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!

Friday 1/20/06 - 1030-1100 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.

NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

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STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 06-06 / 1470th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/06/2006 through
Sunday 2/12/2006

"Make This Valentine's Day Cosmic
With A Gift Of Stars And Planets"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And believe me this Valentine's Day night will be very special because you can give your sweetheart not only the traditional Valentine's Day star but also the most beautiful planet at its best for the year plus believe it or not two planets which have a super close meeting on Valentine's Day night!

O.K., let's start out with the super close meeting of two planets Valentine's Day evening. Our skies are set up for next Tuesday February 14th just after sunset facing due west where if you have a clear flat horizon you'll see a bright pink light which is the first planet out from the sun, the tiny pink planet, 3,000 mile wide Mercury which this week and next is at its best for viewing for the entire year. And just coincidentally on Valentine's Day evening it will be joined by the 7th planet 32,000 mile wide Uranus in a super close meeting only 1/2 a degree apart which means they'll be only one full Moon width away from each other. But although you'll be able to see Mercury with the naked eye you'll really need a pair of binoculars to see Uranus beside it. So what a special Valentine's Day gift these two planets will make.

Additionally if you look over toward the east after it gets dark out you'll see a yellowish light which is 75,000 mile wide Saturn which is still at its best for the entire year. And begs you to show it to your sweetheart with a small telescope. Then 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 because 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.

Because 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 of our 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 only once every 6 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 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 would stretch all the way to Jupiter. Wow!

So there you have it Mercury at its best parked right next to Uranus, the exquisite ringed planet Saturn and Betelgeuse, a giant red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for your sweetheart. Is this a romantic cosmos or what? Keep looking up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
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Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
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Star Gazer Minute

#06-06 M

2/06/2006 thru 2/12/2006

"Make This Valentine's Day Cosmic
With A Gift Of Stars And Planets"

Horkheimer: Valentine's day night give your sweetheart two planets, which have a super close meeting plus the Valentine's Day star. Just after sunset face west and right next to tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury you'll see with the aid of binoculars 32,000 mile wide Uranus, only one full moon width away. Wow! Between 8 and 9 look due south and the bright red shoulder star of Orion, Betelgeuse, will be at its highest as the Valentine's Day star. It pulses like a gigantic heart and we could fit over 160 million of our Suns inside it. At its smallest size it's 500 times the width of our Sun and at its biggest 900 times as wide. Double wow! A red super star and two planets huddled together for Valentine's Day. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Friday 1/20/06 - 1030-1100 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.



NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #06-07 /1471st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/13/2006 through Sunday 2/19/2006

"Venus : February's 'Super Star' Planet Will Wow You!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and get ready for a Venus super show because this week and next Venus is absolutely spectacular and will be at its very best for the entire year of 2006. In fact the Old Farmer's Almanac describes this February appearance as "a morning star of great splendor" and Sky and Telescope magazine describes Venus as "a veritable lantern" in the sky. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our sky set up for this week and next about 2 hours before sunrise facing east southeast where the absolute brightest thing you'll see in the sky will be our closest neighbor after the Moon, 8,000 mile wide Venus. Often called the twin sister of our Earth because it is almost the same size 8,000 miles wide although because it is completely enshrouded in bright clouds it is much brighter as seen from space than our Earth because its cloud cover acts like a giant mirror and reflects much more sunlight than our Earth.

Now although we have our skies set up about two hours before sunup you can see Venus all the way to and through sunrise. It's just that as we get closer and closer to sunrise the sky gets brighter and brighter and thus makes Venus look less bright by contrast. But if you follow Venus very carefully this week and next you will actually be able to see Venus even after sunrise if you know exactly where to look. In fact Venus is the only planet, which we can ever see in the daytime because it is so outrageously bright. This week the 17th it reaches its greatest brilliancy for 2006. And its official astronomical brightness is labeled ­4.6 magnitude which means that it is about 18 1/2 times brighter than the brightest star we can see in the sky Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's dog.

