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 1/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0805, 0806, 0807, 0808


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" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 08-05 / 1574th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/04/2008 through
Sunday 2/10/2008
"The Moon And Mars And The Valentine's Star"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know every February I like to remind you that you can give your sweetheart one of the biggest red Valentines he or she will ever get. A giant red star I like to call the Valentine's Day star. But this year in addition to the Valentine's Day star we have another bright red object the planet Mars plus a lovely Moon, all three of which will make a wonderful triangle in the sky on Valentine's Day night.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Thursday evening February 14th Valentine's night between 8 and 9 p.m. Facing due south where you'll see a beautiful, just slightly past first quarter Moon high up in the heavens which will make a very romantic setting. And just to its left a brilliant orangeish red object which captured all the attention on Christmas Eve when it was at opposition and at its brightest, our old friend, 4,000 mile wide Mars which was brighter than any star in the sky over the Christmas holidays but which has now dimmed down some because it's moving so rapidly away from Earth but which is still brighter than most of the stars we can see. So if you want to give your sweetheart a red Valentine's night planet, this is it because it even outshines our traditional Valentine's Day star, which is directly beneath it.

But if I were going to give my Valentine a cosmic gift I would still choose our traditional Valentine's Day star even though Mars outshines it this year because the Valentine's Day star is very special and about as big a Valentine as you'll ever be able to give. Its name is Betelgeuse and it is one of the shoulder stars of Orion the Hunter. And every year between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. it reaches its highest point and can be found due south which is the reason many years ago I decided to call Betelgeuse the Valentine's Day star, and because it is so easy to find on Valentine's Day night and because it is so red and so big!

But to realize just how big it really is we should compare it first with our Earth and then our Sun. Now we all know that our Earth is an 8,000 mile wide planet which 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. Sounds impressive huh? But not so impressive when you realize that Betelgeuse is so huge 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 Valentine's heart. When it is fully contracted and at its smallest it is still about 500 times the width of our Sun but when it expands to its biggest it is almost 900 times as wide. Wow!

So this Valentine's Day night take your sweetheart out between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. Look due south and pledge your love under the light of a 2,000 mile wide Moon, a 4,000 mile wide Mars and a many hundred million mile wide Betelgeuse, shining red and bright and beating like a giant heart full of love. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-05 M

2/04/2008 thru 2/10/2008

"The Moon And Mars And The Valentine's Star"

Horkheimer: This Valentine's Day night give your Valentine an exquisite Moon, a red planet and a super big red Valentine's star. Between 8 and 9 face south and a 2000 mile wide first quarter Moon is gift #1. To its left gift #2, the wonderful red planet, 4,000 mile wide, Mars. But gift #3 is very special and as big a Valentine as you'll ever see. It's Betelgeuse the red shoulder star of Orion the Hunter. Slowly pulsing like a Valentine's heart, at its smallest it is 500 times the width of our Sun but when it's at its biggest, it's almost 900 times as wide. Wow! A fabulous triangle of cosmic wonders to pledge your undying love. 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
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 1/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0805, 0806, 0807, 0808


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" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #08-06 /1575th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/11/2008 through Sunday 2/17/2008

"Don't Miss Next Week's Total Eclipse Of The Moon,
The Last Total Lunar Eclipse For Three Years"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. On Wednesday night February 20th the last total lunar eclipse until December 2010 will occur over all of North and South America. And during totality Regulus the heart star of Leo the lion will pop out on one side of the Moon and the ringed planet Saturn at its best for the year on the other. Let me show you.

O.K., let's imagine that we're out in space looking down on our Moon, Earth and Sun. Now moonlight is really light from the Sun reflected off the Moon and back to our Earth. So one half of the Moon is lit up by the Sun at all times, although the only time we see the half of the Moon that is completely lit up is when we have a full Moon which occurs every month whenever the Moon is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth. Now usually when we have a full Moon the Moon is either above or below the plane of our Earth's orbit. But occasionally the full Moon will glide directly into our Earth's plane and will pass directly through our Earth's shadow, which will block most of the Sun's light from reaching it. In other words our Earth's shadow will eclipse the light of the Sun, which is why we call such an event an eclipse.

