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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
Friday 7/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0732, 0733, 0734, 0735


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 5 MINUTE

Episode # 07-32 / 1548th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/06/2007 through
Sunday 8/12/2007

"The Night Of St. Lawrence's Tears"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Over 1700 years ago on August 10th 258 a.d. a young Christian deacon of Rome was martyred by the Emperor Valerian by being roasted alive on a gridiron. And that night as his mourners carried his body away dozens of streaks of light fell from the sky, which prompted his followers to believe that even the heavens were weeping for their dear friend. And every year since almost to the date the skies weep again on what many call the night of St. Lawrence's Tears.

Today of course we know that these tears are really meteors from the annual Perseid meteor shower and this year should be very good because there'll be no moonlight to wipe out the faintest meteors. We've got our skies set up for next Monday morning August 13th about 3 a.m. to dawn facing northeast and if you are far away from city lights and have clear and very dark skies you can expect to see a couple of dozen Perseid meteors or tears of St. Lawrence per hour if you watch until dawn. But I must emphasize that to see many meteors you have to be far away from city lights because many of them will be faint. To see them you need nothing more than the naked eye. Simply lay back on a lawn chair or a sleeping bag from about 3 a.m. until dawn and constantly, slowly scan the sky back and forth up and down. And whoosh, when you least expect it, you'll see a streak of light flash across the heavens.

Now although meteors look like and are often called shooting stars nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact meteors are simply tiny specks of comet debris slamming into our Earth's atmosphere. You see every time a comet visits our Sun it sheds tons of debris in its wake and eventually this debris gets spread out all along the comet's path, its orbit. And whenever our Earth plows directly into any path of comet litter tiny pieces of this debris slam into our Earth's atmosphere, traveling many miles per second. And the resulting friction heats up the gasses in the atmosphere causing them to glow, kind of like the way gas in a neon tube glows. And it is these streaks of light, which we call meteors. We do not actually see the pieces of comet debris at all.

Now every year in August our Earth travels through a huge stream of comet debris left in the wake and orbit of a comet named Swift-Tuttle. And the resulting meteors appear to come from the constellation Perseus, thus the name Perseid meteor shower. And this year the best chance to see the most Perseids is Monday August 13th from 3 a.m. until dawn. So grab yourself a lawn chair and head far away from city lights and watch the heavens weep once again on this night of St. Lawrence's tears. And the next time you're in Rome you may want to visit the church of San Lorenzo where it is said you can see the very gridiron upon which St. Lawrence supposedly met his grisly end. Keep looking up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-32 M

8/06/2007 thru 8/12/2007

"The Night Of St. Lawrence's Tears"

Horkheimer: Mark Monday morning August 13th as the night of St. Lawrence's Tears. From 3 a.m. to dawn you'll see what the followers of St. Lawrence saw on the night of August 10th 258 a.d. As they carried his martyred body away streaks of light fell from the sky which they interpreted to be tears from heaven. And every August since, we see these tears again which are really meteors from the annual Perseid meteor shower. You see every August our Earth plows directly into a path of comet debris left in the wake of comet Swift-Tuttle. And as these pieces slam through Earth's atmosphere they heat up the gasses around them and glow. If you're far from city lights you may see a few dozen from 3 a.m. to dawn. Keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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


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

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






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half hour feed
Friday 7/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0732, 0733, 0734, 0735
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 #07-33 /1549th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 8/13/2007 through Sunday 8/19/2007

"How To Use Sagittarius' Bow And Arrow
To Find The Heart Of The Scorpion
And The Heart Of The Galaxy"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Did you know that any moonless night in August you can see an ancient constellation which points the way to both the heart of the scorpion and the heart of our galaxy? Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next just after it gets dark out facing south where you'll see two of summer's most famous star patterns, a constellation which looks like a fish hook or a capital letter 'J', Scorpius the Scorpion and directly behind it several bright stars which if connected by lines would look like a teapot. Now Scorpius is officially called a constellation. But the teapot is not. It is called an asterism, which means that it is a small pattern of stars within a constellation. And the constellation to which the teapot belongs is a very large pattern of stars named thousands of years ago for a mythical creature called a centaur, a creature half man and half horse. Named Sagittarius, he was known to be a great master with the bow and arrow, a centaur archer. His bow is marked by two stars of the teapot's lid and the star at the bottom of the spout. The arrow goes from the top star in the handle through the other star of the lid with the tip of the arrow marked by the star, which also marks the tip of the spout. And with a little imagination you can see that it is aimed at the red star which marks the heart of the scorpion, Antares, which is a giant star 700 times as wide as our Sun.

