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 Jan. 20, 2004 - 1100-1130 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 # 04-05 / 1365th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/02/2004 through
Sunday 2/08/2004

"How To Find The Brightest And Most Jewel-like
Star In The Night Sky"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and although there are many bright objects in the heavens right now in early evening, one of them holds the distinction of being the brightest star visible from planet Earth, other than our Sun, a star admired and even worshiped throughout the ages. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for just after sunset, this week and next, facing southeast where you will see the brightest constellation of them all, Orion the Hunter. 2 bright stars mark his shoulders, 2 bright stars mark his knees and 3 not quite as bright stars equally spaced in a row mark his belt. And if you shoot an imaginary arrow through Orion's belt down to his left you will see a dazzling star which literally outshines all the stars in the heavens as seen from Earth, the star Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's faithful companion, Canis major, the great dog. In fact we can make a very nice stick figure of a dog by drawing lines between Canis Major's stars with Sirius marking his eye. Now although Sirius is nicknamed the 'dog star', I personally prefer one name the ancient Egyptians gave it, the 'Soul of Isis'.

But whatever name it has enjoyed for the past several millennia, it is still the brightest and most jewel-like star we can see. But there's a catch here because even though Sirius is the brightest star we can see with the naked eye it is by no means intrinsically the brightest. It only appears to be the brightest because it is so close to us. In fact, it is the fifth closest star to planet Earth, not quite 9 light years away which, although near cosmically speaking, is still over half a million times farther away from us than our closest star the Sun. And although we can see many stars which are hundreds of times larger than Sirius, like Orion's red shoulder star Betelgeuse, even so Sirius does make our own star, the Sun, look rather puny by comparison because while our Sun is about one million miles in diameter, Sirius is almost twice as wide. And while our Sun burns a relatively cool 10 thousand degrees Fahrenheit at its surface, Sirius blazes a fierce 17 thousand degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it shine 25 times brighter than our Sun. Wow!

Thank heaven it isn't as close to us as our Sun or we'd all have to wear sunglasses to get to sleep at night. At any rate, if you watch Sirius when it is close to the horizon it will look even more dazzling than when it's up high. In fact it will flash and sparkle and change brilliant colors like a cosmic jewel unlike any other star in the heavens. So get thee outside to see Sirius the Dog Star and the ancient soul of Isis. It will dazzle you! 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

#04-05 M

2/02/2004 thru 2/08/2004

"The Brightest Star In The Night Sky"

Horkheimer: Go outside any night the next couple weeks, face southeast and if you shoot an imaginary arrow through the 3 stars marking the belt of Orion you'll land on the brightest star visible from planet Earth, Sirius, the eye of Orion's great dog which has been admired and worshiped throughout the ages. It appears the brightest however only because it's so close, a mere 9 light years away. There are many stars hundreds of times larger. Even so it is twice as wide as our Sun, almost twice as hot but shines 25 times brighter. And when it's close to the horizon it flashes and sparkles and changes brilliant colors like a cosmic jewel, unlike any other star in the sky. It's wonderful. 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!

Tuesday Jan. 20, 2004 - 1100-1130 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 #04-06 /1366th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/09/2004 through Sunday 2/15/2004

"The Goddess Of Love And
The Valentine's Day Star"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And if you want to give your sweetheart something 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 Saturday, February 14th, Valentine's Day facing southwest where you'll see an exquisitely beautiful dazzlingly brilliant object that will look like a star. But a star it is not. It is instead the brightest planet we can see from Earth, the planet named for the Roman goddess of love, 8,000 mile wide Venus which is frequently called Earth's twin sister planet because it is almost the same size. So this Valentine's Day you can celebrate by first showing your loved one the brightest object in the night sky shining down on both of you which will be prettier than any Valentine's Day card out there.

Then for a super special cosmic Valentine look due south between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. and you'll see a very bright red star shining 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 its name is Betelgeuse which most people pronounce beetle juice. 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 the 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 is pretty dinky compared to our Sun which is 865,000 miles wide. 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, 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. But when it's at its largest it will reach all the way to Jupiter. Wow!

So, there you have it. A brilliant planet named for the goddess of love right after sunset in the southwest and due south between 8 and 9 p.m. And at its highest, 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. 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

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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

#04-06 M

2/09/2004 thru 2/15/2004

"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!


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 Jan. 20, 2004 - 1100-1130 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 # 04-07 / 1367th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/16/2004 through Sunday 2/22/2004

"Our Nearest Neighbor Pays A Visit
To Three Early Evening Planets"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And if you're one of those who always has trouble telling a planet from a star then next week is made for you because our nearest neighbor the Moon will visit three planets as it slowly waxes and wends its way across the sky and best of all in early evening. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for just after sunset Sunday the 22nd, facing southwest where the most brilliant thing you'll see in the sky is dazzling Venus. Which this year will have its best year this year since 1882. Right below dazzling Venus you'll see our nearest neighbor, a very young waxing crescent Moon, and in case you've forgotten what waxing means we say that the Moon is waxing when it grows slightly larger each night all the way from new Moon to full Moon. Conversely we say that the Moon is waning when its illuminated portion gets smaller each night from full Moon to new Moon. So next week you'll be able to watch the Moon as it appears to grow from a very slender sliver to just past first quarter. And early in the week you'll be able to see what looks like an almost black full Moon nestled within its bright crescent, a phenomenon we call "Earthshine" because the black portion is sunlight that has bounced off our Earth onto the dark portion of the Moon and back again in contrast to the bright part which is direct sunlight bouncing off the Moon straight to Earth.

