STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Thursday 1/20/05 - 1800-1830 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 5 MINUTE

Episode # 05-06 / 1418th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/07/2005 through
Sunday 2/13/2005

"Give Your Love Three Cosmic Jewels
This Valentine's Day"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. If you want to give your sweetheart something out of this world this Valentine's Day we have three exquisitely beautiful cosmic objects all in the same part of the heavens gift wrapped and ready to present, the traditional Valentine's Day star plus the jewel-like brightest star in the heavens and this year the marvelous lord of the rings. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Valentine's Day night, Monday February 14th and between 8 and 9 p.m. facing south where the brightest thing you'll see will be the brightest star visible from Earth Sirius which marks the eye of Canis Major, Orion the Hunter's great dog. To many people Sirius is the most jewel-like of all stars. Not only because of its brilliance but because when it twinkles it flashes brilliant shades of blue and green, topaz and emerald. So here's a heavenly jewel to present to your loved one. Plus this year just up to its left and below Castor and Pollux the twin stars of Gemini, you'll see the planet called the lord of the rings which is almost at its closest, biggest and brightest it gets, the exquisite sixth planet Saturn which we are visiting with our Cassini space craft right now. And which is not only brilliant to the naked eye but is also a knockout through even the smallest department telescope. So in addition to jeweled Sirius give the gift of the ringed planet.

To top it off and make your cosmic valentine super special look due south between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. And you'll see the star I call the Valentine's Day star. It's very bright and very red and in fact is the brightest red star we can see with the naked eye from planet Earth and just coincidentally reaches its highest point above the horizon every Valentine's Day night between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m.. It marks the shoulder star of Orion the hunter and its name is Betelgeuse and if you've ever wanted to give your loved one a really big valentine well this is about as big as it gets. Indeed if we compare Betelgeuse the Valentine's Day star with our own star, our 865,000 mile wide Sun, Betelgeuse is so humongous we could fit over 160 million Suns inside it. And that's when Betelgeuse is at its smallest size because Betelgeuse changes its size regularly like a gigantic slowly pulsating heart, one that beats however once every six years. When Betelgeuse is fully contracted at its smallest size, it is about 500 times the width of our Sun but when it expands to its biggest size it is almost 900 times as wide.

In fact if we could place Betelgeuse where our Sun is, Betelgeuse at its smallest would reach out past the orbits of Mercury, Venus and Earth, all the way to Mars. And when it's at its largest it would stretch all the way to Jupiter. Wow! So there you have it, a cosmic jewel of a star Sirius, exquisite lord of the rings, Saturn and Betelgeuse the biggest cosmic valentine you'll ever give, a giant red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for your sweetheart. 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

#05-06 M

2/07/2005 thru 2/13/2005

"Give Your Love Three Cosmic Jewels
This Valentine's Day"

Horkheimer: This Valentine's Day give three exquisite cosmic jewels to your loved one. On Valentine's Day night between 8 and 9 p.m. face south and you'll see the brightest star visible from Earth jewel-like Sirius, which flashes brilliant shades of topaz and emerald. Up to its left and below Castor and Pollux and at its biggest and brightest, the ringed planet Saturn is your second cosmic gift. And third, at its highest due south, the star I call the Valentine's Day star the brightest red star we can see from Earth Orion's Betelgeuse which is so big 160 million of our Suns could fit inside it. It pulsates like a gigantic cosmic heart and is the biggest valentine you'll ever give. Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Thursday 1/20/05 - 1800-1830 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 #05-07 /1419th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/14/2005 through Sunday 2/20/2005

"Some Nifty Celestial Triangles For
Early Evening And Early Morning Viewing"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every once in a while the Moon and a star and a planet will call attention to themselves by forming exquisite triangles which usually last for only an evening. And next week we'll have an opportunity to see three such eye catching pieces of cosmic geometry.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Saturday February 19th about 7 p.m. facing east where about half way up from the horizon to the zenith you'll see a grouping of four cosmic objects with the three brightest making a wonderful equal sided triangle. The brightest object will be an exquisite eleven day old waxing quarter Moon marking the first point of the triangle. And below it the second brightest object the wonderful ringed planet Saturn, which we are currently visiting with our Cassini space mission. And up to Saturn's left the brighter of the two brightest stars of Gemini the twins Pollux which marks the third point of our triangle, now Gemini's other bright star is Castor, so if you can't ignore Castor you could form a somewhat lopsided rectangle with it although the triangle will really jump out at you. So here's our first triangle made up of a Moon, a planet and a star. Our 2,000 mile wide nearest neighbor 249,000 miles away, this Saturday, 75,000 mile wide Saturn, 770 million miles away on Saturday and whopping 9 1/2 million mile wide Pollux, 35 light years away this Saturday. Three vastly different cosmic objects in size and nature and at incredibly different distances away; yet all appearing to form a simple triangle to the casual observer here on earth. But for those of you who are not into equilateral triangles then just wait for 24 hours and the Moon will have moved from being above Saturn and Pollux to below them and will form a somewhat stretched out but also very nice triangle for your early evening viewing pleasure.