But during a total lunar eclipse the Moon never completely disappears and always turns some unpredictable shade of reddish orange. And that's because the red rays of sunlight are always bent by our Earth's atmosphere into our Earth's shadow, filling it with a faint reddish orange light. So during a total lunar eclipse the reddish orange color you see is actually red light from all the sunrises and sunsets around the world being refracted, that is bent, into our Earth's shadow and onto the Moon and then reflected back again.

Now if we could look at our Earth's shadow cone more closely we would see that there are two distinct parts to it. A pale outer shadow called the penumbra and a smaller inner, dark shadow called the umbra. The penumbral phase of the eclipse is never very noticeable so start watching when the Moon begins to enter the umbra at 8:43 p.m. Eastern Time or your local equivalent. As time progresses, the umbra, our Earth's curved shadow will slowly creep across the Moon and gradually darken it and cause it to change color. But what color the Moon will turn no one can predict, which is what makes it so much fun. Will it turn bright orange, blood red? Only the shadow knows.

The Moon will be within the umbra and totally eclipsed for 50 minutes until 10:51 p.m. Eastern time. But this year as a bonus during totality we'll also see the ringed planet Saturn at its brightest for 2008 and Regulus the heart star of Leo the Lion. From 10:51 to 12:09 the Moon will slowly slide out of the umbra and return to full Moon brilliance at which time however, it will be difficult to even see Regulus and Saturn. So pray for clear skies Wednesday night, the 20th, the night when the Moon turns red. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


 

 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-06 M

2/11/2008 thru 2/17/2008

"Don't Miss Next Week's Total Eclipse Of The Moon,
The Last Total Lunar Eclipse For Three Years"

Horkheimer: On Wednesday Feb. 20th the last total lunar eclipse for three years will occur. A total lunar eclipse occurs whenever a full Moon glides directly into our Earth's shadow which blocks most of the Sun's light from reaching it because moonlight is nothing more than reflected sunlight. There is however always some red sunlight in the shadow which makes the Moon turn an unpredictable shade of reddish orange during totality which will last from 10:01 to 10:51 Eastern Time or your equivalent. During totality both Regulus the heart star of Leo the Lion and the ringed planet Saturn at its best will also appear. Check our website for more info. 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
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 1/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0805, 0806, 0807, 0808


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" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-07 / 1576th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/18/2008 through Sunday 2/24/2008

"See The Beautiful Ringed Planet At Its Very Best
For 2008, This Weekend"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. This weekend planet #7, the exquisite ringed planet Saturn will be at its closest, biggest and brightest and best for the entire year because this Sunday February 24th it will be officially at opposition. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 9 p.m. your local time facing east where you will see the stars of one of the oldest known constellations, Leo the Lion. Looking very much like a reclining Egyptian sphinx, Leo's brightest star Regulus marks his heart and looks like the dot at the bottom of a backward question mark or sickle shaped group of stars, whereas the hind portion of Leo is marked by three stars, which make a wonderful right triangle. Now blue white Regulus is usually the brightest star-like object in this area but this year it has a visitor almost three times as bright just below it. And it is the most beautiful of all the planets in our solar system as seen through a telescope, 75,000 mile wide Saturn whose ring system is twice as wide as Jupiter.

Now as Saturn makes one trip around the Sun every 30 years we see its rings from a constantly changing perspective. In 2003 they were, as astronomers say, wide open and we saw the bottom or southern side of the rings, looking up at them. But since then they have been slowly tilting or closing so we now see much less of the southern side of the rings. And if you look at them through a small telescope now they will appear more edgewise to us than they have in 10 years. In fact by September 2009 they will completely close as astronomers say and we'll see them edge on. And they will actually seem to disappear for several nights. Then they will slowly open again and gradually more and more of the northern side of the rings will be revealed until October 2017 when they'll be wide open from the northern perspective. And then the whole cycle will repeat all over again. Wow!

Now whenever a planet is at opposition it is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth, 180°, which means that it will be visible all the hours the Sun is not. So this weekend as the Sun sets in the west Saturn will rise in the east. It will slowly travel up the sky and reach its highest point around midnight your local time and then will slowly descend hour after hour until it finally sets in the west as the Sun rises in the east. So you can see it all night long.