Now the first visit our Moon pays will be on Monday the 23rd when it cozies up next to the planet named for the Roman goddess of love, Venus. And believe me if you've never seen this pairing you won't believe how spectacular it looks. The next night the Moon will be well beyond Venus, half way between it and its next target which is Mars. In fact, the next night, Wednesday, February 25th, you'll see the Moon parked so close to the red planet that it will take your breath away, even though Mars is now almost 100 times dimmer than Venus. The Moon continues its nightly journey and gets slightly fatter each night as it climbs higher and higher and has another close meeting on Sunday the 29th with the planet that is at its best for over a quarter of a century. That planet is of course the ringed world Saturn. So please mark three dates next week on your calendar. Monday the 23rd, our 2,000 mile wide Moon meets 8,000 mile wide Venus. Wednesday the 25th it meets 4,000 mile wide Mars and on Sunday the 29th, the last day of February, it parks alongside 75,000 mile wide Saturn. So impress your friends next week by showing them the planets. And who needs to know that you're using the Moon to find them? I won't tell. 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

#04-07 M

2/16/2004 thru 2/22/2004

"Our Moon Pays A Visit
To Three Early Evening Planets"

Horkheimer: If you have trouble finding the planets, next week you can use the Moon to find three of them as it waxes and wends its way across the sky. On Monday the 23rd it will cozy up right next to 8,000 mile wide Venus and will create a sight so beautiful it will stun you. On Wednesday the 25th it will meet 100 times dimmer 4,000 mile wide Mars and on Sunday the 29th the last night of February it will park alongside 75,000 mile wide Saturn which is currently at its best until 2032. So impress your friends next week by showing them the planets. And who needs to know that you're using the Moon to find them? I won't tell. 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 Jan. 20, 2004 - 1100-1130 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 #04-08 / 1368th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/23/2004 through Sunday 2/29/2004

"The King Of The Planets At Its Biggest And Brightest
For 2004 Meets The King of The Constellations"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And have we ever got a treat for you because next week the king of the planets Jupiter is at opposition and at its biggest and brightest for the entire year. Plus it is paying a royal visit to the ancient king of the constellations, Leo the Lion. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for two hours after sunset Wednesday March 3rd, the night Jupiter comes into opposition. And all you have to do to find it is simply look east for the brightest thing you can see, a couple of fists just above the horizon. And right beside him you'll see the stars that make up the ancient sky symbol of royalty, Leo the king of the beasts which has been considered a royal constellation since the time of the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians. Several stars, which if connected by lines, make a backward question mark or sickle mark the front of Leo the Lion who is usually depicted in a reclining position. And right beside Jupiter three stars form a triangle, which mark his hindquarters. His brightest star, which marks the point of the question mark or end of the sickle, is blue­white Regulus which literally means "the little king" although compared to Jupiter, little he is not.

Regulus is a huge star 4.3 million miles in diameter compared to 88,000 mile wide Jupiter which is a planet. Jupiter only appears much brighter than Regulus because it is so much closer. In fact, next week it is at its closest for the year and will be only 411 million miles away whereas Regulus never gets any closer than it is right now 85 light years away which is over one million times farther away than Jupiter. "But what does opposition mean anyway?", you might ask. Well it's really quite simple. Whenever a planet is at opposition it means that it is directly opposite the sun as seen in Earth's sky. And the outer planets are always at their closest, biggest and brightest when they are at opposition. And if you think about it when a planet is opposite the Sun it should mean that it will be visible all the hours that the Sun is not.

So next week just after the Sun sets in the west Jupiter will rise in the east. But it will be easier to see if you wait for a couple of hours until it's climbed a way above the horizon. Jupiter will continue to climb the heavens and reach its highest point at midnight and then will slowly descend toward the west and will set just as the Sun rises in the east. And this pattern will continue for a few weeks. And if you've never looked at Jupiter through a telescope before, even the cheapest one will show you its marvelous bands of weather encircling its middle. Plus you'll be able to watch the nightly dance of its four biggest moons as they constantly orbit Jupiter and appear to shuttle from one side of it to the other, always changing their position from night to night. So get thee outside next week and start your Jupiter watch because Jupiter will be at its very best throughout the month of March. Hail to the kings! And 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

#04-08 M

2/23/2004 thru 2/29/2004

"King Of the Planets
King Of the Constellations"

Horkheimer: Next week the king of the planets Jupiter is at its biggest and brightest for the entire year plus it pays a royal visit to the king of the constellations Leo the Lion. Next Wednesday in early evening look east and the brightest thing you'll see is Jupiter. And right beside him the stars which make up Leo, a backward question mark for his front and a triangle for his rear. His brightest star means "little king" but little it is not. A whopping 4.3 million miles wide, it dwarfs 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. Jupiter appears much brighter only because it is so much closer, 411 million miles away compared to Regulus which is 85 light years beyond. Hail to the kings and Keep Looking Up!

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

 


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