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. 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!

12/23/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

 

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 # 00-01

1152nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/3/2000 through

Sunday 1/9/2000

"Earth Closest To The Sun This Week!

Four Naked Eye Planets and

A Lunar Eclipse Alert!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and yes indeed, our tiny 8 thousand mile wide planet Earth is at its closest point to our parent star, our 1 million mile wide Sun, this week, only 91 million, 4 hundred thousand miles away which is 3 million miles closer than it will be July 3rd when our Earth will be at its farthest from the Sun, 94 1/2 million miles away. So if we're closer in January than we are in July why is it so cold in January? Simple, in January our northern hemisphere is tilted less directly toward the Sun than in July and receives much less direct solar energy. At any rate, if you brave the chilly weather this month you will be able to see 4 planets with the naked eye, 3 of which will be visited by a waxing moon so you can easily identify them.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Sunday January 9th about an hour after sunset facing southwest where you will see an exquisite crescent moon, complete with the old moon in the new moon's arms. But Monday night you can use the moon to find Mars because then a slightly fatter crescent will be huddled right up next to the 4 thousand mile wide planet, which you may recall was many times brighter just a few months ago. Then if you go out each successive night you will be able to watch the moon wax, that is grow, bigger and bigger as it slowly approaches the king of the planets,Jupiter.

Tuesday the 11th it will have moved past Mars and on Wednesday the 12th will be half way between Mars and Jupiter. Then on Thursday the 13th it will be almost first quarter and on Friday the 14th will be huddled just alongside 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter in the south. And the next night, Saturday the 15th, the moon will have moved along side the ringed planet, 75 thousand mile wide Saturn.

Once again: Sunday the 9th and Monday the 10th an exquisite moon nestled next to Mars. Onward to Jupiter on Tuesday the 11th, Wednesday the 12th, Thursday the 13th and on Friday the 14th the first quarter moon will be just under Jupiter. Then the next night, Saturday the 15th alongside Saturn. And if that's not enough, if you get up before sunrise you'll still be able to see the most dazzling planet of them all which right now is our so-called morning star, out 8 thousand mile wide sister planet, Venus, dazzling just to the left of the bright red star that marks the heart of the Scorpion, Antares.What a great time for planet viewing!

And mark Thursday night January 20th on your calendar because on that night all of the U.S. and Canada will be treated to a sight not seen over North America since 1996, a Total Eclipse of the Moon which I'll explain in detail next week. So until then, even though we're as close to the Sun as we ever get this week, nevertheless, I recommend you bundle up as you Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-01 M

1/3/2000 thru 1/9/2000

"Earth Closest To The Sun This Week!"

 

Horkheimer: Incredible but true that this week our tiny 8 thousand mile wide planet Earth is at its closest point to our 1 million mile wide Sun for the entire year, 3 million miles closer than it will be when it's at its farthest on July 3rd. So if we're closer in January than we are in July, why is it colder in January? Simple, in January our Northern Hemisphere is tilted less directly toward the Sun than in July and thus receives much less direct solar energy. And be thankful for it because if our Earth were at its farthest from the Sun in January our Northern Hemisphere would be even colder and there'd be a brisk business in snow blowers in Florida. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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. 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!

12/23/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


 

Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

 

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 #00-02


1153rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/10/2000 through Sunday 1/16/2000

"Get Ready For Next Week's

Total Eclipse Of The Moon! "

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And yes indeed, next week, Thursday night, January 20th, people all over North America will be able to witness the first total lunar eclipse visible over North America since 1996. And this one will be spectacular because for one hour during totality the moon will turn an orangeish/red and instead of looking like a flat disc in the sky will actually look 3-dimensional, like a round ball suspended in the heavens ... a sight you'll never forget.

Let me explain: Put simply, a total eclipse of the moon occurs whenever our earth passes directly between the sun and the moon it casts its shadow over the moon's surface, thus blocking out the light of the sun which is what makes the moon shine in the first place. After all, moonlight is only reflected sunlight. Or to put it another way, during a total lunar eclipse our moon slowly slides in to our earth's shadow and as it passes deeper and deeper into this shadow, it becomes much dimmer and eventually turns an orangeish/red hue due to the fact that there are always red rays of sunlight scattered throughout earth's shadow.

Now while the moon is totally eclipsed for only an hour, nevertheless the whole process of the eclipse takes several hours. You see our earth actually has two shadows, an outer light shadow called the penumbra and an inner shadow called the umbra. Here's the timetable. Use your local equivalent of Eastern Standard Time. O.K., the moon enters the light portion of the earth's shadow, the penumbra, at 9:03 p.m. and for the next hour you will notice only a very slight dimming of the moon's light as it goes from a brilliant white to a grayish color.

