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!

Tuesday 1/21/03 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 # 03-05 / 1313th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/03/2003 through
Sunday 2/09/2003

"Using The Moon To Find
The Two Largest Planets"



Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know if you got a small telescope for Christmas the timing couldn't get any better than this month for finding and viewing the two largest planets in our solar system because not only are they at their best for viewing but you can see them in early evening. And what's even better if you're one of those who has real difficulty finding the planets you can use the moon next week for a planet finder as it cuddles up next to each of them. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Monday February 10th between 7 and 8 p.m. your local time facing southeast where the most brilliant object in the heavens will be a nine day old Moon hovering just above the bright red star Aldebaran which marks the eye of Taurus the Bull. And to their left you'll see the planet which is still at its best viewing in 30 years because its ring system is wide open, the second largest planet in our solar system, 75,000 mile wide Saturn, which seen through even a small department store telescope will absolutely blow you away.

But if you're not exactly sure which of the many bright objects in this area is Saturn we have two hints to help you. #1 planets usually shine with a steady light whereas stars frequently twinkle. So if several of the bright objects in this area are twinkling next Monday, look for the one that doesn't. Hint #2, if you go out Tuesday night at the same time a slightly fatter 10 day old moon will be parked right beside Saturn, only 2 1/2 degrees away. So get out your telescope or find someone who has one and compare the two while they're so close together. Now on Wednesday night an even fatter moon will be well beyond Saturn and on its way to the biggest planet in the solar system which this week is still at its closest and brightest to planet Earth for the entire year, good old king of the planets 88,000 mile wide, Jupiter which also will not twinkle.

But if you're still not sure you've spotted Jupiter, then go out Thursday night and a 12 day old Moon will be even closer to it and parked right along side Castor and Pollux, the twin stars of Gemini and will make an exquisite triangle with them. On Friday February 14th, Valentine's Day night the moon will be smack dab between Castor and Pollux and Jupiter. And then tada! On Saturday the 15th a 14 day old, almost full Moon will be parked right along side Jupiter, once again inviting you to take out your telescope and compare the two.

And speaking of comparisons, Jupiter is so huge that 44 Moons could be lined up end to end across its middle. So there you have it, the two biggest planets at their very best just begging you to use the Moon to find them. And by the way on Tuesday the 11th the Moon which is only a quarter of a million miles away will be parked right next to Saturn which will be a whopping 794 million miles away, and on Saturday the 15th next to Jupiter which will be a mere 405 million miles away. So get out those telescopes 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.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-05M

2/03/2003 thru 2/09/2003

"Using The Moon To Find
The Two Largest Planets"


Horkheimer: If you got a small telescope for Christmas you can see the two largest planets at their best for viewing right now plus you can use the Moon to find them. On the 11th an exquisite Moon will be parked right beside Saturn and if you compare the two of them through a small telescope they'll blow you away. The Moon will be only a quarter of a million miles away, but Saturn will be a whopping 794 million miles away. On the 15th an almost full Moon will be parked right alongside Jupiter which will be a mere 405 million miles away. But which is so huge, 44 Moons could be lined up end to end across its middle. Saturn and the Moon on the 11th; Jupiter and the Moon on the 15th. 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!

Tuesday 1/21/03 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 #03-06 /1314th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/10/2003 through Sunday 2/16/2003

"The Valentine's Day Star"



Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. If you want to give your sweetheart something very special on Valentine's Day this year we not only have our annual Valen-tine's Day star but also several brilliant cosmic objects clustered around it gift wrapped and ready to present. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our skies set up for Friday Feb-ruary 14th, Valentine's Day between 8 and 9 p.m. facing due south where you'll almost be blown away by a sky full of brilliant objects ready for you to share with your Valentine.

The most obvious will be our 2000 mile wide closest neighbor, an almost full Moon. And just below it and right now at its brightest and best for the entire year, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And down toward the horizon the brightest star we can see with the naked eye, our old friend Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's greater dog, Canis Major. And almost directly due south the bright stars which make up his master the most famous winter constellation, Orion the Hunter which we'll return to in just a moment. But before we do, just above Orion, you'll see another bright object, 75,000 mile wide, Saturn which is still at its best in 30 years because its rings are tilted almost wide open. But the niftiest object we can see every Valentine's Day is the bright red star I call the Valentine's Day star because it's at its highest point above the horizon every Valentine's Day night between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. your local time. It marks the shoulder star of Orion and its name is Betelgeuse which most people pronounce beetle juice.

