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!

Friday 11/20/02 - 0930-1030 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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 # 02-49 / 1304th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/02/2002 through
Sunday 12/08/2002

"December's Days Of Earliest Sunsets
Venus Reaches Greatest Brilliancy
And Orion Announces The Coming Of Winter "



Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. Although Santa Claus announces the coming of winter on an Earthly scale, on a cosmic scale it's someone much bigger and much older, our old friend Orion the Hunter. And I'll show you how to find him. Plus I'll also show you how to find the brightest planet we can see from our Earth, Venus, which this weekend will reach its greatest brilliancy. And to top it off I'll explain why the first days of December always feel shorter than the shortest day of the year.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 8 p.m. your local time any clear night this week and next. And if you look over toward the southeastern horizon you will see one of the most famous constellations of them all, the one who always announces the arrival of winter, Orion the hunter. He's easy to spot because his bright stars trace out an old fashioned hour glass or if you're a bit more romantic a butterfly, or if you prefer, one of the most arcane of men's neckwear, a bow tie. Although I personally feel all three of those images somewhat diminish the true nature of this greatest of all cosmic giants.

Traditionally, Orion is always recognized by the three equally spaced bright stars lined up in a row which mark his belt. The two bright stars above his belt are his shoulders and the two bright stars below the belt are his knees. And during the first two weeks of every December you'll see him start to creep up over the southeastern horizon telling us all that by the end of the month winter will officially be here. Catch him now, and then look for him once a week at the same time around 8 p.m. and you'll notice that as week after week goes by and we get farther and farther into winter, Orion will be much higher in the sky as the lord of winter nights.

And now if you look east every morning for the next few weeks about an hour before sunrise you will be absolutely dazzled by the brightest planet we can see from Earth, good old 8,000 mile wide Venus, which this Friday and Saturday will be at its greatest brilliancy for this morning appearance. And if you mistake it for a UFO or the brilliant headlight of an airplane don't feel badly because that's exactly what it looks like. This weekend it will be only 59 million miles away and through a small telescope will look like a crescent moon.

And as you're standing out there in the cold either looking at Venus before sunrise or looking at Orion at night, you may want to ask yourself why the days during the first week of December always feel shorter than the so-called shortest day of the year December 21st, the first day of winter, the winter solstice. The answer is quite simple. More people experience sunsets than sunrises and the days of earliest sunsets occur during the first week of December in middle latitudes. So even though daylight is shorter in the days at the end of December, sunsets will occur a little bit later then so it will feel like the days are a little bit longer. It's simply a matter of perception. So get thee out for Orion the announcer of winter and Venus at its greatest brilliancy. I'm Jack Horkheimer just 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

#02-49M

12/02/2002 thru 12/08/2002

"The Announcer Of Winter
And Venus At Its Brightest"


Horkheimer: We can tell that winter is coming because its most famous announcer is peeking over the horizon. This week and next around 8 p.m. look southeast and you'll see the herald of winter Orion the Hunter. To some he looks like an hourglass, to others a butterfly. Some even say a bow tie. But he's really the greatest of cosmic giants. Three bright stars make up his belt, two above are his shoulders, two below are his knees. And every year during the first two weeks of December at 8 p.m. You'll see him hovering just above the horizon telling us that by the end of December winter will officially be here. And in case you think you're seeing a UFO before sunrise it's only Venus which this weekend is at its brightest. 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!

Friday 11/20/02 - 0930-1030 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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 #02-50 /1305th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/09/2002 through Sunday 11/15/2002

"Saturn Comes Into Opposition December 17th
And Will Be At Its Biggest and
Brightest it Ever Gets"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and am I ever excited because next Tuesday, December 17th my favorite planet, the ringed planet Saturn will be at opposition and will be the biggest and brightest it ever gets in its 30 year journey around the Sun. Let me explain.

