"STAR GAZERS "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 GAZERS off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

Half Hour Feed
1106 SD Base P389225-001
Wednesday 16 November 2011 - 1230-1300
Includes episodes 1149, 1150, 1151, 1152



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

"Star Gazers" is available from iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS" 5 MINUTE

Episode # 11-49 - 10th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/5/2011 through
Sunday 12/11/2011

"Red Moon In The Morning"

 

James: Welcome to star gazers. I'm James Albury, Director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida.


Dean; And I'm Dean Regas, Outreach Astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory. We're both here to help you be sure you know what you're seeing in the night sky when you...

Both: Look up.

James: Saturday morning December 10th the Moon will pass through the shadow of the Earth and give us a total lunar eclipse.

Dean: But...only those of you in the far western parts of the U.S. and Canada will get to see it live. This is really a great event for the folks in Australia, Asia and the Pacific Islands but not for most of the U.S. But we have a way around that which we'll tell you about later.

James: There won't be another total lunar eclipse for anywhere in the world until April 2014 when both North and South America will get a great view. This gap might seem strange since there have been three of them in the past 12 months but eclipses are kind of cat-like. They follow their own rules and don't care what you think at all. What makes lunar eclipses tick? Let's show you.

Dean: 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. And full Moon occurs every month whenever the Moon is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth.

James: 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.

Dean: But during a total lunar eclipse the Moon never completely disappears and always turns some unpredictable shade of reddish orange. And that's because the red rays of sunlight are bent by our Earth's atmosphere into our Earth's shadow, filling it with a faint reddish orange light.

James: So during a total lunar eclipse the reddish orange color you see is actually the red 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 for us to see.

Dean: 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, inner, dark shadow called the umbra. The penumbral phase of the eclipse is never very noticeable, so start watching when the Moon begins to enter the umbra at 4:45 a.m. Pacific time or your local equivalent.

James: As time progresses, the umbra, our Earth's curved shadow will slowly creep across the Moon and gradually darken it and cause it to change color. But what color the Moon will turn no one can predict, which is what makes it so much fun. Will it turn bright orange, blood red? Only the shadow knows.

Dean: The Moon will be within the umbra and totally eclipsed for 52 minutes until 9:58 a.m. Eastern Time.

James: Yes, we know that for you in the eastern half of the U.S. The Moon will have set and the Sun will have risen. But we have a plan.

Dean: We will webcast the eclipse from Reno Nevada for those of you who get clouded out, or sunrised out or just don't feel like getting up just before dawn to see it. Or if the eclipse is over check us out for a replay.

James: Go to our website: www. Stargazersonline.org for more info or you could get on a plane and fly to the west coast to see it in person. It will be more than two years until you get a chance to see another...

Both: Total lunar eclipse.

Keep looking up!

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

 


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-49 M

12/05/2011 thru 12/11/2011

"Red Moon In The Morning"

 

James: Saturday morning December 10th the Moon will pass through the shadow of the earth and give us the last total lunar eclipse visible until April 2014.

Dean: But...only those of you in the far western parts of the U.S. and Canada will get to see it live. But we have a way around that which we'll tell you about later.

James: 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.

Dean: There is however, always some red sunlight in the shadow, which makes the Moon turn an unpredictable shade of reddish orange during totality. But what color the Moon will turn, no one can predict. Will it turn bright orange, blood red? Only the shadow knows.

James: We will webcast the eclipse live from Reno Nevada or if the eclipse is over, check us out for a replay.

Dean: Go to our website: www. Stargazersonline.org for more info.

Both: Keep looking up!

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


* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of "Star Gazers"







"STAR GAZERS "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 GAZERS" off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

Half Hour Feed
1106 SD Base P389225-001
Wednesday 16 November 2011 - 1230-1300
Includes episodes 1149, 1150, 1151, 1152


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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS"

Episode #11-50 - 11th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 12/12/2011 through Sunday 12/18/2011

"The Reasons For The Seasons"

Dean: Hey there Star Gazers. I'm Dean Regas, Outreach Astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory.

James: And I'm James Albury, Director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida. We're here to give you insight into our changing seasons.

Dean: Next week is the winter solstice. On Thursday December 22nd Sun worshippers can rejoice! This is the time when the northern hemisphere experiences the shortest days and longest nights.

James: Wait a second, rejoice? On the darkest day? What's to celebrate?

Dean: Well, that means every day after December 22, the Sun will get higher in the sky and stay up longer above the horizon. The Sun will stop its southward migration and start heading north again.

