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!

One Hour Feed STAH 806
Thursday November 20, 2008, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0848, 0849, 0850, 0851, 0852


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 08-48 / 1617th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/01/2008 through
Sunday 12/07/2008

"Get Ready For The Largest And Closest Full Moon Of 2008
Followed By The Largest And Closest Full Moon Of 2009"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And have we ever got something nifty for you to end 2008 and begin 2009 because next week on Friday December 12th we will see the largest and closest full Moon of the entire year. Then on Saturday January 10th we'll have the largest and closest full Moon for 2009. And believe me these two full Moons will look significantly bigger than usual. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first day of this week Monday December 1st an hour after sunset facing southwest where you would have seen an exquisite trio of the three brightest objects we can ever see in the night time sky: the brightest object being a super exquisite crescent Moon and below it the second brightest object, super bright planet number 2, 8,000 mile wide Venus and next to it the third brightest object, planet number five, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. But as you know the Moon moves rapidly across the sky from night to night and changes its appearance dramatically. On top of which from December 1st to December 12th Jupiter and Venus have been pulling apart from each other, night after night after night after night. So that by Friday night December 12th they will be 11 1/2 degrees or 23 full Moons apart from each other but still super bright.

The Moon in the meantime however will have grown to an enormous size. So on Friday the 12th if you turn around and look toward the east just after sunset you will see a super huge full Moon just rising, the largest and closest full Moon of 2008. And like all full Moons this full Moon has several special names. Its two most popular names are "the Moon before Yule" because this is the closest full Moon to Christmas and Christmas is Yule time and even more descriptive, "The Long Night Moon", because as we all know the winter solstice, the first day of winter, which this year is Sunday December 21st is the longest night of the year. And this is the full Moon closest to the solstice this year. But just how close will this Moon be?

Well the Moon is constantly moving either toward Earth or away from it. And it has a 31 thousand mile range between its closest and most distant points. Way back on May 19th of this year the full Moon was at its farthest for the year, over a quarter million miles away or to be exact 252, 472 miles from Earth. But on Friday the 12th it will be will be 30,885 miles closer only 221, 587 miles away. Wow! And believe me you'll notice the difference in fact it will look over 12% larger.

Plus it will also be the highest riding full Moon of the year, which means that if you go outside around midnight it will be close to overhead and act like a gigantic cosmic floodlight making the landscape absolutely brilliant, especially if there's snow. But if you miss this closest full Moon of 2008, don't worry. All you have to do is wait until Saturday January 10th for the closest full Moon of 2009. So get thee out for a large lunar experience either sooner or later! Keep looking up!

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
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Star Gazer Minute

#08-48 M

12/01/2008 thru 12/07/2008

"The Closest Full Moon Of 2008 And The Two Brightest Planets"

Horkheimer: On Friday December 12th you will see the largest and closest full Moon of 2008 plus the two brightest planets. Face southwest just after sunset and you'll see the brightest planet Venus and the second brightest, Jupiter. Then face east and you'll see a super enormous exquisite full Moon, which because it is so close to the winter solstice is called "The Moon Before Yule" and "The Long Night Moon". It will be only 221 thousand miles away, which is 31 thousand miles closer than the farthest full Moon of the year last May. In fact it will look 12% bigger. It is also the highest riding full Moon of the year and at midnight will be almost overhead like a gigantic cosmic floodlight making the landscape absolutely brilliant, especially if there is snow. Keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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!

One Hour Feed STAH 806
Thursday November 20, 2008, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0848, 0849, 0850, 0851, 0852


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #08-49 /1618th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/08/2008 through Sunday 12/14/2008

"Why Doesn't The Shortest Day Of The Year
Feel Like The Shortest Day Of the Year?"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. This year Sunday December 21st is the winter solstice, the so-called first day of winter, because at 7:04 a.m. Eastern Standard Time the Sun will reach its farthest point south of the celestial equator. And although most of us were taught that the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, to many people it doesn't feel like the shortest day of the year. Why? Let me explain this weird phenomenon.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first day of spring in March, which astronomers call the vernal equinox, vernal meaning green and equinox meaning equal night which simply means that on that day the hours of daylight are equal to the hours of night. The Sun also rises exactly due east and sets due west on the equinox. After which it rises and sets each successive day just a little bit farther to the north of east until the first day of summer, the summer solstice, when the Sun reaches its northernmost point along the horizon and actually seems to stand still for a couple of days. In fact the word solstice means "Sun stands still". And most of us were taught that the first day of summer is the longest day of the year meaning the day of longest daylight.

