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 STAH 808
Tuesday January 20, 2009, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0905, 0906, 0907, 0908


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

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 Quicktime.

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STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 09-05 / 1626th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/02/2009 through
Sunday 2/08/2009

"The Goddess Of Love And The Valentine's Day Star
Await Your Viewing Valentine's Night"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know 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 an extra added attraction for Valentine's Day night, because just after Sunset the planet named for the Roman goddess of love and the most brilliant planet of them all is about as bright as it gets. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week and next including Valentine's Day night just after dark 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 bouncing most of the sunlight it receives right off of it. So on Valentine's Day night simply go outside just after dark and give your sweetheart a kiss under the brilliant light beaming from the goddess of love.

Then between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. simply face south and you'll see the star I call the Valentine's Day star because it is 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. This star in fact is the brightest red star we can see with the naked eye from planet Earth. It is called Betelgeuse and marks the shoulder star of Orion the hunter. 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. But when it's at its largest it would stretch almost all the way to Jupiter.

Just think about it, our Sun is almost a million miles wide but Betelgeuse is almost a billion. Wow! So why not surprise your personal Valentine this Valentine's night or Valentine's week and have a hug while the goddess of love smiles upon you in the west just after dark. Then between 8 and 9 p.m. face south and give your sweetheart the biggest cosmic Valentine anyone will ever get, a gigantic red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for the one you love. Is this a romantic cosmos or what? Keep looking up!

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Star Gazer Minute

#09-05 M

2/02/2009 thru 2/08/2009

"The Goddess Of Love And The Valentine's Day Star
Await Your Viewing Valentine's Night"

Horkheimer: The goddess of love and the Valentine star await you Valentine's night. Look west just after dark this week and Valentine's night and the brightest planet named for the goddess of love Venus will bathe you and your sweetheart in cosmic light. Between 8 and 9 p.m. face south and the biggest red star we can see will be at its highest point above the horizon. Its name is Betelgeuse and it's the shoulder star of Orion. It slowly pulsates like a giant heart and if we placed it where our sun is it would reach all the way out past Mars when contracted and when expanded all the way out to Jupiter. Think of it, a billion mile wide star! So give your Valentine a giant red star beating like a heart full of cosmic love. Keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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 STAH 808
Tuesday January 20, 2009, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0905, 0906, 0907, 0908


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core


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 Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #09-06 /1627th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/09/2009 through Sunday 2/15/2009

"Next Week's 'Triple Planet And Moon'
Sky Show For The Early Birds"


Horkheimer: greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Please mark every day beginning Monday February 16th through Monday the 23rd as the mornings you'll make it a point to look eastward 30 minutes before sunrise for a celestial ballet of three planets and a crescent Moon. All of which will occur just as it's getting light out on these crisp chilly February mornings. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for dawn Monday February 16th facing east southeast and if you have a very clear and very flat unobstructed horizon you will see three planets very close to the horizon. Two of them will be side-by-side and only nine-tenths of one degree apart, which means that slightly less than two full Moons could fit between them because one full Moon is half a degree wide. The brightest of the two is the king of them all, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, a planet so huge we could line up eleven of our 8 thousand mile wide Earths across its middle.

Just to its right and half the size as our planet Earth, rouge gold Mars, it is the second smallest planet only 4,000 miles wide, which means we could line up 22 Mars side by side across Jupiter's middle. Then to complete our trio, look above them and to their right for the tiniest planet of them all, 3,000 mile wide Mercury, which means it would take almost 30 Mercurys lined up to reach across Jupiter's middle. Think of it the two smallest planets Mercury and Mars, and the biggest planet Jupiter all huddled together in a very small space, Jupiter and Mars not quite two full Moons apart and Mercury about 14 full Moons away.

But the planet show is just beginning because if you go out each successive day you'll notice them change their positions. In fact on Tuesday February 17th Jupiter and Mars will be even closer to each other, less than one half a degree or one full Moon apart. Wow! But then things really change dramatically as Jupiter and Mercury move toward each other and Mars moves away: Wednesday the 18th, Thursday the 19th, Friday the 20th. Then on Saturday February 21st they will form an exquisite trio and be joined by a beautiful waning crescent Moon. But if I had to pick one day I'd pick Sunday the 22nd because then an even closer and skinnier crescent Moon, and the three planets will be lined up almost in a straight row in a breathtaking sight. Of course they will all be much easier to see and look much brighter if you use a pair of binoculars, which is my favorite viewing device.

