer every minute, every hour and every day.

In fact if you go out at the same time Wednesday night the 13th you will see that the Moon has moved to the other side of Mars but Mars will be 174,000 miles closer. And although you won't notice a great deal of change in brightness from one day to the next, Mars will be almost 50% brighter by August 27th. Now for those of you who have small telescopes, get out your telescope now or find a friend who has one because at a mere 100 power Mars will look almost as big through a telescope eyepiece as the Moon does to the naked eye. Plus if you've been telescoping since June you'll notice that Mars has gotten much bigger and that its south polar ice cap which was quite visible in early June is shrinking as summer comes to Mars' southern hemisphere.

For really detailed information on what you can expect to see through a small telescope go to our website www.jackstargazer.com where we have chosen some of the best links for the beginning Mars gazer. And, by the way, in case you're wondering why we're not promoting the annual Perseid meteor shower which occurs every year around August 12th it's simply because the Moon is full this year at the peak of the Perseids and its bright light will wipe out 90% of them. However, if you stay up all night August 12th and watch the Moon and Mars slowly glide across the sky together you do have an outside chance of seeing one or two bright ones. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-31M

8/04/2003 thru 8/10/2003

"Use The Moon To Find Mars"

Horkheimer: On August 27th Mars will be closer to Earth and brighter than it's been in almost 60,000 years. And even though it's the brightest object in late evening skies right now you can use the Moon next week to find it. On Tuesday look for the august full Moon. And off to its left you'll see brilliant ruby-gold Mars; which is racing towards us at a speed of 7,500 miles per hour and getting 180,000 miles closer every day. On Wednesday the Moon will have moved to the other side of Mars. And if you've got a small telescope, at only 100 power, Mars will look almost as big as the Moon does to the naked eye. Go to www.jackstargazer.com for more and Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


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. 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!

Fri 7/18/03 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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



 

STAR GAZER

Episode #03-32 /1340th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/11/2003 through Sunday 8/17/2003

"Mars Continues Racing Towards Us
For Its August 27th Meeting And
The Moon Meets the Ringed Planet"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and as you regular viewers know we are in the home stretch for Mars as it races towards Earth for its closest meeting on August 27th since 57,617 b.c. It's already out dazzling everything else in the night sky so let's take a closer look at it and the only other planet visible to the naked eye right now, the 6th planet Saturn which on Friday morning the 24th will make an exquisite picture with a waning crescent moon. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the beginning of this week Monday August 11th around 10 p.m. Facing east southeast where the brightest thing you'll see in the sky other than the moon is 4,000 mile wide Mars which this week is racing towards us at an average speed of 5,600 miles per hour which means that every minute it gets 93 miles closer. And in fact, in just one weeks time as you regular view from Monday the 11th through Sunday the 17th Mars will be 939,000 miles closer and only 35 1/4 million miles away. Wow!

In fact, Mars will be 75% brighter on August 27th than it was last week on August 1st. And it will be closer than anyone has seen it since the Neanderthals, only 34, 646, 418 miles away. In fact, you'll notice that it's visibly brighter at the end of this week than when this week began. And we'll keep you posted and tell you the real reasons Mars is so much closer now than it was way back when in our next two episodes. But if you can't wait you can get a preview by going to our website www.jackstargazer.com where you can not only read our scripts but can also see our shows in streaming video before they air. Plus we'll give you some of the hottest Mars links around.

But lest you think that Mars is the only planet worthy of your attention this month if you go out next week Friday the 22nd just before dawn look east and you'll see an exquisite slender sliver of a waning crescent moon just above a bright light which seen through a telescope reveals itself to be the 75,000 mile wide 6th planet out from the sun ringed Saturn; which seen through even a cheap department store telescope will take your breath away. And the next day, Saturday morning the 23rd , an even skinnier crescent moon will hover side by side this wondrous planet making an exquisite sky duo. On Sunday the 24th an even skinnier crescent will be just below Saturn and parked right next to Pollux one of the two brightest stars of Gemini, the other being Castor. And on Monday August 25th you'll see one of the prettiest waning crescents ever in pre-dawn twilight. Once again, Friday the 22nd, then Saturday the 23rd the Moon and Saturn meet, Sunday the 24th and Monday the 25th: Saturn and the Moon in the morning and the incredible ever brightening approach of Mars every night. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.