Now after the solstice the Sun appears to reverse its direction and rises and sets just a little bit farther south each successive day. And the amount of daylight gets a little less each day. Then on the first day of autumn, the autumnal equinox, the Sun will once again rise due east and set due west and the amount of daylight will be equal to the amount of night. Then the Sun will continue its journey rising and setting a little bit farther south each day and the amount of daylight will continue to get shorter and nights longer until the first day of winter, the winter solstice, when the Sun will reach its farthest point south and once again appear to solstice, that is stand still. And we will experience the shortest day of the year meaning the day of least sunlight and most darkness.

But experience is a strange word because even though the first day of winter is the shortest day of the year, nevertheless it doesn't feel like it to most people and this feeling can be explained. You see more people experience sunsets than sunrises and at mid northern latitudes the earliest sunsets occur during the first week of December. Sunset actually occurs a little bit later each day as we move closer to the winter solstice. So although the days really are getting shorter it's because the Sun is rising later each morning and since most people judge the length of a day by sunset time and not sunrise this is why the days at the beginning of December usually feel shorter than the actual shortest day of the year. It's simply a matter of human perception. If however you're an early riser and get up with the chickens then the first days of January will feel like the shortest days of the year because that's when the days of latest sunrise occur. Are you a sunrise person or a sunset person? What day feels like the shortest day to you? Keep looking up!

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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Click Here

 
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Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-49 M

12/08/2008 thru 12/14/2008

"Why Doesn't The Shortest Day Of The Year
Feel Like The Shortest Day Of The Year?"

Horkheimer: All our lives we've been told that the winter solstice, the first day of winter, which this year is Sunday December 21st, is the shortest day of the year, but to many people the days at the beginning of December actually feel shorter. Why? Well, today more people experience sunsets than sunrises and at mid-northern latitudes the earliest sunsets occur during the first week of December. So, because sunsets occur a little bit later each day after the first week of December, the days actually feel like they're growing longer toward the end of December. Conversely if you get up with the chickens, the first days of January will feel shorter because that's when the days of latest sunrises occur. It's all a matter of personal perception. Are you a sunriser or a sunsetter? Happy winter solstice and keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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!

One Hour Feed STAH 806
Thursday November 20, 2008, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0848, 0849, 0850, 0851, 0852


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-50 / 1619th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 12/15/2008 through Sunday 12/21/2008

"The So-Called "Christmas Star" Returns
Accompanied By A Companion!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every few years during the Christmas season an extremely bright star-like object appears in early evening, which prompts many people to ask, "is it the Christmas Star?" And once again it has returned for the holiday season and is the brightest object we can see in the nighttime sky second only to the Moon. But this year it has returned with a companion, which is the third brightest object we can ever see in the nighttime sky. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got out our skies set up for any night during Christmas week about 45 minutes after sunset facing southwest where the brightest object you'll see will be the so-called Christmas Star. And down to its right a not quite as bright star-like object, a companion to the so-called Christmas Star. But even though both of them look like incredibly brilliant stars nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact they are much closer than any star other than our Sun. In fact they are part of our Sun's family, two planets. The one closest to the horizon is the king of the planets itself, Jupiter.

And if you get a small telescope for Christmas you'll be absolutely fascinated at the detail you can see. You'll be able to make out horizontal lines, which are bands of huge gigantic storms, which continually encircle this planet. And you'll also see tiny pinpoints of light lined up on either side of Jupiter, which are its four largest moons. Plus if you go out hour after hour night after night you'll notice that they constantly change their position in relation to Jupiter and each other. And that is because they are constantly moving in orbit around it. So that's the story behind this year's Christmas Star's companion.

The so-called Christmas Star is also a planet, the most reflective planet of them all because it is constantly enshrouded by a dense cloud cover, which makes this planet act like a giant mirror. It is our nearest neighbor in space other than the Moon, Venus. And for centuries whenever Venus has made its appearance during the Christmas season, people have mistaken it for the star mentioned in the Christmas story. And if you look at it through a small telescope you will see that it goes through phases just like our Moon. In fact during Christmas week this year it will look like a just past first quarter Moon.