O.K., and in our imagination we're going to look at our Sun, our Earth's orbit about the Sun and Saturn's orbit about the Sun. Now our Earth is about 93 million miles away from the Sun and it takes 365 1/4 Earth days for our Earth to make one trip, that is one orbit, around the Sun. Saturn is the 6th planet from the Sun and is almost 900 million miles away. It moves much slower in its orbit and it takes almost 30 Earth years to make one trip around the Sun. So our Earth makes 30 trips around the Sun for every one trip of Saturn. So it's quite obvious that Earth and Saturn are constantly changing their position in respect to one another.

Now when Saturn is at its greatest distance from our Earth it is on the other side of the Sun as seen from Earth and is at what astronomers call conjunction which happened on June 9th this year when Saturn was a whopping 935 million miles away from us. But 6 months later, next Tuesday the 17th Earth and Saturn will be lined up with the Sun with Saturn opposite the Earth as seen from the Sun and will be at what is called opposition. And whenever a planet is at opposition it is always at its closest and brightest. And indeed next Tuesday Saturn will be only 748 million miles away which is 187 million miles closer than it was June 9th! And although Saturn is always close to Earth and very bright every opposition, this opposition is very special because of the way the rings are tilted toward us.

You see even though Saturn's rings are always tilted at the same angle with respect to its orbit, because Earth constantly changes its position in relation to Saturn it's rings seem to tilt back and forth as seen from Earth during Saturn's 30 year orbit. For instance back in 1973 Saturn was in such a position that its rings were tilted up to the maximum with the southern side of the rings wide open which means that more sunlight reflected off the rings and made the planet much brighter than usual and the rings at their most dramatic.

Then as year after year went by we gradually saw less and less of the southern face of Saturn's rings, they slowly closed so to speak and by 1981 we actually faced Saturn's rings edge on, and for a few nights they seemed to disappear. But a few years later, by 1988 we were positioned so that we looked at the northern hemisphere and northern side of Saturn's rings and although the sight was very beautiful it wasn't nearly as dramatic as when we see the ring's southern side. By 1996 the rings were edge on to us once again but by next week Tuesday the 17th we'll be right back where we were 30 thirty years ago and we'll see the southern side of Saturn's rings tilted almost wide open and if you look at it through even the smallest telescope, trust me you'll be blown away.

To find Saturn simply look east a couple hours after sunset. It will be the brightest light in the constellation Taurus, even brighter than the red star Aldebaran. And find a friend with a telescope or get a small one for yourself now while Saturn is at its best in 30 years. 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

#02-50 M

12/09/2002 thru 12/15/2002

"Saturn At Opposition December 17th!"


Horkheimer: This Tuesday December 17th Saturn will be at opposition and as big and as bright as it ever gets. You see Earth and Saturn constantly change position in relation to one another. And during Saturn's 30 year journey around the Sun its rings 'seem' to tilt back and forth as seen from Earth. And right now Saturn's rings are at their best viewing in 30 years because they are at what astronomers call 'wide open' and because Saturn is extremely close to to our Earth and the Sun. And through even the smallest telescope Saturn's image will blow you away. To find it look east after sunset for the brightest light in Taurus the Bull and find a friend with a telescope now! 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.

 


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!

Friday 11/20/02 - 0930-1030 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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 # 02-51 / 1306th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 12/16/2002 through Sunday 12/22/2002

"What is The Winter Solstice
- The First Day Of Winter -
Really All About?"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. This Saturday Dec. 21st at precisely 8:14 p.m. Eastern Time the winter solstice, that is the first day of winter, officially begins for the northern hemisphere. But if you're like most people the concept of the winter solstice can be a bit confusing. So let me explain what the winter solstice is really all about. But to do that we're going to have to go back in time all the way to the first day of spring.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first day of spring, which is also called 'the vernal equinox', vernal meaning 'green', and equinox meaning 'equal night', which simply means that on the equinox the hours of daylight are equal to the hours of night. Now on the first day of spring, the vernal equinox, the Sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. And each successive day thereafter it rises and sets just a little bit farther to the north until the summer solstice, the first day of summer, when the Sun reaches its northernmost point along the horizon and actually seems to 'stand still' and rise and set in the same place for a few days. In fact the word 'solstice' means 'sun stands still'. And as any school child will tell you, the first day of summer is the longest day of the year, meaning the day of longest daylight.