And for those of you who prefer to do your viewing in early morning all you have to do is wait one week and on Sunday morning February 27th at 6 a.m. go outside and face southwest and an exquisite 18 day old waning Moon will be parked right underneath the king of the planets brilliant Jupiter marking the two base points of an isosceles triangle, the third point being the much dimmer blue white star Spica the brightest star of Virgo the Virgin. And of course like our first triangle these objects too are different sizes and distances. Indeed on the 27th our 2,000 mile wide Moon will be only 241,000 miles away, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter will be only 432 million miles away whereas 8 million mile wide Spica will be 275 light years beyond. And I suggest if you've got a pair of binoculars you'll want to look at Jupiter and the Moon because they'll be only 2 degrees apart which means that only 4 full Moons could fit between them. Wow!

So there you have it a super triangle on the morning of the 27th and two lovely triangles on the evenings of Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th. And that's your cosmic geometry lesson for today. Keep looking up!

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

#05-07 M

2/14/2005 thru 2/20/2005

"Some Nifty Celestial Triangles For
Early Evening And Early Morning Viewing"

Horkheimer: Next week the Moon, a star and a planet will form three different cosmic triangles. This Saturday three of four bright objects will form an equilateral triangle, the Moon, Saturn and the brightest star of Gemini, Pollux. 24 hours later the Moon will have moved below Pollux to form a nicely stretched out triangle. And on Sunday the 27th at 6 a.m. the Moon, Jupiter and Virgo's brightest star Spica will create a marvelous isosceles triangle. If you've got a pair of binoculars look at Jupiter and the Moon because they'll be only 2 degrees apart! An isosceles triangle on the 27th, an equilateral triangle on the 19th, and a stretched out triangle on the 20th. That's your cosmic geometry lesson for today. Keep Looking Up!


Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Thursday 1/20/05 - 1800-1830 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 # 05-08 / 1420th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/21/2005 through Sunday 2/27/2005

"Our Nearest Cosmic Neighbor Occults
And Hides The 2nd Biggest Star We Can
See With The Naked Eye"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers next Thursday March 3rd in the wee hours of the morning we are going to experience an occult cosmic occurrence because our nearest neighbor the Moon will actually pass in front of and hide for about an hour the second biggest star we can see with the naked eye. And you can watch it with just the naked eye. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Thursday morning about 3 a.m. your local time facing southeast where the brightest thing you'll see will be a last quarter Moon just up and to the right of the giant red star Antares which marks the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion which will not be completely above the horizon until a couple of hours later. One good way to recognize Scorpius in addition to using the Moon and Antares as finders is that the top of Scorpius is marked by three stars all about the same brightness equally spaced in a row but much farther apart from each other than the three equally spaced stars in Orion the hunter's belt.

And right now I can hear some of you saying, " But Scorpius is a summer constellation, so how come we can see him in the dead of winter?" Well as you may recall the stars and constellations of any given season are those stars and constellations which are highest above the horizon in early evening during a season. And in summer time Scorpius is indeed at its highest in early evening but for part of the winter we can actually see Scorpius in early a.m. hours. And such is the case right now. And what's going to happen Thursday is really fun and is what astronomers actually call an occult experience. But the word occult in astronomy is a little bit different than in common usage. Occult, when used as an adjective, usually pertains to magic, divination, astrology etc. But where it's used as a verb, it means to hide or conceal from view. And so Thursday morning the Moon will occult that is hide and conceal from view, Antares.

Now our Moon is only 2000 miles wide whereas Antares is 600 million miles wide, so huge that we could fit over 21 quintillion Moons inside it, so humongous that if we placed one edge of Antares where our Sun is it would stretch out past the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter. So how can our tiny Moon hide such a big star? Simple. Our Moon is only a quarter million miles away, so close it takes light only 1 1/3 seconds to reach us. Antares is about 520 light years away which means it is so far away that it takes 520 years for its light to reach us. Wow!