But on really dark moonless nights far from city lights you'll also see that the tip of Sagittarius' arrow is embedded in the widest and densest part of that great ribbon of light called the Milky Way which stretches all the way from the southern horizon up to the zenith and back down to the northeast horizon. In fact if you look closely at Sagittarius and Scorpius you'll see that most of the teapot and the bottom half of Scorpius are embedded in the Milky Way. And if you take a pair of binoculars and look here or anywhere along the Milky Way you will see that it is made up of millions of pinpoints of light, each one of which is a distant star which along with our Sun all belong to a giant cosmic spiral family of 200 billion stars we call the Milky Way Galaxy. Our Sun is located about 2/3rds of the way out from the center, so when we look at Sagittarius and Scorpius the reason the Milky Way appears thickest and widest here is because the bulging center of our galaxy lies in this direction. In fact the tip of Sagittarius' arrow is pointed directly at it. So find the heart of the galaxy and the heart of the scorpion with the help of an ancient archer. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-33 M

8/13/2007 thru 8/19/2007

"How To Use Sagittarius' Bow And Arrow
To Find The Heart Of The Scorpion
And The Heart Of The Galaxy"

Horkheimer: On any moonless night in August you can see an ancient archer's arrow aimed at two cosmic wonders. Look south for the fish hook shaped constellation Scorpius and directly behind it the teapot portion of Sagittarius. Sagittarius was a mythical creature half man and half horse, a master archer whose bow and arrow are marked by the front half of the teapot. The tip of his arrow is aimed at both Antares, the giant red heart star of Scorpius and also at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy which is the family of 200 billion stars to which our Earth and Sun belong. The Milky Way is widest here because the great bulging central hub of our galaxy lies beyond. Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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




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

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


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




 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half hour feed
Friday 7/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0732, 0733, 0734, 0735

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 # 07-34 / 1550th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 8/20/2007 through Sunday 8/26/2007

"Don't Miss Next Week's Eclipse Of
The Sturgeon Moon : The Last Of The Dual
Eclipses Of 2007"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next Tuesday morning, August 28th, we will be treated to the last of the dual eclipses of 2007, the first of which occurred on Saturday March 3rd. We're calling it the eclipse of the Sturgeon Moon which is the name many American Indian fishing tribes gave the August full Moon since sturgeon were easily caught during August. But what causes an eclipse of the Moon anyway? Let me show you.

O.K., let's imagine that we're out in space looking down on our Moon, Earth and Sun. Now Moonlight is really light from the Sun reflected off the Moon and back to our Earth. So one half of the Moon is lit up by the Sun at all times, although the only time we see the half of the Moon that is completely lit up is when we have a full Moon which occurs every month whenever the Moon is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth. Now usually when we have a full Moon the Moon is either above or below the plane of our Earth's orbit. But occasionally the full Moon will glide directly into our Earth's plane and will pass directly through our Earth's shadow which will block most of the Sun's light from reaching it. In other words our Earth's shadow will eclipse the light of the Sun which is why we call such an event an eclipse.

But during a total lunar eclipse the Moon never completely disappears but always turns some unpredictable shade of reddish orange and that's because the red rays of sunlight are always bent by our Earth's atmosphere into our Earth's shadow, filling it with a faint reddish orange light. So during a total lunar eclipse the reddish orange Moon color you see is actually light from all the sunrises and sunsets around the world being refracted, that is bent, into our Earth's shadow and onto the Moon and then reflected back again. And that's what you'll see Tuesday morning between midnight and dawn.