Now after the solstice the Sun will appear to reverse its direction and will rise and set just a little bit farther south each successive day. And each successive day the time of daylight will grow just a little bit shorter and on the autumnal equinox, the first day of autumn, the Sun will once again rise due east and set due west and the hours of daylight will again be equal to the hours of night. Then the Sun will continue its journey southward rising and setting a little bit farther south each day and daylight will continue to get shorter and night time longer each day until the winter solstice, the first day of winter, when the Sun will reach its farthest point south and once again will appear to 'solstice' that is stand still and rise and set in the same place for a few days. And at the time of the solstice, the northern hemisphere will experience the shortest day of the year, meaning the day of least sunlight and most night.

Then a few days after the solstice the Sun will appear to retrace its steps and will rise and set just a little bit farther north on the horizon each successive day until once again we'll be back where we started on the vernal equinox, the first day of spring and the Sun will rise and set due east and west. And will then repeat the entire rising and setting cycle again and again, year after year. Now in the 21st century we really don't pay much attention to where the Sun rises and sets each day but our ancestors kept precise records of where the Sun rose and set every day because this gave them their first yearly calendar by which they were able to determine the seasons so they would know when to plant and when to harvest. In fact, recording the Sun's rising and setting positions day after day was as important to our ancestors as our wall calendars and atomic clocks are to us today. So might I suggest that just for fun beginning with this solstice, you watch the Sun's journey all this upcoming year as it rises and sets at a slightly different place each morning and night. You'll not only find it fun but absolutely fascinating. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

More Info About Winter Solstice (Click Here)


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

#02-51 M

12/16/2002 thru 12/22/2002

"What is The Winter Solstice Really All About?"

Horkheimer: This year the winter solstice is Saturday December 21st. But what is the winter solstice anyway? To find out let's start with the first day of spring, the vernal equinox when the sun rises and sets exactly due east and west. Thereafter the sun will rise just slightly north of east each day until it reaches its northernmost point on the summer solstice when it will appear to 'stand still'. Solstice means 'sun stands still'. Then it will retrace its steps rising a little farther south each day until the winter solstice when the sun will again appear to 'solstice' stand still once again. The winter solstice is the day when the sun reaches its southernmost rising and setting point along the horizon. It's that simple. 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!

Friday 11/20/02 - 0930-1030 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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 #02-52 / 1307th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/23/2002 through Sunday 12/29/2002

"Celebrate New Year's Eve
With The New Year's Eve Star"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know because there is usually no school on major holidays, children and adults frequently stay up later than usual. So over the years viewers have asked me to find something special in the heavens they can see each holiday night. And years ago when I was trying to find something really special to see one New Year's Eve, I accidentally discovered something absolutely wonderful. A very special New Year's Eve star which you can see every New Year's Eve for the rest of your life. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 8 p.m. your local time, New Year's Eve, facing due south and ,first, like all good astronomers let's draw an imaginary line which divides the eastern half of the sky from the western half, an imaginary line called the meridian which runs from the horizon due south straight up to the zenith point and then down the other side of the sky to the horizon due north. Now as our Earth slowly and endlessly rotates from west to east we are nightly treated to the grandest optical illusion in nature, that of watching the stars seem to rise in the east, slowly travel across the sky all night long and eventually set in the west. And if you watch every night you will eventually deduce that the highest point any star reaches above the horizon in its nightly journey is when it is smack dab on the meridian.

Now this is very important to telescope users because the higher a sky object is above the horizon, the better its telescopic image will be. So several years ago when I was researching which planets would be high up off the horizon for viewing that New Year's Eve I stumbled across something which to me was an amazing coincidence, something which I had never read about in any astronomy book, and that coincidence is: no matter where you happen to be on New Year's Eve, as hour after hour goes by, the brightest star in the heavens, Sirius, will slowly climb up the southeastern sky and at midnight will reach its highest point and be on the meridian. Think of it... the brightest star visible from our planet reaches its highest point above the horizon at midnight every New Year's Eve. How wonderful, how poetic, almost like a cosmic reminder that this most brilliant of stellar lights is welcoming in and shining on the new year, giving us all hope for a bright new beginning. Plus if you happen to miss it on New Year's Eve don't fret because Sirius will be in almost the same spot at midnight each night for the first week of the new year.

