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!

Half hour feed
Friday 1/19/07 1000 to 1030
Includes episodes 0706, 0707, 0708, 0709


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 # 07-06 / 1522nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/05/2007 through
Sunday 2/11/2007

"This Week The Ringed Planet Saturn Is At Its
Biggest, Brightest And Closest For The Entire Year"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And yes you heard me right. The most beautiful planet in the solar system, the one which we're visiting right now with the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is this week at its closest point to Earth for the entire year. And thus looks bigger and brighter to both the naked eye and through a telescope than it will for all of 2007. In fact because Saturn is slowly moving away from the Sun it will not be this close again until the year 2029 which is 22 years from now. So you'd better see it now because it's going to be a long wait. Let me show you.

O.K. This Saturday Feb 10 Saturn is officially at opposition, which means that it is precisely 180 degrees opposite the Sun. Which simply stated means that Saturn is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth which if you think about it would lead you to the conclusion that Saturn should be visible all night long from the time the Sun sets until the time the Sun rises. And indeed this week and next as the Sun sets in the west Saturn will rise in the east and will continue to climb higher and higher as each hour goes by until at midnight your local time it will reach its very highest point due south and then will slowly descend hour after hour and set in the west as the Sun rises in the east. So Saturn is essentially visible all night long. Although this week and next I suggest you start looking for it about two hours after sunset when it has risen high up enough off the eastern horizon and cleared all buildings and trees and obstructions. And since Saturn is up all night this means that you can take your telescope out and look at it any time of night.

So just how close is it? Well 6 months from now on August 21 when it will be at its farthest from Earth for the entire year it will be 952 million miles away but this Saturday it is 190 million miles closer only 762 million miles away and for Saturn that's close. Now although we say Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system because it 's only 75,000 miles wide compared to Jupiter's 88,000 mile width, nevertheless if we count Saturn's rings Saturn is actually twice as wide as Jupiter from one edge of its ring system to the other. And believe it or not its average density is less than that of water which means that if we could find a cosmic bathtub big enough Saturn would float. However because it is Saturn it would leave a ring around the tub.

So sometime this week and next get out that small telescope you stashed away in the closet or find a friend who has one or an astronomy club and take a look at Saturn now because you'll be able to see not only its big inner ring called ring b, but also its narrower outer ring, ring a separated by the space known as Cassini's division, named after the famous Italian astronomer for whom the Cassini to Saturn space craft is also named. Spend a night with the lord of the rings! I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-06 M

2/05/2007 thru 2/11/2007

"This Week The Ringed Planet Saturn Is At Its
Biggest, Brightest And Closest For The Entire Year"

Horkheimer: The ringed planet Saturn is this week at its closest, biggest and brightest for the entire year and will not be this close again until 2029. It is directly opposite the Sun which means that we can see it all night long rising in the east at sunset and reaching its highest point due south at midnight and eventually setting at sunrise. It is only 762 million miles away, which is 190 million miles closer than it will be this August. Saturn's ring system is actually twice as wide as Jupiter and if we could find a bath tub big enough Saturn would float, although it would undoubtedly leave a ring around the tub. Get out those telescopes now and 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!

Half hour feed
Friday 1/19/07 1000 to 1030
Includes episodes 0706, 0707, 0708, 0709
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 #07-07 /1523rd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/12/2007 through Sunday 2/18/2007

"The Goddess Of Love, The Lord Of The Rings,
And The Valentine's Day Star"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every year close to Valentine's Day I like to show you how to find a brilliant red star I call the Valentine's Day star so you can share something beautiful and cosmic with your sweetheart. But this year we have two very special added cosmic attractions for Valentine's Day night, the super brilliant planet named for the Roman goddess of love and the most beautiful of all the planets as seen through a telescope and nicknamed "The Lord of the Rings". So this year you can show your loved one three jewel like cosmic Valentines and all can be seen in early evening.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week including Valentine's Day night just after Sunset facing west where you will see the most brilliant planet of them all, 8,000 mile wide Venus, the same size as our planet Earth but much more brilliant because it's completely covered by a layer of clouds which makes it act like a giant mirror for the Sunlight which bounces off of it. So Venus is cosmic goodie #1 for you and your sweetheart. To see #2 wait until around 8 p.m. then look due east and just above the horizon you'll see another light not as bright as Venus, but the loveliest planet as seen through a small telescope 75,000 mile wide Saturn which this week is still at its closest and brightest for all of 2007.