Now if we could look at our Earth's shadow cone more closely we would see that there are two distinct parts to it. A pale outer shadow called the penumbra and a smaller dark shadow called the umbra. The penumbral phase of the eclipse is never very noticeable so I'm suggesting that you start watching when the Moon begins to enter the umbra which is 4:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time or your local equivalent. Then as minute after minute goes by you will actually see the umbra which is our Earth's curved shadow slowly creep across the Moon and gradually darken it and cause it to change color. The Moon will be completely within the umbra and totally eclipsed for about 91 minutes from 5:52 a.m. to 7:23 a.m. Eastern Time, after which the whole process will slowly reverse. But people on the east coast will see only the first half of the eclipse, the entire show is reserved for the west coast. Because no one can predict what color the Moon will turn during totality that's what makes it so much fun. Will it be bright orange, or blood red? Only the shadow knows. See for yourself. And go to our website for more info. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


Star Gazer Minute

#07-34 M

8/20/2007 thru 8/26/2007

"Don't Miss Next Week's Eclipse Of
The Sturgeon Moon : The Last Of The Dual
Eclipses Of 2007"

Horkheimer: Don't miss next Tuesday's total eclipse of the Moon. A total lunar eclipse occurs whenever a full Moon glides directly into our Earth's shadow which blocks most of the Sun's light from reaching it because moonlight is nothing more than reflected sunlight. There is however always some red sunlight which is bent by our Earth's atmosphere into the shadow. So during totality the Moon always turns some unpredictable shade of reddish orange. At 4:51 a.m. Eastern Time or your local equivalent you can watch our Earth's curved shadow start to glide across the Moon. Totality begins at 5:52 a.m. Go to our website for more info and keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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




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

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


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




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half hour feed
Friday 7/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0732, 0733, 0734, 0735

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 # 07-35 / 1551st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 8/27/2007 through Sunday 9/02/2007

"Start A Labor Day Tradition With
A Giant Cosmic Triangle Overhead"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Do you know that every Labor Day weekend three very bright stars make a wonderful triangle shining overhead? Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 9 p.m. your local time any Labor Day weekend and if you simply look straight up almost overhead you'll see three extremely bright stars which if you connect with imaginary lines make a huge cosmic triangle which stargazers have traditionally called the Summer Triangle, because every year these three stars can be seen rising over the eastern horizon in early evening announcing the beginning of summer. But since the stars change dramatically with the season by the time September rolls around this great cosmic triangle has shifted its position so that in early evening it is now almost directly overhead which makes it a perfect Labor Day must-see attraction.

Now each star belongs to a separate constellation. So not only do we have three stars we also have three constellations. The brightest star of the three is called Vega and it will be almost directly overhead. But even though it is the brightest it belongs to the smallest of the three constellations, Lyra the Harp. Vega is the fifth brightest star visible to the naked eye and is the star toward which our Sun and all its planets including our Earth are moving. It is however, a bit different than our Sun. Indeed it is 2 1/2 times the diameter of our almost million mile wide Sun. And its blue-white color tells us that it is much hotter than our yellow-orange Sun. In fact Vega is 58 times brighter. And we see it not as it exists this Labor Day weekend but as it existed 25 years ago because Vega is 25 light years away which means that it has taken 25 years for Vega's light to reach us.

The second brightest star is Altair in a much larger constellation called Aquila the Eagle. But Altair is almost twice as close to us as Vega only 17 light years away. So why isn't it as bright as Vega? Simple answer, it's much smaller, only 1 1/2 times the diameter of our Sun and only 9 times brighter. Finally the dimmest of the three, is Deneb which marks the tail of a huge constellation called Cygnus the Swan. But don't let its lack of brightness fool you. The reason it appears dimmest is because it is 60 times farther away than Vega and 88 times farther away than Altair, 1500 light years away which means that for Deneb to appear as bright as it does it must be humongously large and fiercely bright. Indeed Deneb is 116 times as wide our Sun but 60,000 times brighter. Wow!

So there you have it three bright stars forming a giant triangle almost overhead in early evening every Labor Day weekend. So why not make this brilliant triangle of stars a Labor Day tradition? It's something you and your children and grandchildren will see every Labor Day weekend from now on. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-35 M

8/27/2007 thru 9/2/2007

"Start A Labor Day Tradition With
A Giant Cosmic Triangle Overhead"

Horkheimer: Want to start a cosmic Labor Day tradition? Then look almost overhead at 9 p.m. and you'll see three very bright stars which make up a great triangle. Vega the brightest in Lyra the Harp is 2 1/2 times as wide as our Sun, 58 times brighter and 25 light years away. Altair the second brightest in Aquila the Eagle is only 17 light years away, 1 1/2 times the diameter of and 9 times brighter than our Sun. Deneb the dimmest in Cygnus the Swan is dim only because it is 1500 light years away. In fact it's 116 times our Sun's width and 60,000 times brighter! This great Summer Triangle is overhead every Labor Day weekend so why not make it a tradition? Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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




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

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


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


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