So what can you expect to see Thursday night? Well, the precise moment the Moon occults Antares will vary from city to city. So check our website for exact times. Basically what you'll see around or about 4 a.m. is the Moon moving closer to and closer to Antares and then all of a sudden in less than a second it will disappear from view. And about an hour later it will pop into view from behind the dark side of the Moon. It's fun to see with just the naked eye but even more fun with a small telescope. Go to our website for exact occultation times and Keep Looking Up!


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

#05-08M

2/21/2005 thru 2/27/2005

"Our Nearest Cosmic Neighbor Occults
And Hides The 2nd Biggest Star We Can
See With The Naked Eye"

Horkheimer: Next Thursday you can watch the Moon play hide and seek with the 2nd biggest star we can see with the naked eye. Around 3 a.m. face southeast and over the course of the next couple of hours you'll be able to watch a last quarter Moon pass over and hide the giant red star Antares, which marks the heart of Scorpius. Astronomers call this an occultation because the moon will actually occult Antares for about an hour. But how is this possible since our Moon is only 2,000 miles wide and Antares is 600 million miles wide? Simple answer: our Moon is only a quarter million miles away whereas Antares is 3000 trillion miles away. Go to our website for exact times and Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Thursday 1/20/05 - 1800-1830 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 #05-09 / 1421st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/28/2005 through Sunday 3/06/2005

"The Three Wonderful Stars Of
The Winter Triangle"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every summer I frequently talk about the three bright stars that mark the points of the great Summer Triangle. But because there are so many brilliant stars in the same part of the heavens in winter I often talk about the six stars of the Winter Hexagon. But did you know that inside that hexagon is a wonderful Winter Triangle? Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night the next couple of weeks between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. And if you look due south smack dab right in front of you will be the brightest star visible to the naked eye from planet Earth, Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's biggest of two dogs, Canis Major. Draw an imaginary line up and to the left of Sirius and you'll come to the second brightest star of the triangle Procyon which marks the eye of Orion's smaller dog, Canis Minor. Then draw a line to the right to the third brightest star of the triangle the red star Betelgeuse which marks the shoulder of Orion the Hunter and the line back to Sirius completes our wonderful Winter Triangle.

And wonderful each star is, especially when we compare each one to our Sun. For instance while our Sun is 865,000 miles wide, Sirius is 1 million 400 thousand miles wide and Procyon is a million and a half miles wide. But they are put to shame by Betelgeuse, which is one of those pulsating stars which actually varies its size. At its smallest it is 500 times as wide as our sun and at its largest 900 times as wide. Wow! So why does Sirius appear the brightest of the three if it's actually the smallest? Simple it's much closer.

Now as you may recall stars are so far away that we do not speak of their distances in miles. Instead we use the term light year. One light year is the distance light travels in one year. Light is the fastest known thing in the universe and travels 186,000 miles per second. So to find out how many miles light travels in one year simply multiply all the seconds in one year times 186,000 miles which is roughly 6 trillion miles. Now our Sun is so close that it takes only 8 1/3 minutes for light to travel from it to our Earth. So we say that our Sun is 8 1/3 light minutes away. Sirius however is much farther away, 8.6 light years from Earth. And Procyon is even farther, 11.4 light years away.

Thus as astronomer Fred Schaaf says, "Sirius and Procyon are the birthday stars of 9 and 11 year olds", because when we look at Sirius this winter we are actually seeing the light that left it about 9 years ago when 9 year olds were being born and the light we see from Procyon this winter actually left it 11 years ago when 11 year olds were being born. So is Betelgeuse also someone's birthday star? It is if you were born 525 years ago. Because when we look at Betelgeuse this winter we are actually seeing the light that left it in the year 1480 the year both Ferdinand Magellan and Montezuma were born! That's a lot of candles on the cake! So get thee outside and do a little time travel with the stars of the Winter Triangle. Keep Looking Up!

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

#05-09 M

2/28/2005 thru 3/06/2005

"The Three Wonderful Stars Of
The Winter Triangle"

Horkheimer: If you get up before Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day you'll see two stars whose names are equally bizarre and fun to pronounce. An hour before sunrise face southeast where you'll see a last quarter Moon, the planet Jupiter, Virgo's bright star Spica, Antares the heart of the scorpion and the planet Mars plus two dim stars named Zuben Elgenubi and Zuben Eschamali which were formerly the right and left claw of Scorpius until Julius Caesar lopped them off and made them part of Libra the Roman scale of justice. Zuben Elgenubi, Zuben Eschamali and Punxsutawney Phil, what a mouth full of weird words for Groundhog Day. Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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]