So you now have two cosmic jewels to present. To see the third simply face 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 just coincidentally reaches its highest point above the horizon every Valentine's week between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. It is in fact the brightest red star we can see with the naked eye from planet Earth. 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 this is about as big as it ever gets. In fact if we compare Betelgeuse 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 Valentine heart, one that beats however only once every 6 years. 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 a super 900 times as wide. In fact if we could place Betelgeuse where our Sun is, Betelgeuse at its smallest, contracted size 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 almost all the way to Jupiter. Wow!

So there you have it! In the west the planet named for the goddess of love, in the east the exquisite Lord of the Rings and in the south the biggest cosmic Valentine you'll ever see, a giant red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for the one you love. Is this a romantic cosmos or what? 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.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-07 M

2/12/2007 thru 2/18/2007

"The Valentine's Day Star"

Horkheimer: Want to give your sweetheart the biggest, reddest Valentine ever? Then go outside with your honey any night Valentine's Day week 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 to 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. 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!

Half hour feed
Friday 1/19/07 1000 to 1030
Includes episodes 0706, 0707, 0708, 0709  

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 # 07-08 / 1524th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/19/2007 through Sunday 2/25/2007

"Some Fun Stuff About Saturn Which Is Still
At Its Biggest, Brightest And Almost Closest
For the Entire Year"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers and although Saturn was officially at opposition and at its biggest, brightest and closest for the entire year on February 10th, it is nevertheless still just as good this week for viewing purposes. So let me give you some more fun facts and nitty gritty on this cosmic lord of the rings.

In its order out from the Sun Saturn is planet #6, but its distance from the Sun is almost twice that of Jupiter. Whereas Jupiter is on average almost 500 million miles away Saturn is twice that almost one billion miles away. So even though it is almost as big as Jupiter being 75,000 miles in diameter versus Jupiter's 88,000 mile diameter, it nevertheless is many times dimmer than the king of the planets. Although in all fairness to Saturn, if we counted Saturn's rings as part of the planet measurement Saturn would actually be twice the diameter of Jupiter and would make Saturn the king.

And if we remember that old rule that the farther a planet is from the Sun the slower it travels here's a real good example. Whereas it takes Jupiter only 12 years to make one trip around our Sun it takes Saturn 29 and 1/2 years to make one trip. And it's an absolutely fascinating trip because it constantly changes its appearance as seen from Earth, a fact which was noted over three hundred years ago by the Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens. Indeed the diagram he drew in 1659 is still pretty accurate. To simplify it a bit Saturn's rings are tilted in respect to its orbit and in the course of its 29 1/2 year orbit it looks as if it's wobbling, tilting up and down. Part of the time we look at the rings from above, at their north side. And part of the time we look at them from below, at their southern face. But approximately every 15 years Saturn will present its rings edge on to us, at which time they seem to disappear. And several of its 56 moons were discovered during this edge on phase when there was no glare from the rings to hide them. And it's this changing position of the rings that makes Saturn unique regarding its brightness.

You see usually when a planet is at opposition, it's at its closest and thus always brightest. But because Saturn's rings are a huge factor in reflecting sunlight Saturn can actually be brighter when it's not at its closest to Earth if its rings are wide open as astronomers say, reflecting a lot more sunlight. In fact even though Saturn won't be this close again until 2029, it will be as bright as it is right now in only 8 years in 2015 because of the tilt of its rings. To see it right now I suggest looking east about one to two hours after sunset. Then go out every hour and watch it as it slowly climbs higher and higher. Between midnight and one o'clock it will be at its highest due south and then you can watch it descend hour after hour and set in the west as the Sun rises in the east. And speaking of the Sun you'd never get a sun tan on Saturn because the Sun as seen from Saturn is only one percent as bright as seen from Earth. 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.

