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 1008
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1106, 1107, 1108, 1109

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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 11-06 / 1731st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/7/2011 through
Sunday 2/13/2011

"The King Of The Gods And The Valentine's Star"


Ed: Hey there stargazers I'm Ed Romano from Massachusetts and I'll be your guest host this month on Star Gazer. If you want to give your sweetheart something special and out of this world for Valentine's Day we have two exquisitely beautiful objects in the cosmos gift wrapped and ready to present. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Valentine's Day night Monday, February 14th, an hour after Sunset facing southwest where you'll see an exquisitely beautiful dazzlingly brilliant object that will look like a star. But a star it is not. It is instead the biggest and almost the brightest, planet we can see from Earth, the planet named for the Roman king of the gods, 88,000 mile wide, Jupiter. If you have a telescope take a look at Jupiter and see if it has one or two dark bands running along its middle. Normally there are two but how many can you spot?

So this Valentine's Day you can celebrate by first showing your loved one the biggest planet in the night sky shining down on both of you which will be prettier than any Valentine's Day card out there. Then for a super special cosmic Valentine look due south between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. and you'll see a very bright red star shining above the horizon. In fact it is the brightest red star we can see with the naked eye from planet Earth and just coincidentally it reaches its highest point above the horizon every Valentine's Day between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. It marks the shoulder star of the great sky giant Orion the hunter and its name is Betelgeuse which most people pronounce beetle juice. And if you've ever wanted to give your loved one a really big Valentine, well this is about as big a one as you'll ever find.

Indeed, if we compare Betelgeuse the Valentine's star with our own star the Sun and our own planet the Earth you'll understand just how big. Now we all know that our Earth is 8,000 miles wide, which means it 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. Betelgeuse however, is so huge we could fit over 160 million of our Suns inside it. And that's when Betelgeuse is at its smallest size. I say smallest size because Betelgeuse changes its size regularly like a gigantic slowly pulsating heart, one that beats however, only once every 6 years.

Now when Betelgeuse is fully contracted and at its smallest size it is still about 500 times the width of our Sun but when it expands to its biggest size it is almost 900 times as wide. Or if you care to think of it this way, if we could place Betelgeuse where our Sun is, when Betelgeuse is at its smallest, it would stretch out past the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, all the way to Mars. But when it's at its largest it will reach all the way to that planet we can see just after Sunset, Jupiter. Wow!

So, there you have it. A brilliant planet named for the king of the gods right after sunset in the southwest. And due south between 8 and 9 p.m. and at its highest, the biggest cosmic Valentine you'll ever want to give, Betelgeuse; a giant red star slowly beating like a heavenly heart for your sweetheart courtesy of our local galaxy. Is this a romantic cosmos or what? I'm Ed Romano, keep looking up!

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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
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Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-06 M

2/07/2011 thru 2/13/2011

"The King Of The Gods And The Valentine's Star"

Ed: Want to give your sweetheart the biggest, reddest Valentine ever? Then go outside with your honey Valentine's Day night 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 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. I'm Ed Romano, 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 1008
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1106, 1107, 1108, 1109


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode #11-07 /1732nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 2/14/2011 through Sunday 2/20/2011

"Jupiter And The Brightest Star In The Night Sky"


Ed : Hey there star gazers. I'm Ed Romano from Massachusetts and I'll be your guest host this month on Star Gazer. Although there are many bright objects in the heavens in early evening, three of the brightest are there for you to enjoy right now. One of them holds the distinction of being the brightest star visible from Earth, other than our Sun, and the other is the biggest, and almost the brightest, planet in our solar system. And of course you know all about the Moon. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for an hour after sunset, this week and next, facing west. Shining brilliantly not far above the horizon is the biggest of all the planets, Jupiter, which will set about an hour after the Sun so get out early to catch it. Then turn and look into the southeast where you will see the brightest constellation of them all, Orion the hunter. 2 bright stars mark his shoulders, 2 bright stars mark his knees and 3 not quite as bright stars equally spaced in a row mark his belt.

And if you shoot an imaginary arrow through Orion's belt down to his left you will see a dazzling star which literally outshines all the stars in the heavens as seen from Earth, the star Sirius which marks the nose of Orion's faithful companion, Canis Major, the great dog. In fact we can make a very nice stick figure of a dog by drawing lines between Canis Major's stars with Sirius marking his nose. Now although Sirius is nicknamed the 'dog star', I personally prefer the name the ancient Egyptians gave it, the 'Soul of Isis'. But whatever name it has enjoyed for the past several thousand years, it is still the brightest and most jewel-like star we can see.

But there's a catch here because even though Sirius is the brightest star we can see with the naked eye it is by no means intrinsically the brightest. It only appears to be the brightest because it is so close to us. In fact, it is the fifth closest star to planet Earth, not quite 9 light years away which, although nearby cosmically speaking, is still over half a million times farther away from us than our closest star the Sun. And we can see many stars which are hundreds of times larger than Sirius, like Orion's red shoulder star Betelgeuse.

Even so Sirius makes our own star, the Sun, look rather puny by comparison because while our Sun is almost one million miles in diameter, Sirius is almost twice as wide. And while our Sun burns a relatively cool 10 thousand degrees Fahrenheit at its surface, Sirius blazes a fierce 17 thousand degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it shine 25 times brighter than our Sun. Wow! Thank heaven it isn't as close to us as our Sun or we'd all have to wear sunglasses to get to sleep at night.