James: I wish it would hurry up already, it's freezing out here!

Dean: Let's show you "The Reasons For The Seasons."

James: The changing seasons and the changing amount of daylight we get during the year are caused by the tilt of the Earth. As our planet rotates daily on its axis, we also revolve around the Sun. But our rotational axis is tilted with respect to our orbit around the Sun and we keep this slanted view.

Dean: The Earth is tilted 23 and a half degrees and this is the cause of the seasons. When we, in the northern hemisphere, are tilted most directly toward the Sun we soak up solar energy to the max. That day is called the summer solstice and it usually occurs on June 20th or 21st. At this point the Sun's rays shine most directly on us in the United States. We get more energy per square inch and thus it's hotter.

James: Now the opposite occurs when the Earth swings around to the opposite side of the Sun. Here, we, in the northern hemisphere, are tilted away from the Sun. The Sun's rays feebly strike us at a low angle spreading out the same energy over a larger area. Each square inch gets a lot less energy than in summer. We call this the winter solstice and that usually occurs on December 21st or 22nd.

Dean: The Sun's output is the same all year round. But the difference in our seasons is caused by how much of that energy we soak up. It has nothing to do with how close or far we are from the Sun. We're actually closest to the Sun every year in January and farthest from the Sun in July. So the distance isn't the difference. Now, let's see how our tilt affects the view from down on Earth.

James: We have our skies set to December 22nd just before sunrise. Let's trace the path that the Sun takes across the sky on this, the shortest day of the year. The Sun will rise south of east, and reach its highest point in the southern sky around noon. Then the Sun will set south of west.

Dean: For most of the country you'll get about 9-10 hours of daylight on this day. That also means you'll get 14-15 hours of darkness!

James: Let's compare this to the spring equinox - next year it will be on March 20. Now let's trace the pathway that the Sun takes on this day. The Sun will rise due east, reach its highest point above the southern horizon and then set due west.

Dean: Notice how the Sun goes higher in the sky than it did in December. The higher the Sun is, the more direct energy we get.

James: And look at how much longer the Sun was in the sky! 12 hours of daylight.

Dean: And 12 hours of darkness. Equal day, equal night. That's why they call it the equinox. What about on the summer solstice? Now our sky is set to June 20th, 2012 and we can watch the Sun rise north of east, go very high in the south and set north of west.

James: The Sun went higher still in the sky. And the hours of daylight reach a whopping 14-15 hours for most of the U.S.

Dean: And only 9 or 10 hours of darkness. And all of this is caused by the 23 and a half degree tilt of the Earth. The winter and summer solstices mark the extremes in the daily passage of the Sun. So next week, on December 22 watch where the Sun sets.

James: But after the winter solstice, the Sun will begin its slow trip north until we reach the other extreme: summer solstice on June 20.

Dean: So soak up the solstice Sun - because longer days are returning and summer is coming slowly.

Both: Keep looking up!


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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 
 
 

"Star Gazers" Minute

#11-50 M

12/12/2011 thru 12/18/2011

"The Reasons For the Seasons"


Dean: Thursday December 22nd is the winter solstice when we experience the shortest day and longest night.

James: Why does this happen? Let's show you "The Reasons For The Seasons."

James: As our planet rotates on its axis, we also revolve around the Sun. But our axis is tilted compared to our orbit around the Sun.

Dean: The Earth is tilted 23 and a half degrees and this is the cause of the seasons. When were tilted most directly toward the Sun we soak up solar energy to the max. That's the summer solstice.

James: When the Earth swings around to the opposite side of the Sun we, in the northern hemisphere, are tilted away from the Sun. The Sun's rays strike us at a low angle spreading out the same energy over a larger area. That's the winter solstice.

Dean: So next week, on December 22 watch where the Sun sets. And soak up the solstice Sun -

James: Because longer days are returning slowly

Both: Keep looking up!

Please give us your comments. (Click Here)




 
* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of "Star Gazers"




 



"STAR GAZERS "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 GAZERS" off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

Half Hour Feed
1106 SD Base P389225-001
Wednesday 16 November 2011 - 1230-1300
Includes episodes 1149, 1150, 1151, 1152


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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS"

Episode # 11-51 - 12th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 12/19/2011 through Sunday 12/25/2011

"Five Fabulous Planets For The Holidays"


James: Welcome to Star Gazers. I'm James Albury, Director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida.

Dean :And I'm Dean Regas, Outreach As-tronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory
and were both here to help you be sure you know what you're looking at when you go out to your back yard and look up.