Once again, beginning Monday February 16th Jupiter and Mars are close and Mercury is up to the right. On Tuesday the 17th Jupiter and Mars are at their closest only one full Moon apart, then each day Jupiter and Mercury race toward each other and leave poor old Mars in the dust. On Saturday February 21st they are joined by a crescent Moon but my favorite day is Sunday the 22nd when the four of them will line up and knock your socks off! Mark your calendar and get out your binoculars and long johns. Keep looking up!

How did you like this episode?
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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-06 M

2/09/2009 thru 2/15/2009

"Next Week's 'Triple Planet And Moon'
Sky Show For The Early Birds"

Horkheimer: Next week you early birds can see a planetary triple play just before sunrise. Go out every morning the 16th through the 23rd and look east and you can watch the largest planet, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter do a ballet with 4,000 mile wide Mars and 3,000 mile wide Mercury. On February 17th Jupiter and Mars will be so close, less then one full Moon could fit between them. And then as each day goes by Jupiter and Mercury will move toward each other and Mars will move away. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. On Saturday this exquisite trio is joined by a crescent Moon. But the best day is Sunday the 22nd when all three planets and the Moon will be lined up in a row. Wow! Get out your binoculars and keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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 STAH 808
Tuesday January 20, 2009, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0905, 0906, 0907, 0908


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

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 Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 09-07 / 1628th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/16/2009 through Sunday 2/22/2009

"The Great Cosmic Light Called Hesperus,
Brother Of Lucifer, Reaches Greatest Brilliancy"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Mark Friday evening February 27th just after dark on your calendar as the night when one of the most historic of all brilliant sky objects Hesperus reaches its greatest brilliancy and is outshone only by the Moon and our Sun and is parked right next to an exquisite 3 day old crescent Moon. In fact the wondrous light Hesperus will be almost twenty one times brighter than Sirius the brightest star we can see. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Friday February 27th just after dark about an hour or so after Sunset facing due west where you'll be absolutely dazzled by the brilliant light of the object the ancient Greeks named Hesperus. Hesperus was very special because he was the son of a mortal and the Greek goddess of the dawn, Eos, whom the Romans called Aurora. He was as famous as his brother Phosphorus/Lucifer, whose names meant the bearer of light who was just as bright but only appeared just before dawn.

At any rate the ancient Romans renamed Hesperus, Vesper, as in evening vespers, which relates to evening and the west. But to simplify things they also called Hesperus "the evening star" and Phosphorus/Lucifer, "the morning star". Eventually however, the Greeks and Romans realized that the Babylonians were much better astronomers and adopted the Babylonian position that the two brothers were actually one and the same, but which they had named for their great goddess Ishtar, which the Greeks then decided to call Aphrodite and the Romans Venus. And it's been Venus ever since.

So on February 27th this most wondrous evening star, which is not a star at all, but our nearest planetary neighbor, 8,000 mile wide, same size as our Earth, Venus reaches its greatest brilliancy and will be bright enough to cast a shadow. In fact, it can even be seen in the daytime if you know exactly where to look. But something special will be added because only one and a half degrees away will be a three day old exquisite waxing, that is growing, crescent Moon complete with earthshine, which will look like a darkish grey full Moon nestled within the crescent. Don't miss this please. But if you do, on Saturday night the 28th, a still exquisite crescent Moon will be up and to the left of Venus and will still make a fabulous sight.

But as always, even though the Moon and Venus will look huddled close together on the 27th, in reality they will be very far apart from each other. Indeed on February 27th our three day old Moon will be only 238 thousand miles away from Earth whereas Venus will be a whopping 35 million miles away. And in telescopes at low power, even in a good pair of binoculars, will itself look like a tiny crescent Moon because it will be only 20% lit up by the Sun.