Star Gazer Minute

#03-32 M

8/18/2003 thru 8/24/2003

"Mars Continues Its Race Toward Earth"

Horkheimer: On August 27th Mars will be closer and brighter than anyone's seen it since 57,617 b.c. And it's already out-dazzling everything else in the night sky. This week around 10 p.m. face east-southeast and you'll see ruby gold 4,000 mile wide Mars racing towards us at a speed of 5,600 miles per hour which means it gets 93 miles closer every minute. In fact, in just one week from the 11th to the 17th, Mars will come 939,000 miles closer and be only 35 1/4 million miles away with only one million miles to go until it's closest on the 27th. In fact Mars will be 75 % brighter on the 27th than it was on the 1st. Go to www.jackstargazer.com for more and Keep Looking Up!

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


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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. 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!

Fri 7/18/03 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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



STAR GAZER

Episode # 03-33 / 1341st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 8/18/2003 through Sunday 8/24/2003

"Only One Week To Go Until Mars
Reaches Its Brightest Any
Living Human Has Ever Seen It"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow Mars watchers and as some of you regular viewers may recall we made a very special announcement concerning Mars on the 25th Anniversary of Star Gazer in November 2001. You see back then all the experts knew that on August 27th , 2003 Mars would be closer to Earth and brighter than it's been in several hundred years. But no one had really done any hard research as to exactly when Mars was this close and this bright before. So we decided at Star Gazer to commission some experts to run special computer programs to determine when Mars was this bright. And shockingly they discovered that Mars hadn't been this close since 57, 538 b.c. ; but last year some experts disagreed and ran other orbit programs with the result that we've had to revise our original figure by adding 79 years to it. So we can now say that Mars hasn't been this close since 57,617 b.c. ; either way you look at it Mars hasn't been this close in almost 60,000 years. And it is so bright right now it will knock your sox off. But before we show you how to find it let's see just how far Mars has traveled over the past year.

O.K., if we could look down at Earth and Mars we would see that Earth is the 3rd planet out from the Sun at an approximate distance of 93 million miles. And that Mars is the 4th planet at an average distance of 142 million miles. But because Mars and Earth move at different speeds in their orbits they come close to each other only once every 26 months. In August 2002 Mars was a whopping 248 million miles away from Earth, but each month it got closer and closer and brighter and brighter. On New Year's Day, 2003 it was only 190 million miles away. But by the 1st of June it was only 70 million miles away; on July 1st, 52 million and on August 1st, 39 million. But next week on the 27th it will be only 34 1/2 million miles from Earth; which means that it will be 213 million miles closer than it was a year ago. And amazingly it will be a whopping 69 times brighter. Wow! To see it simply look southeast about an hour after Sunset and it will be a dazzling, reddish, orange, gold. It will slowly climb the sky and reach its highest point due south around midnight and then drift down toward the southwest where it will set near sunrise.

Now there is no way we can show you on television with either photographs or animation just how bright and unusual Mars will look. It is something you absolutely have to see with the naked eye. And you can see it from even the most brilliantly lit up cities provided it's clear out. And if you have a small telescope or a friend who has one, you will actually be able to see markings on Mar's surface. In fact amateur astronomers all over the world have been photographing Mars every single day for the past several months. Make a point to look at Mars this week and next, but especially the night of August 27th because this is a once in a lifetime experience. Indeed, if you've never done it before, please Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-33 M

8/18/2003 thru 8/24/2003

"One Week Until Mars Reaches Its Brightest
That Any Living Human Has Ever Seen It"

Horkheimer: In 2001 for the 25th anniversary of Star Gazer we commissioned experts to determine when Mars was as close as it will be next week. To their amazement they discovered that Mars hasn't been this close in almost 60,000 years. Last August Mars was 248 million miles away. On New Year's day 190 million miles and only 70 million on June 1st, 52 million on July 1st and 39 million on August 1st. But next week Mars will be only 34 1/2 million miles away; 213 million miles closer than it was a year ago and a whopping 69 times brighter. Look for it in the southeast just after sunset. And in a telescope you'll actually see markings on its surface. For a once in a lifetime experience Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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. 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!

