STAR HUSTLER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for September 1996 is as follows: The feed will be September 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #367-I


974 th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 8/5/96 through Sunday 8/11/96

"A Great Moon/Venus Duet And A Great Opportunity For This Year's August 11th And 12th Perseid Meteor Shower!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and right off the bat mark this Friday and Saturday morning, August 9th and 10th as two great opportunities to see two great pairings of a crescent Moon and Venus in the Eastern sky at dawn. Let me show you. Okay, we've got our skies set up for this Friday morning, August 9th, at dawn looking due east, where smack dab in front of you you'll see beautiful brilliant Venus, and up to its right a beautiful 25 day old waning crescent Moon. The next morning, Saturday, August 10th, at dawn, an even closer pairing when an even slimmer crescent Moon has moved down past Venus and will provide an absolutely breathtaking sight to start your weekend. And if you're lucky, Sunday morning the 11th, you'll see an even skinnier crescent Moon much closer to the horizon. And Monday August 12th, those with really clear skies and flat horizons may be able to catch a fabulously slender sliver of a crescent. And to top it off, if you look over to the right, you'll catch a preview of winter because Orion will have just risen in the East-Southeast. Now because the Moon this weekend is such a slender sliver it sets an almost perfect stage for this year's Perseid Meteor Shower on the evening of Sunday the11th and morning of Monday the 12th, because your best chance to see any meteor shower occurs when there's little or no moonlight to brighten the sky and wipe out the contrast from the faintest meteors. Now as many of you may recall, meteor showers occur whenever our Earth rides directly into the paths of cosmic litter left over from comets. You see, every time a comet makes a trip around our Sun it sheds a lot of its material along the way . And that comet litter remains in space for centuries and occasionally our Earth plows right into it. And whenever that happens tiny pieces of comet litter slam into the Earth's upper atmosphere and the resulting friction causes the gases around these tiny grain-sized pieces of dust to light up for a brief moment as the specks of comet debris plunge at high speed towards a fiery death in Earth's atmosphere. And what we see from here on Earth below looks like a star that has been torn from the heavens and that shoots across the sky leaving a bright but brief trail of light. In fact, for hundreds of years meteors have been misnamed 'shooting stars'. Now although we cannot predict exactly when our Earth will plow through the densest and thus most spectacular part of a meteor stream, nevertheless it should occur sometime after sunset this Sunday the 11th through dawn, Monday the 12th, with the best time this year perhaps between 4 and 6 AM. But there's a catch. You have to be far from city lights and have a clear dark sky where you can see lots and lots of stars. And since the Moon's phase will be almost perfect Sunday night and Monday morning this is one you won't want to miss. It's easy and fun if you have patience and remember to Keep Looking Up!



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

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


STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for September 1996 is as follows: The feed will be September 30 from 10 to
10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #368-I

975th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 8/12/96 through Sunday 8/18/96

"Planets Beyond Our Solar System, And 'Encounter With Tiber'"

Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know it seems like every few weeks we read in the newspaper about the discovery of so-called planets circling other stars beyond our solar system. But you know, describing such planets and how they react with their parent stars is not all that easy because most of these discoveries are not of earth-sized planets, but of much, much larger planets, planets as large as and larger than our largest planet Jupiter. And of course life, as we know it, could not exist on such planets. So it was with great interest that I recently got a phone call from an old acquaintance of mine, Apollo XI moon walker Buzz Aldrin who informed me that he had just co-authored a science fiction novel with award winning writer John Barnes. I was quite amazed when Buzz told me his new book "Encounter With Tiber" is all about intelligent life that evolved on a planet circling our nearest star, the triple star system known as Alpha Centauri, because the complexities of this star system seem to make it very difficult for an earth-sized planet to maintain a stable orbit long enough for intelligent life to evolve. But before I go further let me show you. OK, we've got our skies set up for early evening this month for locations around the Southern hemisphere. And to catch Alpha Centauri simply hang a left at the legendary Southern Cross. Now Alpha Centauri is extremely bright, being the third brightest star we can see from Earth. And although there's another bright star just to its right, Beta Centauri, they are not physically related. Now to see the Alpha Centauri sytem you need a telescope which reveals its truly wonderful nature. You see Alpha Centauri is three stars, the brightest of which is called "A", the second brightest "B" and the third, much, much dimmer called Proxima. And while this whole system is located 4.34 light years away, the dim star, Proxima, is just slightly closer, some astronomers arguing that it may not even be truly related to A and B. Be that as it may, A and B are just slightly larger than our own Sun and thus would look pretty much like our Sun from an Earth-sized planet the same distance away. However, A and B Alpha Centauri orbit around each other once every 80 years, and can come as close to each other as our Sun is from Saturn, which occurred in 1955, and can pull as far apart from each other as our Sun is fom Pluto , which just occurred in 1995. So this elongated orbit of these two Sun-like stars would really play havoc with any Earth-sized planet. But obviously Buzz needed one for his story and to be scientifically accurate he had to do something within the laws of physics to make it fictionally feasible. And what he came up with to create such planetary stability was ingenious. He simply made an earth-sized planet the satellite of a much more humongous planet like those newly discovered planets we've all been reading about. At any rate, it kinda makes you marvel at the wonderful workings of our universe which makes it even more exciting to go outside and Keep Looking Up!