Then at 10:01 the moon will begin to enter the dark part of the earth's shadow, the umbra. And for the next hour you'll see this black inner shadow slowly creep across the face of the moon, although in reality this shadow will be racing over the moon's surface at over 2 thousand miles per hour. Then as the moon rides deeper into the umbra, the scattered red waves of sunlight in the umbra will make the moon change from grayish-black to reddish/orange.

And then when totality begins at 11:05 p.m. the moon will actually look like a 3-dimensional ball hanging in the heavens and all of the bright stars of winter which were dimmed by brilliant moonlight before the eclipse began will shine many times brighter, especially Leo, Gemini and Orion. At mid-eclipse at 11:44 the moon will appear its darkest and most intense color and even more 3 dimensional. Then at 12:22 a.m. totality will end and the moon will slowly exit the umbra and as it does you will be able to watch the earth's shadow slowly uncover the moon. And by 1:25 a.m. the moon will have turned back into a brilliant white flat disc. And that one hour of a glorious 3 - dimensional orange moon will be just a memory. Don't miss this. See it with your children and when you see it remember that over 2 thousand years ago the ancient Greeks were clever enough to deduce that the earth was round by observing earth's curved shadow during a total lunar eclipse. What a wonderful way to begin the year! Just Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-02 M

1/10/2000 thru 1/16/2000

"Next Week's Total Eclipse Of The Moon"

 

Horkheimer: Greetings.Next Thursday night as our Earth passes directly between the Sun and the Moon we'll witness the first Total Lunar Eclipse visible over North America since 1996. At 10 p.m. the moon will begin its slow glide through our Earth's shadow, gradually dimming and changing color from gray to black. Then during totality for one hour it will actually look like a copper colored 3-dimensional ball suspended in the heavens amid the stars of winter which will have grown brighter and brighter throughout the eclipse. But don't let that slow moving shadow fool you, it's actually racing across the surface of the moon at over 2 thousand miles per hour, and incredibly the ancient Greeks deduced that this curved shadow was cast by our Earth thus proving the Earth to be round. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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. 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!

12/23/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from

NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 # 00-03


1154th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 1/17/2000 through Sunday 1/23/2000

"A Lunar Eclipse Alert! and

A Journey To A Place Where Stars Are Born"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and a quick reminder that this Thursday night North America will be treated to its first Total Eclipse of the Moon since 1996. It begins at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or your local equivalent and for complete details check last week's show on our web site or your local newspaper. But now let's take a journey to a place where stars are born.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night the next few weeks during early evening hours and if you look over to the southeast you will see what has to be the second most familiar pattern of stars after the Big Dipper, a pattern which is just loaded with bright stars, Orion the Hunter. Now the best way to find him is to look for his belt which is simply 3 evenly spaced stars in a row. Above these 3 belt stars you will see 2 brilliant stars marking Orion's shoulders and below his belt, 2 brilliant stars marking his knees. And although I usually talk about his brightest stars every January, this year I'd like to zero in on one of Orion's dimmer stars because as magnificent as Orion's bright stars are in reality, one of his dimmer stars is in reality one of the most awesome wonders of our nearby universe.

To find it simply look below the 3 evenly spaced belt stars for 3 more evenly spaced but much dimmer stars, the stars we call the Sword of Orion. And now if you look carefully at these 3 stars you will notice that no matter how sharp your eyesight, the middle star always seems to look fuzzy, slightly out of focus and that's because this so-called middle star is not a star at all, but something we call a nebula which is a great cosmic cloud of gas and dust out of which brand new stars have been, and are still being born. In fact, this nebula, the Orion Nebula, is a stellar womb, a birthplace and nursery of stars, a place where new stars are constantly being born.

And incredibly you can see this cloud with some of its new-born stars inside it with even the the cheapest pair of binoculars. Indeed, this cloud is actually illuminated by 4 recently born stars arranged in the shape of a baseball diamond called The Trapezium. And these 4 stars can actually be seen with a department store telescope. Now although the Orion Nebula looks like a tiny Q-tip shaped cloud through a pair of binoculars, in reality its size is mind-boggling. Indeed there is enough material in this nebula to produce over 10 thousand stars the size of our Sun and it is an outrageous 30 light years in diameter which means it would take over 20 thousand of our Solar Systems lined up end to end to reach from one edge of the nebula to the other. Or to put it another way, if the distance from our Earth to the Sun was 1 inch, the distance across the Orion Nebula would be over 10 miles. Is that mind boggling or what?

So get thee outside to see this wondrous fuzzy middle star in the Sword of Orion and experience for yourself the awe and wonder of a distant place where stars are born. It's incredible! So Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-03 M

1/17/2000 thru 1/23/2000

"Where Stars Are Born"

 

Horkheimer: Go out any January evening, look southeast and you'll see winter's most famous star pattern, Orion the Hunter. 3 equally spaced stars mark his belt, and below his belt you'll see 3 dimmer equally spaced stars marking his sword. But no matter how sharp your eye sight the middle star always seems to look fuzzy because it's not a star at all. Through a pair of binoculars it will look like a tiny cloud but in reality it is a humongous cloud of gas and dust called the Orion Nebula in which stars are being born. In fact, there is enough material in this nebula to produce over 10 thousand stars the size of our Sun and it would take over 20 thousand of our Solar Systems lined up end to end to reach from one edge of this nebula to the other. Wow! I'm jack Horkheimer, Keep looking Up!
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. 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!