Now Venus which is almost the same size as our Earth, is much smaller than Jupiter, only 8,000 miles wide whereas Jupiter is 88,000 miles wide which means we could line up eleven Venuses across its middle which tells us that it must be super close to be so much brighter than Jupiter. How close you ask? Well all during Christmas week Venus will be only 78 million miles away from earth but Jupiter will be a whopping seven times farther away, 558 million miles beyond. Which may lead you to ask, "If Jupiter were as close to Earth as Venus, how bright would it be in our night sky?" Answer: 50 times brighter! So bright we'd see it every day in the daytime sky. So get thee out all during Christmas week just after sunset and enjoy the beauty of the two brightest planets in our solar system. And see if they don't make your holiday just a little bit brighter. Keep looking up!


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

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-50 M

12/15/2008 thru 12/21/2008

"The So-Called "Christmas Star" Returns
Accompanied By A Companion!"

Horkheimer: All this Christmas week you'll see a super bright star-like object just after sunset. Could it be the "Christmas Star"? Any night Christmas week just after sunset face southwest and you'll be dazzled by what many people will think is the return of the so-called "Christmas Star". And surprisingly it will have a companion not quite as bright down to its right. The bright object close to the horizon is Jupiter, the second brightest planet, whereas the super bright object above it is the brightest planet of all, Venus, which is always mistaken for the "Christmas Star" whenever it appears in early evening during the holiday season. If you get a telescope for Christmas be sure to look at both of them. Make your holiday brighter with the two brightest planets! Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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!

One Hour Feed STAH 806
Thursday November 20, 2008, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0848, 0849, 0850, 0851, 0852


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-51 / 1620th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 12/22/2008 through Sunday 12/28/2008

"Special Cosmic Goodies For Christmas Week!
And A Super Special Occurrence For New Year's Eve!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And have we Ever got something special for you cosmic wise for the entire holiday season. Indeed on Christmas Eve and Christmas night the two brightest planets will be joined by the pink planet right after sunset painting a beautiful picture. Plus you'll be able to watch them change position night after night reaching a final dramatic climax with a sensational crescent Moon on New Year's Eve! Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Christmas Eve Wednesday night December 24th, just after sunset, while there is still some twilight out, facing southwest where you will see a dazzling bright light which I am sure many will mistake for the traditional Christmas star, although a star it is not. It is the brightest planet in our solar system, 8,000 mile wide Venus. And down to its right the second brightest planet, dimmer only because it is so much farther away, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, eleven times the size of Venus. And below it if you have a clear flat horizon the first planet out from the sun and often called the pink planet because it always looks pink when it's seen close to the horizon, the tiniest planet in our solar system, three thousand mile wide Mercury which our Messenger space craft is still visiting and sending back spectacular photographs of parts of this planet we've never before seen. What a way to start Christmas Eve!

But if it's cloudy out never fear because 24 hours later on Christmas night, they'll still be there. And Mercury will have moved even closer to Jupiter. And it gets even better because night after night Mercury and Jupiter will move even closer to each other in anticipation of a spectacular showing on New Year's Eve. Friday the 26th, Saturday the 27th and on Sunday December 28th an extremely slender crescent Moon will appear just below Mercury and Jupiter. And on Monday December 29th an even prettier crescent Moon complete with earthshine will look like a grey/black full Moon nestled within the crescent, will be visible and up beyond Mercury and Jupiter plus Jupiter and Mercury will be closer still. But it gets even better because on Tuesday December 30th an Even more exquisite crescent Moon will be smack dab between Mercury and Jupiter and Venus. And Mercury and Jupiter will be so close they'll just beg you to look at them through binoculars or that new small telescope you got for Christmas.

But it gets even better because ta da! on New Year's Eve Wednesday December 31st the two brightest objects in the night sky, the Moon and Venus will make an absolutely exquisite duo as will Mercury and Jupiter below them, two cosmic duos, a cosmic foursome to ring in 2009! Think of it this way. The three brightest objects we can ever see in the night sky the Moon, Venus and Jupiter plus the first planet out from the sun present themselves to welcome in the New Year. So start your holiday cosmic watch now and please don't miss the New Year's Eve super foursome special brought to you courtesy of the cosmos. Merry Christmas, happy New Year and keep looking up!