Now every time Venus makes a brilliant morning appearance like this and is rather low in the sky it frequently sparks reports of UFO's because it is so outrageously bright and slowly but steadily moves higher as the sky slowly brightens. It is said that a naval commander once ordered his ship to fire upon it and that a railroad engineer brought his train to a screeching halt because he thought he saw the headlight of an oncoming train heading for him.

Now although for hundreds of years Venus has been called the morning star it has another name, the evening star and you may recall that only a few weeks ago Venus was the evening star, very bright but very close to the western horizon just after sunset. Then during the second week of January it disappeared from evening skies as it slipped between our Earth and the Sun and then reappeared very low in morning skies at the end of January. Through a pair of binoculars or a small telescope Venus will look like a thin crescent but as week after week goes by and it slowly moves farther away from Earth more of its surface will become illuminated and it will appear to grow in shape like a waxing crescent Moon, although because it is going away from us it will get steadily smaller from night to night. So if you got a small telescope for the holidays get it out now and do some Venus watching. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-07 M

2/13/2006 thru 2/19/2006

"Venus : February's 'Super Star' Planet Will Wow You!"


Horkheimer: This week and next Venus is at its very best for the entire year. Before sunrise face east and 8,000 miles wide Venus will dazzle you. Because it's enshrouded in bright clouds Venus acts like a mirror and reflects more sunlight than any other planet and is now 18 1/2 times brighter than the brightest star Sirius. Often mistaken for a UFO a naval commander once ordered his ship to fire upon it and a railroad engineer brought his train to a screeching halt because he thought he saw the headlight of an oncoming train. It was our evening star for the holidays, Then it slipped between our Earth and Sun in January and has now reappeared as the morning star but through a small telescope it looks like a thin crescent Moon. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Friday 1/20/06 - 1030-1100 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.



NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-08 / 1472nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/20/2006 through Sunday 2/26/2006

"Super Size My Syzygy And Perigee, Please!"
And Mercury At Its Best For 2006

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And what a tongue twister "Super size my syzygy and perigee please!" And in case you don't know what that means, by the end of this show you will! Plus the closest planet to the Sun is at its best for the year right now. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week 45 minutes after Sunset facing west and if you have a clear flat unobstructed horizon you'll be able to see the most elusive naked eye planet of them all because it never appears very high up above the horizon and appears and disappears in and out of evening and morning skies several times a year, the pink iron planet, tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury. The reason it looks pink is because we always look at it through the dustier layers of our Earth's atmosphere near the horizon. So it really isn't pink at all it's just our atmosphere, which gives it its pinkish tint.

This Friday the 24th Mercury officially reaches greatest elongation, which means that it is at its farthest visual distance from the Sun for this go-round and sets later than usual about one and a half hours after sunset. But to make sure you catch it I suggest looking during twilight about 45 minutes after sunset. And if you still have a real hard time finding it wait until Wednesday March first when an exquisite crescent Moon will be parked just above Mercury.

And now what about all this syzygy / perigee stuff? Well syzygy is a word astronomers use whenever three celestial bodies are in a nearly straight line configuration, such as the Sun, Moon and Earth during a solar or lunar eclipse. Actually however, our Earth experiences syzygy twice a month with the Moon and Sun at both new Moon and full Moon. At the time of full Moon the Moon is opposite our Earth from the Sun and at new Moon on the same side of the Earth as the Sun. And next Monday February 27th when the Moon is new we'll have syzygy.