So get thee out to see the brilliant evening star named for the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, renamed Hesperus by the Greeks, Vesper by the Romans and eventually renamed again by the Greeks Aphrodite and the Romans Venus. And by the way Hesperus' brother Phosphorus/Lucifer is not the nasty dude we all know about. Keep looking up!


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

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-07 M

2/16/2009 thru 2/22/2009

"The Great Cosmic Light Called Hesperus,
Brother Of Lucifer, Reaches Greatest Brilliancy"

Horkheimer: The object once known as Hesperus reaches its greatest brilliancy and is outshone only by the Moon and Sun on the 27th. Just after dark face west and Hesperus will be a dazzling twenty one times brighter than the brightest star. The Greeks named it Hesperus. The Romans called it Vesper and it appeared only in the evening sky and was a brother to another bright light which appeared only in the morning sky Phosphorus/Lucifer. But the Greeks and Romans had it wrong. The ancient Babylonians had it right. These two objects, the evening and the morning star, are one and the same. Called Ishtar by the Babylonians, the Greeks renamed it Aphrodite and the Romans, Venus. And it's been Venus ever since. So be bedazzled and keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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 STAH 808
Tuesday January 20, 2009, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0905, 0906, 0907, 0908


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

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 Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 09-08 / 1629th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/23/2009 through Sunday 3/01/2009

"What Does That Old Saying 'In Like A Lion
Out Like A Lamb' Have To Do With The Cosmos?"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know I have always been fascinated by mythology and folk lore, especially phrases we learn during childhood and repeat all our lives and frequently have little or no idea where they came from. For instance everyone has heard that old phrase that" if March weather comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb" and vice versa. But have you ever wondered where that phrase comes from? Well my astronomical colleague Guy Ottewell has long suggested that maybe this phrase got its imagery from the heavens. Let's take a look and see what you think.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first day of March any year about 8 p.m. your local time and if you're far from city lights and if you go outside and look toward the northwest you will see the very dim stars that make up the constellation Aries the ram or lamb. But if you look in almost the opposite direction toward the northeast about the same height above the horizon you'll see the constellation Leo the lion. So here we have two wonderful night sky images that match the phrase, a lion and a lamb, both about the same height above the horizon in early evening on the first of March.

But what will we see if we go out at the same time a month later on March 31st? Well quite a different story, because on March 31st at 8 p.m. the lion will be almost overhead and the lamb will be smack dab on the northwestern horizon. Now we all know that the weather at the end of March is usually milder than the weather at the beginning of March so our skies at 8 p.m. on the last day of March with the lamb setting supports the fact that March is going out like a lamb. However if we turn our skies back to March 1st at 8 p.m. we see that the lion is just rising which lends support to the premise that March usually begins with fiercer weather, comes in like a lion so to speak. So perhaps long ago someone tied this all together noticing that on the 1st day of March Leo the lion was just rising up into the heavens whereas at the end of March Aries the ram was leaving them. And thus decided to poetically link both of them to the weather.

This March of 2009 however we can add a second cosmic meaning to that old phrase because also in the west just after sunset at the beginning of this March 2009 is the planet Venus at its greatest brilliancy out dazzling everything in the sky except the Moon and the Sun. In fact it comes in at the beginning of March like a lion but as the month progresses, it loses half its brightness and starts vanishing into the sunset, going out like a lamb. Whatever, it's always fun to investigate old folk lore because there always seems to be a bit of truth involved. So here's hoping your March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. But even if it doesn't, keep looking up!


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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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 Click Here

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Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-08 M

2/23/2009 thru 3/01/2009

"What Does That Old Saying 'In Like A Lion
Out Like A Lamb' Have To Do With The Cosmos?"

Horkheimer: This year the month of March definitely comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb cosmically speaking. Face west just after sunset the first week of March and the planet Venus will be at its greatest brilliancy and out dazzle everything except the Sun and the Moon, coming in like a lioness. But by month's end she will have lost half her brilliance and will be vanishing into the evening twilight, going out like a lamb. Likewise if you look northeast at 8 p.m. the first week of March you'll see Leo just rising, coming in like a lion. But at the end of the month look northwest and you will see Aries the ram or lamb on the western horizon getting ready to set, go out like a lamb. So find March's lamb and lion and be dazzled by Venus. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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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