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 1/18/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 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 # 02-06 / 1261st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/4/2002 through Sunday 2/10/2002

"A Giant Red Star For Valentine's Day
and How To Find It"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and if you want to give your sweetheart something very special and out of this world for Valentine's Day, we have two exquisitely beautiful objects in the cosmos gift wrapped and ready to present. Let me show you. O.K., we 've got our skies set up for just after sunset Thursday, February 14th Valentine's day facing west where you'll see an exquisitely beautiful 2 day old crescent moon complete with earthshine which is about as beautiful as any Valentine card you'll ever give or get.

But for a super special cosmic Valentine go outside between the hours of 8 and 9 P.M. And look due south and you'll see a very bright red star shining high above the horizon. In fact it is the brightest red star we can see with the naked eye from planet earth. And just coincidentally it reaches its highest point above the horizon every Valentine's Day between the hours of 8 and 9 P.M. It marks the shoulder star of the great sky giant Orion the Hunter and it's name is Betelgeuse which most people pronounce beetlejuice. And if you've ever wanted to give your loved one a really big Valentine well this is about as big a one as you'll ever find.

Indeed if we compare Betelgeuse, our Valentine's star with our own star the sun and our own planet the earth you'll understand just how big. Now we all know that our earth is 8,000 miles wide which means it's pretty dinky compared to our sun which is 865,000 miles wide. In fact we could fit over 1 million earth's inside our sun. Betelgeuse however is so huge we could fit over 160 million of our suns inside it. And that's when Betelgeuse is at its smallest size. I say smallest size because Betelgeuse changes its size regularly like a gigantic slowly pulsating heart, one that beats however only once every 6 years.

Now when Betelgeuse is fully contracted and at its smallest size it is still about 500 times the width of our sun. But when it expands to its biggest size it is almost 900 times as wide. Or if you care to think of it this way, if we could place Betelgeuse where our sun is, when Betelgeuse is at its smallest it would stretch out past the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, all the way to Mars. And when it's at its largest it would reach all the way to Jupiter. Wow!

So there you have it. An exquisite 2 day old crescent moon right after sunset in the west and the biggest cosmic Valentine you'll ever want to give; Betelgeuse, a giant red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for your sweetheart courtesy of our local galaxy. And to see it, all you have to do is go outside this Valentine's night or any clear Valentine's night between 8 and 9 P.M., Look due south and there it will be shining red and bright and at its highest above the horizon. Is this a romantic cosmos or what? 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

#02-06 M

2/04/2002 thru 2/10/2002

"How To Find The Valentine's Day Star"

Horkheimer: Want to give your sweetheart the biggest, reddest Valentine ever? Then go outside with your honey Valentine's Day night between 8 and 9 P.M., Face due south, and you'll see the brightest red star visible to the naked eye from planet earth at its highest point above the horizon. It is the shoulder star of Orion the Hunter and is named Betelgeuse. It slowly pulsates like a giant heart and is so huge that if we could place it where our sun is it would reach past Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, and when fully expanded, all the way out to Jupiter. So this Valentine's Day give the biggest Valentine of all, a giant red star, pulsing like a heart full of cosmic love. 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

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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.


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 1/18/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 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 #02-07 /1262nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/11/2002 through Sunday 2/17/2002

"The Moon Has Two Super Meetings
With Two Super Planets
and Plays "Now You See It / Now You Don't"
With Saturn"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and if you've ever wanted to find the two biggest planets, now is your chance because next week our nearest neighbor the moon will have a super close meeting with each of them and on one night will actually pass right in front of one of them in a "now you see it, now you don't" game of celestial one upsmanship.

O.K., we 've got our skies set up for next week, Tuesday, February 19th between 7 and 8 P.M. facing south where you'll see winter's Orion the Hunter and up to his right an exquisite almost first quarter moon in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Now usually Taurus has only one eye, the giant red star Aldebaran but because the second biggest planet in the solar system, 75,000 mile wide Saturn, is currently visiting Taurus it temporarily gives him a second eye. In fact, many people have recently remarked about Taurus' new other eye. But Saturn appears as bright as Aldebaran only because it is so close, only 824 million miles away on the 19th.