And to top it off, this New Year's Eve at midnight we'll have two added attractions because up and to the right of the New Year's Eve star you will see Saturn which right now is as big and as bright as it gets and is at its best telescopic viewing in 30 years. And to Sirius' left you'll see brilliant Jupiter with its four dancing moons only 4 weeks away from its closest and brightest. What a way to welcome 2003 with not only a New Year's Eve star but two super planets at their best. So if you want to start this New Year's and every New Year's Eve right step out side at midnight and make your new year bright with cosmic light. All you have to do is 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

#02-52 M

12/23/2002 thru 12/29/2002

"The New Year's Eve Star
And Two Super Planets"

Horkheimer: If you'd like to do something different this New Year's Eve celebrate the cosmic way with the New Year's Eve Star. Simply go outside at midnight this New Year's Eve or any New Year's Eve, look due south and the brightest star in the heavens, Sirius will be at its highest point above the horizon shining like a dazzling beacon heralding the new year. Plus this year two added attractions, up and to the right of the New Year's Eve star you will see Saturn as big and bright as it gets and at its best telescopic viewing in 30 years. And to Sirius' left, brilliant Jupiter with its four dancing moons only 4 weeks away from its closest and brightest. The New Year's Eve star and two super planets. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Happy New Year! 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!

Friday 11/20/02 - 0930-1030 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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 #02-52 / 1307th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/23/2002 through Sunday 12/29/2002

"Celebrate New Year's Eve
With The New Year's Eve Star"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know because there is usually no school on major holidays, children and adults frequently stay up later than usual. So over the years viewers have asked me to find something special in the heavens they can see each holiday night. And years ago when I was trying to find something really special to see one New Year's Eve, I accidentally discovered something absolutely wonderful. A very special New Year's Eve star which you can see every New Year's Eve for the rest of your life. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 8 p.m. your local time, New Year's Eve, facing due south and ,first, like all good astronomers let's draw an imaginary line which divides the eastern half of the sky from the western half, an imaginary line called the meridian which runs from the horizon due south straight up to the zenith point and then down the other side of the sky to the horizon due north. Now as our Earth slowly and endlessly rotates from west to east we are nightly treated to the grandest optical illusion in nature, that of watching the stars seem to rise in the east, slowly travel across the sky all night long and eventually set in the west. And if you watch every night you will eventually deduce that the highest point any star reaches above the horizon in its nightly journey is when it is smack dab on the meridian.

Now this is very important to telescope users because the higher a sky object is above the horizon, the better its telescopic image will be. So several years ago when I was researching which planets would be high up off the horizon for viewing that New Year's Eve I stumbled across something which to me was an amazing coincidence, something which I had never read about in any astronomy book, and that coincidence is: no matter where you happen to be on New Year's Eve, as hour after hour goes by, the brightest star in the heavens, Sirius, will slowly climb up the southeastern sky and at midnight will reach its highest point and be on the meridian. Think of it... the brightest star visible from our planet reaches its highest point above the horizon at midnight every New Year's Eve. How wonderful, how poetic, almost like a cosmic reminder that this most brilliant of stellar lights is welcoming in and shining on the new year, giving us all hope for a bright new beginning. Plus if you happen to miss it on New Year's Eve don't fret because Sirius will be in almost the same spot at midnight each night for the first week of the new year.