Visit Buzz Aldrin's "Encounter With Tiber" web site at http://www.buzzaldrin.com

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


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


STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for September 1996 is as follows: The feed will be September 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #369-I

976th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 8/19/96 through Sunday 8/25/96

"Vega : Arc Light Of Summer Nights And The Apex Of The Sun's Way"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers. Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what direction we're headed? I mean, all the stars are flying through space at different speeds and since our Sun is a star too, it also is flying through space. So, what direction are we headed? Well, believe it or not we know, and I'd like to show you. OK, we've set up our skies so that we're outside on any clear night this August, between the hours of 8 and 10 pm, your local time and if you look almost straight up overhead you will see a very bright star almost at the zenith. That bright star is the fifth brightest star we can see from Earth and its name is Vega. And it is the brightest of the three bright stars that make up the Summer Triangle. Vega being the brightest and the star farthest to the West; the next brightest star being Altair in Aquila the Eagle and the third brightest, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan. But the one that really grabs your attention is Vega because late summer nights, in early evening, it glistens a sharp crisp blue-white. In fact it is so bright and obvious when it's overhead that it has been called the arc light of summer nights. And it is quite a star. It's blue-white color tells us that it is blue-white hot, much hotter than our own yellow-orange Sun . In fact, compared to our sun's temperature of 10 thousand degrees fahrenheit, Vega burns a fierce 17 thousand degrees, and Vega is considerably larger, for while our Sun is a little under a million miles wide, Vega is almost three million miles in diameter which makes it easy to understand that if we could place our Sun and Vega side by side, Vega would shine 58 times brighter than our star, the Sun. Now although Vega is far away from the North Star of our time, Vega itself actually was the North Star 14 thousand years ago, due to a wobbling motion of our Earth we call precession which regularly causes our Earth's axis to point to Vega and thus makes it the North Star approximately once every 26 thousand years. So, 12 thousand years from now, Vega, which was the North Star of our cave man ancestors, will once again be the North Star of our progeny 12 thousand years in the future. Of course, by now you've probably guessed that Vega is the bright star in whose direction our Sun and all its planets, including our Earth, are headed. Indeed, our Sun and Earth are racing at the incredible speed of 12 miles per second towards Vega, and even though Vega is only 27 light years away, nevertheless at this speed it would take our Sun almost 500 million years to reach Vega. So, some night this week go out in early evening and look almost overhead and imagine in your mind's eye that our Earth and all of us on it are fleeing through space at an incredible speed toward that arc light of the summer night, Vega, which is situated near that point in space called the apex of the Sun's way. How poetic and how exciting. And you can feel it for yourself if you just Keep Looking Up!

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

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


STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for September 1996 is as follows: The feed will be September 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. EasternTime on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #370-I

977th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 8/26/96 through Sunday 9/1/96

"A Lovely Conjunction And A Great Cosmic Line Up Next To The Winter Triangle"


Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and you may remember that several weeks ago I asked you to sneak a peak every so often just before dawn at the brilliant planet Venus and the not-so-brilliant, close by it, planet Mars, the objective being to watch them as they come closer and closer together which they will do all this week, reaching their closest on September 4th. But while you're out there I'd also like you to not only pay attention to the movement of these two planets and their close meeting, but also the later movement of the crecent moon in relation to these planets and to the 2 stars in Gemini, Castor and Pollux, which will come into a lovely celestial alignment Monday September 9th, just to the left of the exquisite winter Triangle. Let me show you: OK we've got our skies set up for Monday morning around 5 am or so, your local time, Monday August 26th, looking east, where the brightest thing in the heavens will be the exquisite planet Venus, several times more dazzling than the planet to its left, the planet Mars. And to the left of both of them the two brother stars of Gemini, the twins, Castor and Pollux, Pollux being the brighter and closer to the horizon. And if you also look to the right of all these celestial beauties you will see the 3 brilliant stars which make up the exquisite Winter Triangle. Now make a note of the distance between Mars and Venus on Monday, August 26th and their relation to Castor and Pollux. And note that we would be able to fit 9 full moons between Mars and Venus on the 26th. But that soon changes because two mornings later on Wednesday the 28th Venus will have moved one full moon closer and will be only 8 full moons away. Friday morning, August 30th only 7 full moons apart; on Monday September 2nd, a little over 6 full moons apart; Tuesday September 3rd just a teeny bit closer. Then on Wednesday, September 4th as close as they get this go round when they'll be only 5 and 3/4 moons apart. Now if you've been paying close attention you will have noticed that both Mars and Venus have been moving in relationship to Castor and Pollux. Indeed they look as if they may come into alignment with them. So when you go out Thursday, September 5th you'll notice that they'll look even a little closer in line, with a beautiful crescent moon joining them. And pay attention to that crescent moon which the next two mornings, September 6th and 7th will be even closer as the two planets straighten themselves even further in respect to Castor and Pollux. Then an exquisite breathtaking trio of the waning Moon, Venus and Mars Sunday morning September the 8th, culminating finally Monday morning, September 9th when Castor, Pollux, Mars, Venus and an even more exquisite crescent moon will form an almost straight line, showing us how rapidly the planets and our Moon change in relationship to each other, while Castor and Pollux and the stars of the Winter Triangle remain as immutable, they say, as the stars themselves. Once more, the 26th, 28th, 30th, September 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and ta da! the 9th. What a lovely way to start September with the mornings turning cooler and as you Keep Looking Up!

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

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


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