James: This year the cosmos is very happy to bring you, free of charge, five fabulous planets for your holiday viewing pleasure. In early evening you can see dazzling Venus, and giant Jupiter.

Dean: and in the east just before sunrise you'll find the pink planet mercury, the ringed planet Saturn and the red planet mars. And if you're one of the lucky ones to get a telescope as a holiday gift the viewing will be absolutely super, although as always, this quintet will look great to just the naked eye. Let's show you.

James: O.K., we've got our skies set up for the last two weeks of December at about 6 p.m. facing southwest where close to the horizon you'll see the planet which many people have mistaken for the Christmas Star all month long because it's been so dazzlingly bright, Venus; the planet often called Earth's twin sister be-cause it's almost the same size, 8,000 miles wide.

Dean: Like our Moon, Venus goes through phases and through a telescope, Venus always looks rounder and closer to full when it's farther away from us. If you watched it through a small telescope for the past several months you would have seen it grow in size as it steadily came closer to us. But even though it's gotten bigger and bigger as it's gotten closer, its phase has become smaller.

James: It now looks like a gibbous Moon and if you start watching it this week with a small telescope, you'll actually be able to watch its phase shrink like a waning Moon all throughout this spring.

Dean: Around 6 p.m. look southeast and about half way up in the sky you'll spot a brilliant point of light, the king of the plan-ets Jupiter. Jupiter and Venus will keep getting closer every night until they have a spectacular meeting in the western sky in early March.

James: We have a special holiday treat for you on the night of Dec. 26. A 2 and a half day old skinny young Moon will be seven degrees to the right of Venus. On the next night Tuesday the 27th, the 3 and a half day old Moon will be above Venus. This should also be a good time to see "The Old Moon In The New Moon's Arms". Now Dean let's go to your favorite time of day, just before dawn.

Dean: I'm sorry to have to wake up so early but you're right, James. Because just before dawn next week we'll have three bright planets to look at. Closest to the horizon, with a bright star beside it, is pinkish Mercury. Just off to its right is Antares, the bright red heart star of the scorpion. Watch for several mornings and you'll easily see Mercury moving away from Antares.

James: Up to the right of this pair of early morning beauties is another pair of bright lights, the bright blue star Spica and to its left is the exquisite ringed planet Saturn, which looks good in even the cheapest department store telescope.

Dean: if you were lucky enough to get a new telescope for the holidays here's a great place to put it to use. Look for Sat-urn with your new scope. You'll never for-get your first glimpse of Saturn and its rings. Keep looking every day and you'll be able to watch Saturn steadily brighten week after week throughout the spring. Saturn's rings are now wider than they've been in years, which will help make Sat-urn even brighter. 75,000 miles wide, Saturn is not as bright as Mercury be-cause Saturn is so much farther away.

James: Then look up and to the right of Saturn and you'll find another bright planet, Mars, named after the Roman god of war. Mars and Mercury will both be brighter than Saturn even though they are much smaller. Here they are again. Mer-cury beside Antares, Saturn to the left of Spica;...and Mars. Then back to the eve-ning look for Venus in the southwest and Jupiter in the southeast.

Dean : And be sure to get out the nights of Dec. 26 and 27 to see the skinny cres-cent Moon by Venus in the early evening sky. James and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas

Both: And be sure to keep looking up!

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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 
 
 

"Star Gazers" Minute

#11-51 M

12/19/2011 thru 12/25/2011

"Five Fabulous Planets For The Holidays"


James: This year the cosmos is bringing you five fabulous planets for the holidays.

Dean: O.K., our skies are set up for the last two weeks of December about 6 p.m. facing southwest where close to the horizon you'll see dazzlingly bright, Venus.

James: Then look southeast and about half way up in the sky you'll spot the king of the planets, Jupiter.

Dean: On the evening of Dec. 26, a skinny crescent Moon will be to the right of Venus. And on the next night the 27th, the Moon will be above Venus.

James: Just before dawn next week we'll have three bright planets. Closest to the horizon is pinkish Mercury. Just off to its right is Antares the bright red heart star of the scorpion.

Dean: Up to the right is, the bright blue star Spica and to its left is the exquisite ringed Saturn.

James: Up and to the right of Saturn you'll find the planet, Mars.

Dean: James and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and be sure to

Both: Keep looking up!