At any rate, if you watch Sirius when it is close to the horizon it will look even more dazzling than when it's up high. In fact it will flash and sparkle and change brilliant colors like a cosmic jewel unlike any other star in the heavens. So get thee outside to see Jupiter in the west after sunset and then turn to the southeast and enjoy Sirius the dog star and the ancient soul of Isis. It will dazzle you! I'm Ed Romano, keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-07 M

2/14/2011 thru 2/20/2011

"Jupiter And The Brightest Star In The Night Sky"

Ed: Hey there star gazers. Want to see the brightest star in the night sky? Go outside any night the next couple weeks, face southeast and if you shoot an imaginary arrow through the 3 stars marking the belt of Orion you'll land on the brightest night sky star visible from planet Earth, Sirius, the eye of Orion's great dog which has been admired and worshiped throughout the ages. It appears the brightest however only because it's so close, a mere 9 light years away. There are many stars hundreds of times larger. Even so Sirius is twice as wide as our Sun, almost twice as hot but shines 25 times brighter. And when it's close to the horizon it flashes and sparkles and changes brilliant colors like a cosmic jewel, unlike any other star in the sky. Sirius is wonderful. 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 1008
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1106, 1107, 1108, 1109


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 11-08 / 1733rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/21/2011 through Sunday 2/27/2011

"Venus, The Morning Star, Will Wow You Next Week"


Ed : Hey there Star Gazers I'm Ed Romano from Massachusetts and I'll be your guest host for Star Gazer this month. Get ready for a Venus and Moon super show next week because Venus will be absolutely spectacular and will be as bright as it will be for the rest of 2011. Plus it will be joined by a skinny waning crescent Moon for a spectacular pre-dawn show on Monday and Tuesday. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday morning next week about an hour before sunrise facing southeast where the absolute brightest thing you'll see in the sky will be our closest neighbor the Moon, and very close by you'll easily find 8,000 mile wide Venus. Venus is often called the twin sister of our Earth because it is almost the same size as our Earth, 8,000 miles wide. And 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 an hour 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. And on Monday and Tuesday you'll be able to use the Moon to assist you in locating this brilliant planet. Monday the 28th a thin waning crescent Moon will be about 7 degrees up and to the right of Venus. The following morning on Tuesday the 1st day of March the Moon will be a bit skinnier and about 4 degrees down and to the left of Venus. In fact Venus is the only planet, which we can ever see with the naked eye in the daytime because it is so outrageously bright. Its official astronomical brightness is labeled -4.1 magnitude which means that it is about 12 times brighter than the brightest star we can see in the sky, Sirius.

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 Venus 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 also has another name, the evening star and you may recall that for much of the first half of 2011 Venus was the evening star, very bright in the western sky after sunset. Then during the second half of October it disappeared from evening skies as it slipped between our Earth and the Sun and then reappeared very low in morning skies in November.

Through a pair of binoculars or a small telescope Venus will look like a small gibbous Moon. And 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 and watching. Monday Feb 28th the Moon will be about 7 degrees up to the right of Venus and Tuesday March 1st it will be about 4 degrees down to the left of Venus. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-08 M

2/21/2011 thru 2/27/2011

"Venus, The Morning Star, Will Wow You Next Week"


Ed : Hey there star gazers get ready for a Venus and Moon super show next week because Venus will be absolutely spectacular and will be as bright as it will be for the rest of 2011. Plus it will be joined by a skinny waning crescent Moon for a spectacular pre-dawn show on Monday and Tuesday. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday morning next week about an hour before sunrise facing southeast where the absolute brightest thing you'll see in the sky will be our closest neighbor the Moon, and very close by you'll easily find 8,000 mile wide Venus. Monday the 28th a thin waning crescent Moon will be about 7 degrees up and to the right of Venus. The following morning on Tuesday the 1st day of March the Moon will be a bit skinnier and about 4 degrees down and to the left of 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




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 1008
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1106, 1107, 1108, 1109


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 11-09 / 1729th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 2/28/2011 through Sunday 3/06/2011

"The Three Wonderful Stars Of The Winter Triangle"


Ed : Hey there star gazers I'm Ed Romano from Massachusetts and I'll be your guest host this month on Star Gazer. Every summer we frequently talk about the three bright stars that mark the points of the great Summer Triangle. But because there are so many brilliant stars in the same part of the sky in winter we often talk about the six stars of the Winter Hexagon. But did you know that inside that hexagon is a wonderful Winter Triangle? Let me show you.

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

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

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

Thus as astronomer Fred Schaaf says, "Sirius and Procyon are the birthday stars of 9 and 11 year olds", because when we look at Sirius this winter we are actually seeing the light that left it about 9 years ago when 9 year olds were being born and the light we see from Procyon this winter actually left it 11 years ago when 11 year olds were being born. So is Betelgeuse also someone's birthday star? It is if you were born 525 years ago. Because when we look at Betelgeuse this winter we are actually seeing the light that left it in the year 1486 the year both Ferdinand Magellan and Montezuma were 6 years old! That's a lot of candles on the cake! So get thee outside and do a little time travel with the stars of the Winter Triangle. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-09 M

2/28/2011 thru 3/06/2011

"The Three Wonderful Stars Of The Winter Triangle"


Ed: Whenever we look at the stars we see them not as they really exist now but as they existed sometime in the past depending on how far away they are. We see our Sun as it existed 8 1/3 minutes ago. The stars of the Winter Triangle however are much farther away. We see Sirius as it existed 9 years ago. So it is the birthday star of 9 year olds because the light we see this winter left it when 9 year olds were being born. The light we see from Procyon left it 11 years ago when 11 year olds were being born. So is the third star Betelgeuse also someone's birthday star? You bet if you were born 525 years ago because the light we see now left it in the year 1486, when both Ferdinand Magellan and Montezuma were 6 years old! 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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