And if you've ever wanted to give your sweetheart a really big valentine well this is about as big a one as you'll ever find; much bigger than our Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and all the stars we can see in February's skies. In fact, if we compare Betelgeuse the Valentine star with our own star the Sun and our own planet the Earth I think you'll understand why Betelgeuse is about as big a Valentine as you'll ever give. You see our 8,000 mile wide Earth is pretty dinky compared to our 865,000 mile wide Sun. In fact, we could fit over one 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 that beats once every 6 years. Now when Betelgeuse is fully contracted at its smallest size it is a whopping 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 and Earth all the way past Mars. But when it's at its largest it is as big as the entire orbit of Jupiter. Wow!

So get thee out Valentine's Day night be-tween the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. , look due south for an almost full Moon, Jupiter at its best for the entire year, Sirius the brightest star we can see from Earth, Saturn at its best in 30 years and Betelgeuse the Valentine's Day star at its highest above the horizon, a giant red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for your sweet heart courtesy of our local galaxy. Is this a romantic cosmos or what? 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

#03-06 M

2/10/2003 thru 2/16/2003

"The Biggest Valentine Ever"


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

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!

Tuesday 1/21/03 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 # 03-07 / 1315th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/17/2003 through Sunday 2/23/2003

"A Mars And Venus Update
And How To Find Them Using The Moon Next Week"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And as you regular viewers know, this is the year of the red planet Mars because every day it's getting closer and closer as it races toward Earth and on August 27, 2003 it will be closer and brighter than it's been in almost 60,000 years. So we urge you to start your Mars watch now so you can see it steadily brighten over the next few months, during which time I'll give you regular updates. Also on the agenda this week is the brightest planet we can see from Earth, dazzling Venus. And I'll tell how to find both it and Mars by using the Moon.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Monday morning Feb. 24th, a half an hour before twilight begins between 5:30 and 6 a.m. facing southeast. And the reason we've chosen 5:30 to 6:00 is because around 6 a.m. twilight begins which will make Mars, which is faint right now, a little difficult to find, although you'll have no problem whatsoever this August when it will be so bright it will knock your socks off. At any rate just before twilight you'll see an exquisite 23 day old waning crescent Moon smack dab between two objects which look very much alike. Mars is down to its left and looks like a reddish-orange-rouge-gold light and up to the Moon's right is the star which marks the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion, Antares, which is also reddish-orange-rouge-gold. In fact, Antares and Mars will be about the same brightness next Monday and will look very much alike. You see, Antares literally means "the rival of Mars" because whenever Mars is at just the right distance from Earth, Antares and Mars do look alike. But they won't look alike for long because Mars is zooming towards us lickety split at a speed of 46 thousand miles per hour this week and is steadily brightening. In fact, since last August when Mars was 248 million miles it has come 102 million miles closer and is twice as bright. But by this August Mars will be 36 times brighter! So start your Mars watch this Monday when you can use the Moon to find it and if it's not clear out Monday, well you'll have an even better shot on Tuesday because then an even skinnier crescent Moon will be parked just below Mars and headed towards Venus. On Wednesday an even skinnier 25 day old Moon complete with Earthshine which will look like a grey-black full Moon nestled within the crescent which is caused by sunlight bouncing off our Earth on to the Moon and back once again to Earth which is why it is called Earthshine, will be between Mars and Venus and parked next to the top star of the handle of the teapot of Sagittarius. And on Thursday if you have a really flat horizon you'll see an exquisite slender sliver of a 26 day old crescent with Earthshine just below Venus. And while you're out there looking at these three remember that our 2,000 mile wide Moon is only about a quarter million miles away this week whereas 8,000 mile wide Venus is 95 million miles away and 4,000 mile wide Mars is 143 million miles away and closing in fast for its August 'once in 60,000 years' close encounter. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. 4 good mornings to 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

#03-07 M

2/17/2003 thru 2/23/2003

"A Venus And Mars Update"

Horkheimer: By now you know that Mars is racing toward Earth and that on August 27th it will be closer than it's been in almost 60,000 years and you can watch it steadily brighten. Next Monday before twilight, face southeast and you'll see an exquisite Moon directly between reddish - orange Mars and its rival namesake Antares. And although they look the same color and brightness right now, they won't for long because Mars is zooming towards us at a speed of 46,000 miles per hour. In fact, by this August it will be 36 times brighter than it is right now. On Tuesday the Moon will be parked just below Mars and on Thursday just below dazzling Venus. Start your Mars watch 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!