But this syzygy will be super sized because on the 27th our Moon will also be at extreme perigee, which means that the Moon will be at its very closest to the Earth for the entire year. Now we usually say that our Moon on average is about 240,000 miles away from Earth. It can however be as far away as 252,000 miles, but this Monday the Moon will be at its very closest to the Earth for the entire year. And its surface will be only 217,000 miles away. Of course, if I didn't tell you about it you wouldn't even notice it because whenever we have a new Moon we can't see it because it is between the Earth and the Sun. So new Moon always means no visible Moon. However because the Moon will be so close to Earth next Monday some locations may experience much higher and lower tides than usual. Check your local media to see if you're in one of those areas. So happy syzygy/perigee and find the first planet all week long. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-08 M

2/20/2006 thru 2/26/2006

"Super Size My Syzygy And Perigee"

Horkheimer: Right now the 3,000 mile wide planet pink iron planet Mercury is at its best plus the Moon is at its closest for the year. This weekend Mercury is at its farthest visual distance from the Sun and you can see it if you look west 45 minutes after sunset. Our atmosphere gives it its pinkish color because Mercury never gets very high above the horizon so we always look at it through dusty layers of our Earth's atmosphere. On Monday the 27th our Moon will be its closest for the year only 217,000 miles away which is close considering it can be as far away as 252,000 miles. You won't see it however because it's a new Moon, and new Moons are never visible. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Friday 1/20/06 - 1030-1100 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.



NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-09 / 1473rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/27/2006 through Sunday 3/05/2006

"How To Find The Gemini Twins
And Their Sensational Siblings"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Right now the constellation Gemini the Twins is at its best for viewing in early evening and while most people have heard of Castor and Pollux the brightest two stars of Gemini not many people are aware that these twin brothers have a magnificent assortment of hidden siblings. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first two weeks of March, 8 p.m. your local time, facing due south where a third of the way up from the horizon you'll see the brightest star in the heavens Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's bigger dog. And just up to Sirius' right the bright stars which mark Orion himself. But up much higher and to Orion's left you will encounter two more bright stars, which are named for the famous twin brothers in Greek mythology Castor and Pollux. Pollux, the brighter of the two, is closer to the horizon and if you look closely, has a slightly orangeish tint to it. Castor on the other hand although a tiny bit dimmer is a bright white. For over two thousand years these two stars were considered the patrons of all sailors and seafaring peoples. Plus they have also long been associated with the phenomenon called "St. Elmo's fire".

But as ancient as these twin stars are modern science has revealed that there is much more to them hidden from the naked eye. Indeed upon closer examination we find that the brighter twin Pollux is a humongous star much bigger than its brother and is in fact almost eleven times the diameter of our own million mile wide Sun. Dimmer Castor however is not to be outdone by his brother because he hides magnificent secrets. In fact with telescopes and other instruments Castor has revealed himself to be more than just one star.

Indeed way back during the time of the American Revolution astronomers discovered that when they looked at Castor through a telescope it had a companion. Thus Castor became the first true binary star ever discovered. But later as telescopes improved and other astronomical instruments were invented astronomers were astonished to find out that both Castor and his hidden brother also each had a companion, which made Castor a quadruple star. And then surprise of surprises, several years later two more smaller siblings were found which gave Castor the distinction of being not just a quadruple star but a sextuplet star. Three pairs of stars totaling six stars all together and all moving about each other in an extremely intricate and magnificent cosmic ballet, with four of the stars being bigger than our own sun. Wow! Who ever said, "appearances are deceiving", wasn't just kidding.

So go outside this week and next around 8 p.m. look due south and after you've found the brightest star Sirius and above him all the bright stars of Orion the Hunter, above him you'll see the most famous twins in the cosmos which modern science has revealed to be seven sensational siblings. Is this universe weird or what? I'm Jack Horkheimer, keep looking up!


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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-09 M

2/27/2006 thru 3/05/2006

""How To Find The Gemini Twins
And Their Sensational Siblings"

Horkheimer: Everyone has heard about the constellation Gemini the Twins but have you heard about their siblings? Around 8 p.m. face south and above the brightest star we can see Sirius and the super bright stars of Orion you'll see Castor and Pollux the two brightest stars of Gemini. Brighter Pollux is 11 times wider than our own million mile wide Sun but dimmer Castor is the more fascinating twin. During the American revolution early telescopes showed it to be a double star but more modern telescopes revealed that it is not just two stars but three pairs of stars, six stars all together orbiting each other in an intricate cosmic ballet. So the twin stars of Gemini are actually seven sensational siblings. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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]