 


 

Star Gazer Minute

#07-08 M

2/19/2007 thru 2/25/2007

"Some Fun Stuff About Saturn Which Is Still
At Its Biggest, Brightest And Almost Closest
For the Entire Year"

Horkheimer: Saturn is still at its brightest and almost closest for the entire year. Ir's twice as far away as jupiter, almost one billion miles. And whereas it takes Jupiter only 12 years to make one trip around the Sun, it takes saturn 29 1/2 years. And because its rings are tilted in respect to its orbit it constantly changes its appearance. Part of the time we look down on to the north side of the rings and part of the time we look up from below at their southern side. And every 15 years Saturn presents its rings edge on to us at which time they seem to disappear. To see it look east about two hours after sunset and you can watch it climb and descend as the hours go by. 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
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!

Half hour feed
Friday 1/19/07 1000 to 1030
Includes episodes 0706, 0707, 0708, 0709  

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 # 07-09 / 1525th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/26/2007 through Sunday 3/04/2007

"The Wonder And Majesty Of
The Four Brightest Stars Of Orion The Hunter"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Almost everyone knows that the most famous star pattern of winter is Orion The Hunter. And although everyone loves his red shoulder star Betelgeuse,Orion's other three bright stars are also quite wonderful.Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night in February from 7 to 9 p.m. your local time. And if you look south you'll see Orion in all his glory. The dead giveaway is the three equally spaced stars in a row, which mark his belt. Above which are the two bright stars, which mark his shoulders and below which are the two bright stars which mark his knees. Betelgeuse comes from an Arabic word which means "armpit of the giant" and is correctly pronounced Bet-El-Gerz. But most people pronounce it Betelgeuse so they can remember it because if you stepped on a beetle you'd get red beetle juice. At least that's what lecturers in planetariums have been telling kids for years.

At any rate Betelgeuse is a giant red variable star. When it contracts to its smallest size it is 500 times as wide as our million mile wide Sun but when it expands to its largest size it is almost 900 times as wide. And its red color indicates that it is a much cooler star than our yellow Sun. Orion's other shoulder star is named Bellatrix, which in Arabic means the conqueror. And although it is much smaller than Betelgeuse it still is three solar diameters, which means it is three times as wide as our Sun. And it is a pale blue-white star, which means that it is many, many times hotter than both red Betelgeuse and our yellow Sun. Orion's right knee is a white supergiant star named Rigel. And it is much larger than Bellatrix, 60 solar diameters or 60 times as wide as our Sun. His other knee star named Saiph is blue in color and is like wise a super giant, although somewhat smaller, 38 solar diameters, which makes our Sun really look puny next to it or any of Orion's four brightest stars.

Now although experts disagree as to the exact distance of each of these stars from Earth, they are all hundreds of light years away, which means that when we look at them we see them not as they exist now but as they existed some time in the past depending on how far away they are. For instance when we look at Bellatrix we see it as it existed 300 years ago because it is 300 light years away and it takes that long for its light to reach us. We see Betelgeuse as it existed 500 years ago because it is 500 light years away. But as far away as his shoulder stars are his knee stars are much, much farther. Indeed Rigel is 1000 light years away and Saiph is 1400 light years away. Wow! So there you have it the shoulder and knee stars of Orion the Hunter. Each one much larger than our own Sun and so far away that no one alive will ever live to see what they actually look like in the present time. Something to think about and marvel at. Keep looking up!


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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.


 

Star Gazer Minute

#07-09 M

2/26/2007 thru 3/04/2007

"The Wonder And Majesty Of
The Four Brightest Stars Of Orion The Hunter"

Horkheimer: The four brightest stars of winter's Orion are absolutely incredible. First look south for three equally spaced stars in a row. Then up to the left is one of his shoulder stars Betelgeuse, which is a red variable star. At its smallest it is 500 times as wide as our Sun and at its largest 900 times as wide. His other shoulder star Bellatrix is pale blue and only three times as wide as our Sun. His western knee Rigel is 60 times as wide. His other knee Saiph is 38 times solar diameters. So our million mile wide Sun is really puny compared to Orion's shoulder and knee stars and thank heaven they're not as close as our Sun is or we'd all be crispy critters. 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
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


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