Tuesday 1/21/03 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 #03-08 / 1316th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/24/2003 through Sunday 3/2/2003

"I Eat Green Caterpillars"
Whenever I Look At Jupiter

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And actually I really don't eat green caterpillars whenever I look at Jupiter. But I always think of green caterpillars whenever I do. Why? Let me show you. Jupiter is the largest of all the planets in our Sun's family and is number 5 from the Sun. Our Earth being number 3. Now our Earth is on the average 93 million miles away from the Sun whereas Jupiter's average distance is 484 million miles. But because Jupiter is a much slower moving planet than our Earth Jupiter and Earth constantly vary their distance from each other.

When Jupiter is at its farthest distance from us and is on the other side of the Sun as seen from Earth it can be as far as 593 million miles away but once every year our Earth and Jupiter line up on the same side of the Sun and are many millions of miles closer to each other and whenever this happens we say Jupiter is at opposition because Jupiter is opposite the Sun in the sky as seen from Earth. And when Jupiter is at opposition it is always at its closest and brightest and best for viewing. Now Jupiter was at opposition on Groundhog Day , February 2nd, only 402 million miles away and although it's a little bit farther away this week, 412 million miles, it is still extremely close and bright and at its best for viewing in a small telescope. And that's where the I eat green caterpillars comes in. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for about an hour after sunset your local time any night the next couple of weeks facing east where the brightest object you'll see will be Jupiter. And it is by far the easiest planet to see through even the cheapest telescope. In fact you can see bands of weather systems completely encircling it and sometimes its famous "Great Red Spot", which is a giant storm system larger than 2 Earths lined up end to end. You'll also notice something that attracted the attention of the first person who ever looked at Jupiter through a telescope and that is 4 tiny pinpoints of light which seem to extend out from Jupiter's equator and which constantly change their position from night to night. Sometimes you'll see two lined up on one side and two on the other. Sometimes you'll see three and one, sometimes four lined up on one side and so on. In fact these 4 lights are so bright you can even see them with binoculars. These are Jupiter's four largest moons and they're called the Galilean Satellites because they were first discovered by Galileo in 1610.

Now although Jupiter is now known to have 40 moons these are the biggies! And in fact all but one of these four is larger than our moon. Their names in their order out from Jupiter are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. And for many years I had the hardest time trying to remember their correct order until one day I decided to take the first letter of each moon's name and think of a catchy phrase that I would never forget. Heaven only knows why I came up with "I" for Io, "eat" for Europa, "green" for Ganymede and "caterpillars" for Callisto. But I did and I've never forgotten their correct order since. So just remember "I Eat Green Caterpillars" and impress your friends with the fact that you know the correct order of Jupiter's four largest moons! And you can see where they are in relation to Jupiter each night by going to our website. Happy green caterpillaring 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.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-08 M

2/24/2003 thru 3/2/2003

"I Eat Green Caterpillars"

Horkheimer: Whenever I think of Jupiter I think "I eat green caterpillars". Why? Well, with a cheap telescope or even a pair of binoculars you can watch the four largest of Jupiter's 40 moons as they change position from night to night. They'll look like tiny pinpoints of light although three of them are actually larger than our Moon. Their names are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto and when they're all lined up together on one side of Jupiter the phrase "I Eat Green Caterpillars" will help you remember their order out from Jupiter. I for Io, E for Europa, G for Ganymede and C for Callisto. It's fun to watch them change position and if you go to our website we'll show you where they are from night to night. Happy green caterpillaring 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



[SmilinJack]Return to the [STAR GAZER Main Page]