If, however, Aldebaran were as close as Saturn we'd all be scorched to death because Aldebaran is so huge we could fit 156 million Saturns in side it. In deed Aldebaran is 30 million miles wide. It appears the same brightness as Saturn only because it is so much farther away 65 light years! Wow! But the night to mark on your calendar for moon, Saturn and Aldebaran watching is Wednesday night the 20th because in early evening the first quarter moon will huddle right up next to Saturn and then will occult it, that is pass right in front of it and hide it for an hour or so depending on where you live in the U.S. In fact this is mainly a U.S. treat.

Now although you can watch this occultation with the naked eye it is much more fun with a pair of binoculars or even a small telescope because you'll actually be able to see Saturn's rings slowly disappear behind the moon and then after a time slowly reappear in what I like to call a cosmic game of "now you see Saturn, now you don't". To obtain the exact times when Saturn will disappear behind the moon and then reappear go to our web site and we'll directly link you to Sky and Telescope Magazine's complete U.S. and Canada city by city occultation time tables accompanied by J. Kelly Beatty's wonderful article on this best Saturn occultation of the year. Don't miss this, it's really fun.

Now on the next night Thursday the 21st a one day past first quarter moon will be directly between Saturn and Jupiter and on the 22nd it will be parked right next to good old 88,000 mile wide Jupiter which will be only 427 million miles away the 22nd and which will be absolutely beautiful when paired with the moon! So there you have it two incredibly close meetings of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn giving you the perfect opportunity to find them. Once again, Tuesday the 19th, then ta da!, Wednesday the 20th, Saturn's occultation night, then Thursday the 21st and finally ta da! Friday the 22nd. Two super meetings with two super planets and a cosmic game of hide the planet. 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

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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

#02-07 M

2/11/2002 thru 2/17/2002

"The Moon Has Two Super Meetings
With Two Super Planets"


Horkheimer: Next week you can use the moon to find the two biggest planets plus it will play a cosmic game of "hide the planet" with Saturn. On Tuesday face south where you'll see Orion and up to his right the moon and Taurus the Bull with his red eye star Aldebaran plus a temporary second eye 75,000 mile wide Saturn which the moon will briefly hide for about an hour on Wednesday night. To find exact 'hiding' times for your city visit our web site so you can watch the moon slowly cover up, and then reveal lovely Saturn. On Thursday the moon is between Saturn and Jupiter. And on Friday it will make an incredible duo with the 88,000 mile wide planet. Once again, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 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 1/18/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 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 # 02-08 / 1263rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/18/2002 through Sunday 2/24/2002

"The Two Incredibly Close Full Moons
of 2002 And The Farthest"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and while most years have one extremely close full moon, 2002 is gracing us with two which means that we'll have two super-big super-bright full moons accompanied by unusually high tides. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our skies set up for Wednesday February 27th facing east just after sunset where you will see a much bigger and brighter than usual full moon just above the horizon. Now whenever a full moon is close to the horizon it always looks much bigger than it does when it's overhead. And that's because when a full moon is close to the horizon we see it in relation to known foreground objects like trees and buildings. So all full moons when they rise and are close to the horizon look much bigger than when they are at their highest at midnight. And likewise whenever a full moon sets in the west it also always looks bigger because of its relationship to foreground objects. But this February's full moon is the closest full moon of the year which will make it look much bigger than usual, and tremendously bigger than the farthest full moon of the year.

Now our moon is constantly moving either toward or away from our earth like a gigantic cosmic pendulum. The moon's average distance is 238,900 miles. But once a month whether it's full or not it reaches it's closest point to earth which is called perigee. And also once a month it reaches its farthest point which is called apogee. And ta da! this February 27th at 04:17 a.M. E.S.T. It will officially be full and only 11 hours away from perigee, a mere 221,883 miles away which makes it the closest, biggest and brightest full moon of the year. And which also makes it 30,363 miles closer than the farthest full moon of the year which will occur on Oct. 21st when it will be 252, 246 miles away. This will also make this February's full moon appear 14% larger and ta da! 32% brighter! And it will be accompanied by unusually high tides.