Also because Saturn is at opposition it is at its closest and brightest and looks much bigger through a telescope than when it is far from opposition. In fact this Sunday Saturn will be only 771 million miles away, which is a whopping 181 million miles closer than when it was at its farthest point in august, 952 million miles away. So get thee out this weekend and watch Saturn out-dazzle the regal heart of Leo the Lion. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


 

 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-07 M

2/18/2008 thru 2/24/2008

"See The Beautiful Ringed Planet At Its Very Best
For 2008, This Weekend"

Horkheimer: This weekend ringed Saturn will be at its closest, biggest and brightest for the entire year. At 9 p.m. face east and you'll see the stars of Leo the Lion reminiscent of an Egyptian sphinx. The bright star Regulus marks his heart but this year an even brighter Saturn joins it. Back in August it was 952 million miles away but this weekend it will be 181 million miles closer. And because it is at opposition you'll be able to watch it travel across the sky all night long reaching its highest point around midnight. Through a small telescope at 50 to 100 power its rings are always a wonder to see. So see Leo and the lord of the rings now! 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
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 1/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0805, 0806, 0807, 0808


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" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-08 / 1577th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/25/2008 through Sunday 3/02/2008

"Orion The Hunter's Wonderful "Fuzzy" Star"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. As you regular viewers know three of my favorite stars are the three belt stars that mark the belt of Orion the Hunter. But it's the middle star in Orion's sword, which really blows me away. You see unlike Orion's other stars this star is fuzzy and it's one of the most incredible cosmic objects you will ever see with the naked eye. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night the next few weeks in early evening facing south where you will see winter's most famous constellation Orion the Hunter riding low above the horizon. Three evenly spaced stars in a row mark his famous belt, above them two bright stars mark his shoulders and below two more bright stars mark his knees. But if you look carefully just below his three belt stars you'll see three evenly spaced, much dimmer stars, which make up his sword. But no matter how sharp your eyesight, the middle "star" will always seem to look fuzzy, slightly out of focus. And that's because it's not a star at all but something we call a nebula, a great cosmic cloud of gas and dust out of which brand new stars have recently been and are still being born.

In fact this nebula, called the Orion Nebula, is a stellar womb, a birthplace and nursery of stars. And incredibly with a small inexpensive telescope you'll actually be able to see four recently born stars which illuminate this vast cloud. They are arranged in the shape of a baseball diamond and are called the Trapezium. And they were born only one million years ago which compared to our Sun, which is 4 and a half billion years old, makes them true stellar infants. And although the Orion Nebula looks tiny to the naked eye, in reality its size is mind boggling because there are at least one thousand unseen stars here hidden within this dense cloud. And there is enough material in this vast cloud to produce over 10,000 stars the size of our Sun.

It is an incredible 30 light years in diameter, which means that it takes 30 years for light to travel from one end of it to the other; so huge it would take 20,000 of our solar systems lined up end to end to reach from one edge of this nebula to the other. Or to put it another way, if the distance from our Earth to the Sun were only one inch, the distance across the Orion nebula would be 12 miles. Is that mind boggling or what? So get thee outside to see this wonderful fuzzy star, the middle "star" in the sword of Orion which star master Stephen O'Meara says looks like, "angel's breath against a frosted sky", experience the awe and wonder of a winter's night. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


 

 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with iTunes as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-08 M

2/25/2008 thru 3/02/2008

"Orion The Hunter's Wonderful "Fuzzy" Star"

Horkheimer: Everyone loves Orion's belt stars but it's one of his sword stars that will blow you away. Face south and below Orion's three belt stars you'll see three dimmer stars, which make up his sword. But no matter how sharp your eyesight the middle star will always look fuzzy, out of focus because it isn't a star at all but a gigantic cosmic cloud of gas and dust where new stars are being born. We call it the Orion Nebula and there is enough material here to produce over ten thousand stars the size of our Sun. In fact if the distance from our Earth to the Sun were only one inch the distance across the Orion Nebula would be twelve miles. How's that for a fuzzy little star? 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
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]