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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-51 M

12/22/2008 thru 12/28/2008

"Special Cosmic Goodies For Christmas Week!
And A Super Special Occurrence For New Year's Eve!"

Horkheimer: On New Year's Eve the three brightest objects we can see in the night sky will welcome in the New Year. On Monday the 29th just after sunset face southwest and you'll see them. The brightest will be an exquisite crescent Moon, the second brightest, dazzling 8,000 mile wide Venus, the third brightest 88,000 mile wide Jupiter plus just below it tiny 3,000 mile wide pink Mercury. On Tuesday the 30th Mercury and Jupiter will have moved side by side and an even bigger Moon will be half way between them and Venus. And ta da! On Wednesday New Year's Eve you will see a super spectacular pairing of the Moon and Venus in addition to the pairing of Mercury and Jupiter below. Two pairings, a cosmic foursome. 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


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!

One Hour Feed STAH 806
Thursday November 20, 2008, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0848, 0849, 0850, 0851, 0852


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-52 / 1621st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 12/29/2008 through Sunday 1/04/2009

"Welcome In 2009 With The Brightest Planet
And The Brightest Star Plus The Lord Of The Rings"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And as you regular viewers know every year I entreat you to celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Week with something I have long called "the New Year's star" because it is the brightest star we can see with the naked eye above the horizon eye and every year it reaches its highest position at midnight during New Year's Week. Plus this year we have some extra added cosmic attractions to ring in 2009.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night the first week of 2009 just after sunset facing southwest where the brightest planet we can Ever see in the night sky will be absolutely dazzling. It is planet number two and almost the same size as our 8,000 mile wide planet Earth, the most reflective planet in the solar system because it is covered with a brilliant layer of clouds which acts like a giant mirror, the planet named for the goddess of love, Venus. And it will be absolutely beautiful every night after sunset all week long. And if you were lucky enough to go out just after sunset on New Year's Eve you would have seen that it was joined by an exquisite crescent Moon which made an absolutely sensational sight on New Year's Eve. But of course the Moon has since gone merrily on its way and will reach full on Jan. 10 and ta da! will be the closest full Moon of 2009! Watch it grow bigger every night!

So this year the most brilliant planet of them all shines on the New Year every night during the first week of 2009. Plus we can also see the New Year's star at its highest point every night at midnight during the first week of 2009. Let me show you. Simply go out at midnight your local time any night the first week of January look due south and smack dab in front of you at its highest point above the horizon you will see the brightest star we can see with the naked eye, the star which marks the eye of Canis Major, Orion's bigger dog, the star we call Sirius. And for over a quarter of a century I have been alerting all of you to go out Every New Year's Eve and to use this star as a welcoming beacon for each New Year. But in case you missed it on New Year's Eve it's still there at midnight all of New Year's Eve Week. It's one of the closest stars to Earth only 8.6 light years away, which means that when you look at it this week you'll be seeing Sirius not as it exists now but as it existed 8.6 years ago in late spring 2000. Do you remember what you were doing in the spring of 2000?

But that's not all because if you look toward the east at midnight just below the bright stars which make up the constellation Leo the Lion you'll be able to see another planet not as bright as Venus of course but in my estimation the most beautiful planet of them all, 75,000 mile wide, ringed Saturn whose rings right now appear almost edge on to us. So there you have it. Welcome in 2009 every night New Year's week with the ringed planet , and the brightest star and the brightest. Just after sunset look southwest for Venus, at midnight look for Sirius at its highest in the south and in the east the lord of the rings. Happy New Year and keep looking up!


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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-52 M

12/29/2008 thru 1/04/2009

"Welcome In 2009 With The Brightest Planet
And The Brightest Star Plus The Lord Of The Rings"

Horkheimer: Welcome in 2009 with the brightest planet and the brightest star. Every night New Year's week face southwest and you will see the brightest planet of them all, dazzling same size as our Earth, 8,000 mile wide Venus, the most reflective planet in the solar system. At midnight face due south and you'll see Sirius the brightest star you can ever see at its highest point above the horizon. It marks the eye of Orion's big dog and is one of the closest stars. Even so when you look at it you're seeing it as it not as it exists now but as it existed 8.6 years ago in late spring 2000. Do you remember where you were in the spring of 2000? So there you have it, the brightest star and the brightest planet lighting up the New Year! Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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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