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



 
* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer



 


"STAR GAZERS" 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 GAZERS" off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

Half Hour Feed
1106 SD Base P389225-001
Wednesday 16 November 2011 - 1230-1300
Includes episodes 1149, 1150, 1151, 1152


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



"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS"

Episode # 11-52 / 13th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 12/26/2011 through Sunday 1/01/2012

"Ring In 2012 With Star Gazers" Special New Year's Eve Star"


James: Greetings fellow stargazers! I'm James Albury, Director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville Florida.

Dean: And I'm Dean Regas, Outreach As-tronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory. Every year on Star Gazers we encourage you to celebrate New Year's Eve the cosmic way because if you go outside at the stroke of midnight every New Year's Eve you will see something very special which James and I like to call the New Year's Eve star.

James: That's right, dean! And we have some really nice planets for you to close out 2011 as well. Let's show you!

James: O.K. we've got our skies set up for 8 p.m. your local time this Saturday December 31st, New Year's Eve, facing due south. And first, like all good as-tronomers, let's draw an imaginary line from the due south horizon straight up to the zenith point overhead and then down the other side of the sky to the horizon due north. This line is called the meridian and it divides the eastern half of the sky from the western half.

Dean: Exactly, and now as our Earth slowly and endlessly rotates from west to east we are treated nightly to the grand-est optical illusion in nature as we watch the stars appear to rise in the east, slowly travel across the sky all night long and eventually set in the west. And if you watch the stars every single night, you'll eventually conclude that the highest point any star reaches above the horizon in its nightly journey is when it is on the merid-ian. Our astronomer ancestors used the crossing of the meridian by the Sun, Moon and stars to tell time.

James: This is very important to tele-scope users because the higher an object is above the horizon, the better it will ap-pear in a telescope.

Dean: So, when we were researching which planets would be high up off the horizon for viewing this New Year's Eve, we came across something, which to us, is an amazing coincidence, something which we had never read about in any as-tronomy book.

James: That coincidence is that no mat-ter where you happen to be on New Year's Eve, Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, will slowly climb up the south-eastern sky hour after hour and at mid-night will reach its highest point, almost on the meridian.

Dean: Think of it, the brightest star visible from our planet reaches its highest point above the horizon at midnight every New Year's Eve. It's a wonderfully poetic, cos-mic reminder that this most brilliant of stellar lights is welcoming in the New Year, giving us all hope for a bright new beginning.

James: And even better, if you happen to miss it on New Year's Eve because it's too cold or cloudy out, don't fret because Sirius will be in almost the same spot at midnight each night for the first week of the New Year.

Dean: And think about this, as you gaze up at Sirius this New Year's Eve. While our Sun is a million mile wide, relatively cool, yellow star, Sirius is a much hotter, almost twice as wide, white star. And it's very close cosmically speaking.

James: That's right, Dean. Sirius is only 8 1/2 light years away, which means that when we look at Sirius this New Year's Eve, we will actually be seeing the light that left it 8 1/2 years ago in June of 2003. So as you ring in 2012, step outside at midnight this Saturday night and make your New Year bright with cosmic light.

Dean: And while you're outside, make sure you catch a glimpse of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter will be the bright white light in the south-west just before midnight.

James: And let's not forget our friend Mars. If you go outside an hour or so be-fore midnight on New Year's Eve, you'll see a waxing crescent Moon setting in the west, and the red planet Mars, rising in the east.

Dean: Well, my friends make this New Year's Eve a safe and special one.

James: And remember, whatever you do...

Both: Keep looking up!

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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 
 

"Star Gazers" Minute

#11-52 M

12/26/2011 thru 1/01/2012

"Ring In 2012 With Star Gazers' Special New Year's Eve Star"


James: Greetings fellow stargazers! This week is the last week of 2011 and Dean and I have a great way to ring in the New Year!

Dean: Yes, with a stel-lar New Year's Eve tra-dition and some planets as well. Let's show you!

Dean: O.K. we've got our skies set up for an hour before midnight. This Saturday Decem-ber 31st, facing due south. No matter where you happen to be on New Year's Eve, Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, will slowly climb up the southeast-ern sky and at midnight it will reach its highest point.

James: And this hap-pens at midnight every New Year's Eve. And while you're outside, make sure you do some planet watching. Jupiter will be the bright white light in the west just be-fore midnight and if you look toward the opposite horizon, you'll see the red planet Mars, rising in the east.

Dean: So as you ring in 2012, step outside at midnight this Saturday night and make your New Year bright with cosmic light.

James: Happy New Year and...

Both: Keep looking up!


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




 
* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer


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