But if you miss it on February 27th you only have to wait one month for another super close, super bright full moon because on Thursday March 28th the full moon will be only 75 miles farther away than February's. In fact it will look just as big and bright as February's. So mark Wednesday February 27th and Thursday March 28th as two nights when the full moon will be so big and so bright that it may just knock your socks off. And in case you'd like to know the traditional American Indian names for these two moons, the February full moon is called the Snow Moon, the Hunger Moon or the Wolf Moon. And the March full moon is called the Sap Moon, Crow Moon or in medieval Europe, the Lenten Moon; which this year could also be renamed the "Two Right-In-Your-Face Moons." 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

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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

#02-08 M

2/18/2002 thru 2/24/2002

"The Two Closest Full Moons
Of 2002"

Horkheimer: While most years have one extremely close full moon, 2002 has two super close moons. On February 27th look east after sunset and you will see the biggest and brightest full moon of the year only 221,883 miles away which makes it 30,000 miles closer than the farthest full moon on October 21st which will also make it appear 14 % larger and would you believe 32% brighter. If you miss it on February 27th you'll see an equally big and bright full moon March 28th when the full moon will be only 75 miles farther way than February's. Talk about double your pleasure, double your fun. Two super close, super big, super bright full moons for 2002! 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 1/18/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 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 #02-09 /1264th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/25/2002 through Sunday 3/3/2002

"Saturn At Its Best Since The 70's"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and yes indeed the most beautiful planet in the solar system, ringed Saturn, is still at its best for viewing since 1975. And in this episode we're not only going to tell you why but we'll also show you how to find it. O.K., if we could go out into space and look down at our Earth, the sun and Saturn we would see that our Earth is much closer to the sun than Saturn. Indeed while Earth's average distance is only 93 million miles, Saturn's average distance is a whopping 890 million miles. And because it is farther away, it travels much slower in its orbit than our Earth. In fact while it takes our Earth only 1 earth year to make one trip around the sun, it takes Saturn 29 1/2 Earth years which makes Saturn appear to change its position very slowly against the background of stars.

And because Saturn and Earth are always changing their place in relationship to each other, once a year Saturn and Earth and the sun line up in what we call opposition which means that sSturn is directly opposite the sun as seen from Earth. Now at opposition Saturn is always at its closest and brightest. But because both Earth and Saturn's orbits are not perfect circles but are ovals called ellipses Saturn's distance from Earth is different at each opposition. So Saturn is much closer at some oppositions than others. Last December 3rd Saturn came into opposition and was at its closest since 1975, only 751 million miles away. So since December Saturn has been extremely close and bright and available for viewing almost all night long. Plus several other factors make Saturn appear much higher in the heavens at this opposition than others also making it much easier for viewing.

Now Saturn does something very unusual during its 30 year journey around the sun. Approximately every 15 years Saturn's rings appear edge on to earth and are practically invisible. But in between these periods of edge-on bad-viewing Saturn's rings appear at various angles to Earth, sometimes just slightly "open" as astronomers say and at other times "wide open". And right now Saturn's rings are so incredibly wide open that it is at least 3 times brighter than when its rings were edge on in 1995. So a combination of 3 things are making Saturn super special right now. It's close, it's high and it's super bright because its highly reflective rings are tilted wide open! Wow!

To find Saturn simply go outside about an hour after sunset look south for Orion the Hunter, then up to his right for Taurus the Bull which usually has only one eye the bright red star Aldebaran. But which now, since Saturn is right beside it, has a temporary second eye. Even the cheapest department store telescope at 100 power will show Saturn's exquisite rings with the wonderful dark gap separating them called Cassini's Division which was first discovered by the Italian astronomer in 1676. And if you don't have a telescope of your own call your nearest amateur astronomy club and they'll be more than happy to show you Saturn because it's been the big attraction since December. See Saturn now! It runs rings around the other planets. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!



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

#02-09 M

2/25/2002 thru 3/3/2002

"Saturn At Its Best Since The 70's"

Horkheimer: The ringed planet Saturn is still at its best for viewing since 1975. Want to know why? Well once a year Saturn, our Earth and the sun line up in what we call opposition, at which time Saturn is at its closest and brightest for the year. But since Earth's and Saturn's orbits are ovals and not circles Saturn's distance from Earth is different at each opposition. And this opposition is the closest since 1975. Saturn is also much higher now than at other oppositions plus its incredibly reflective rings are now wide open which makes Saturn super bright. So face south after sunset, look above Orion and next to Taurus' red eye Aldebaran you'll see it shining as Taurus' second eye. And even the cheapest telescope will show you its fabulous rings. 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

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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.

 


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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