And to top it off, this New Year's Eve at midnight we'll have two added attractions because up and to the right of the New Year's Eve star you will see Saturn which right now is as big and as bright as it gets and is at its best telescopic viewing in 30 years. And to Sirius' left you'll see brilliant Jupiter with its four dancing moons only 4 weeks away from its closest and brightest. What a way to welcome 2003 with not only a New Year's Eve star but two super planets at their best. So if you want to start this New Year's and every New Year's Eve right step out side at midnight and make your new year bright with cosmic light. All you have to do is 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

#02-52 M

12/23/2002 thru 12/29/2002

"The New Year's Eve Star
And Two Super Planets"

Horkheimer: If you'd like to do something different this New Year's Eve celebrate the cosmic way with the New Year's Eve Star. Simply go outside at midnight this New Year's Eve or any New Year's Eve, look due south and the brightest star in the heavens, Sirius will be at its highest point above the horizon shining like a dazzling beacon heralding the new year. Plus this year two added attractions, up and to the right of the New Year's Eve star you will see Saturn as big and bright as it gets and at its best telescopic viewing in 30 years. And to Sirius' left, brilliant Jupiter with its four dancing moons only 4 weeks away from its closest and brightest. The New Year's Eve star and two super planets. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Happy New Year! 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!

Friday 11/20/02 - 0930-1030 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 shows


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


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #02-53 / 1308th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/30/2002 through Sunday 1/05/03

"2003 : The Year Of the Amateur Telescope/
A Cosmic Preview"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and if there ever was a year you should consider getting yourself even the smallest of telescopes, 2003 is it because 4 planets will be absolutely sensational this year and two of them will put on performances which you won't see again for a long time. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night the first two weeks of January around 8 p.m. facing east where you'll see our old friend Orion the Hunter just risen up off the southeastern horizon and easily identified by the three bright stars that mark his belt.

And to his left a very bright light nestled near the tips of the horns of Taurus the Bull, a light that just begs for you to look at it through a telescope because it is as big and as bright as it ever gets, 75,000 mile wide saturn. And right now its rings are tilted at their best angle in 30 years in what we call a 'wide open' position, meaning they are tilted so that more sunlight reflects off them and gives us an absolutely dazzling dramatic view. And just recently amateur astronomers with amateur telescopes spotted a wonderful storm system on this beautiful planet. Don't miss Saturn please because it will be super for several more weeks.

Now if you wait for about an hour around 9 p.m. You'll see the king of the planets 88,000 mile wide Jupiter rise, which is also very close to being at its best viewing for the entire year because it will be at its closest and brightest only 4 weeks from now on February 2nd. But it is so big and bright right now that even through a small telescope you can see at least 4 of its 39 moons. And you'll actually be able to watch them change position in relation to Jupiter from night to night.

And now for you early birds if you look east any morning for the next two months about an hour before sunrise you'll be absolutely bedazzled by the brightest planet of them all 8,000 mile wide Venus which during the next two weeks will be at its very highest for the year and will look like a quarter moon through a small telescope. But if you watch it week after week, you'll actually see it grow fatter and fatter just like our moon does. But the real winner to watch is the red planet just to the right of Venus, good old 4,000 mile wide Mars because it will grow over 60 times brighter from the beginning of this year until August 27 when it will be at its closest and brightest and best for viewing from planet Earth in almost Ta Da!, 60,000 years.

And through a telescope you'll be able to watch it get bigger and brighter every week and by mid summer you'll see not only its polar ice caps but many wonderful features. And in fact many amateur astronomers have taken some of the finest Earth-based photographs of Mars you'll ever see. So when I say 2003 is the year of the amateur telescope it's because telescopes have now become so inexpensive and so computerized that you don't even have to know where the stars and planets are. Even many beginner's telescopes will automatically find the stars and planets for you. So find a friend with a telescope now or get a small one for yourself because this is the year you'll be able to use it to the max. 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

#02-53 M

12/30/2002 thru 1/05/2003

"2003: The Year Of the Amateur Telescope"

Horkheimer: If you ever considered getting a small telescope, 2003 is it because 4 planets will put on performances you won't see again for a long time. At 8 p.m look east for 75,000 mile wide Saturn whose rings are tilted at their best angle in 30 years and when viewed through even a small telescope will blow you away. At 9 p.m. 88,000 mile wide Jupiter is also almost at its closest and brightest and you can watch 4 of its dancing moons change position night after night. 8,000 mile wide Venus looks like a crescent moon through a telescope. And by August, 4,000 mile wide Mars will be closer and brighter than it's been in 60,000 years and at its best telescopic viewing in all of human history. 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.

 


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* 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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