Fri 7/18/03 - 1100-1130 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #03-34 / 1342nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/25/2003 through Sunday 8/31/2003

"Mars Closer To Earth This Week In
Almost 60,000 Years! Only Neanderthal
Man Has Ever Seen It This Bright!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings and yes this is the week we've been waiting for. The week when Mars is closer to Earth and brighter than it's been since 57, 538 b.c. or according to more recent calculations since 57,617 b.c. And you can see it all night long. Let me show you.

O.K., so just why is Mars so close and bright? Well Mars and Earth race around the Sun like high speed race cars; Earth, on the inside track, moves much faster than Mars on the outside track. In fact, Earth makes a little more than 2 trips around the Sun for every one Mars trip. So about every 26 months Mars and Earth have a close encounter, what we call an "opposition" because when our Earth and Mars have a close encounter Mars is directly opposite the Sun in the sky as seen from Earth. Now if the orbits of Earth and Mars were perfectly circular and concentric with each other then whenever they have a close encounter, an opposition they'd be exactly the same distance from each other. But Mars and Earth's orbits are not circular but elliptical, like slightly squashed out circles, so not all close encounters are equal! When they met in 1997 the closest Mars came to Earth was 61 million miles; when they met in 1999 : 54 million miles; and in 2001 : 42 million miles; but this week Mars will be only 34 1/2 million miles from Earth.

Why so close? Well you see this year when Mars is at opposition it is coincidentally also at the point in its orbit when it's closest to the Sun which makes Mars super close! So where should you look for Mars this week of weeks? Well, because Mars is at opposition, that is opposite the Sun, it will be in the sky all the hours the Sun is not; which means that as the Sun sets in the west Mars will rise in the east and will slowly travel across the sky all night long reaching its highest point around midnight high up in the south and then continues its journey until it sets in the southwest as the Sun rises.

Now for all practical purposes you will be able to see Mars all night long for the next 2 or 3 weeks although this week it is at its very brightest since Neanderthal man gazed up at the heavens almost 60,000 years ago. Look toward the southeast just after the Sun sets and Mars will be the brightest most dazzling thing you'll see. And although I'd like to tell you exactly what color it will appear, it's impossible to say because if weather conditions are clear on Mars, Mars will look reddish gold because we'll see its rusty surface. But if a planet-wide dust storm whips up between the time I'm writing this show and this week almost all the red of Mars could disappear and we'll see only the bright yellow of the dust storm. Remember red means clear weather on Mars, yellow means a humongous dust storm. Go to our website for some super Mars links and get out your telescopes now or find a friend who has one. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-34 M

8/25/2003 thru 8/31/2003

"Mars Closer To Earth This Week
Than In Almost 60,000 Years"


Horkheimer: This week Mars is closer to Earth and brighter than it's been in almost 60,000 years. Why? Well, Mars and Earth are like race cars. Earth on the inside track moves much faster so every 26 months Mars and Earth have a close encounter. But because their orbits are not perfect circles the distance varies dramatically between close encounters. And this week on the 27th Mars will be only 34 and 1/2 million miles from Earth, the closest since Neanderthal man gazed up at the heavens. Mars rises at sunset, reaches its highest point at midnight and sets at sunrise. It's dazzling and if it looks reddish-gold you'll be seeing its rusty surface. But if it's bright yellow there's a planet-wide dust storm. Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer


[SmilinJack]Return to the [STAR GAZER Main Page]