12/23/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 #00-04


1155th Show



To Be Aired : Monday 1/24/2000 through Sunday 1/30/2000

"A Ground Hog Day Sky Show Extravaganza!

Plus A Tiny Taste Of Summer"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and although most people in the United States think of February 2nd as Ground Hog Day, traditionally in western European society it is known as Candlemas Day and one of the 4 Cross Quarter days of the year which simply means that this is one of the four days of the year which marks the half way point between the solstices and the equinoxes.

In other words, February 2nd is the half way point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. But this February 2nd is going to be a very, very special Cross Quarter/ Candlemas/ Ground Hog Day because 1 hour to 30 minutes before sunrise, Wednesday February 2nd, an exquisite crescent moon complete with earthshine, which looks like a ghostly image of a full moon nestled inside the crescent, will pay an extremely close visit to Venus, little more than 1 degree away and will provide a dazzling sky picture of the sort that has inspired people for thousands and thousands of years.

In fact, this will be the most spectacular pairing of Venus and the moon for the entire year. Indeed, this kind of pairing is so dramatic that it has often appeared in folk art dating back to pre-historic times. So as you gaze at these two please try to imagine how awe-inspiring this sight was to hundreds of generations before us because they truly had no idea what they were looking at, so their awe and wonder was one that did not encompass scientific knowledge.

But since we now know exactly what these objects are, we can add to that awe and wonder by keeping in mind what this wonderful sky show is really all about. You see, on the morning of February 2nd our nearest celestial neighbor, our tiny 2 thousand mile moon will be only 251 thousand miles away, just one quarter of a million miles distant whereas Venus is a much bigger world, 8 thousand miles wide, and on February 2nd will be 500 times farther away at a distance of 124 million miles.

But what makes our view even more special is that for the first time in human history, in just the past 30 years, we have actually visited each of these worlds with robotic space craft, mapped them in wonderful close up detail and have even walked upon our sister world, the Moon. Of course if you miss this pairing on the 2nd they'll still make a handsome couple the following morning, Thursday the 3rd. In fact, on Tuesday the 1st the Moon and Venus are also quite handsome. But the 2nd is the day they'll knock your socks off!

Once again: Tuesday the 1st, Wednesday the 2nd, Thursday the 3rd. And while you're out there if you look to the right of Venus and the Moon you'll get a taste of Summer because riding just above the horizon will be summer's most famous constellation, Scorpius the Scorpion, complete with his giant 600 million mile red heart star, Antares. Wow! What a way to begin February, so please, please Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-04 M

1/24/2000 thru 1/30/2000

"A Ground Hog Day Sky Show Extravaganza!"

 

Horkheimer: If you get up next Wednesday February 2nd, before the Ground Hog does, 30 minutes before sunrise, you will see a sky show extravaganza that will make the Ground Hog Day one for the record books. Simply look southeast and you will see the most spectacular pairing of Venus and the moon for the entire year. The moon will be resplendent with "earthshine", which looks like which looks like a ghostly image of a full moon nestled inside the crescent. And while our 2 thousand mile wide moon will be only 250 thousand miles away on Ground Hog Day, 8 thousand mile wide Venus will be 124 million miles beyond. Who needs Ground Hogs anyway? I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!
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. 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!

12/23/99 10:30 - 11:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE

A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00

plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard,

check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address

below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 #00-05


1156th Show



To Be Aired : Monday 1/31/2000 through Sunday 2/6/2000

"The Moon Visits The Planets and

The Planets Prepare To Visit Each Other"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and as many of you know, we have been enjoying the company of 3 of the outer planets in early evening skies for the past few months and although once a month I've been showing you how to identify each planet as the moon visits them one by one, now is the time to alert you to the fact that the 3 outer planets are also going to be visiting each other and you'll notice a dramatic change in their positions all this month.

Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night next week facing south west where you'll see planet number 4, 4 thousand mile Mars and up to its left the king of the planets, planet number 5, 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter and to Jupiter's left planet number 6, the 75 thousand mile mile wide planet Saturn. And to make absolutely sure you've identified them correctly, all you have to do is follow the moon as it grows slightly fatter each successive night.

Now on Monday February 7th an exquisite crescent moon complete with earthshine will be half way up from the horizon to Mars. But on Tuesday February 8th it will be smack dab right next to Mars. On Wednesday February 9th the moon will be almost exactly between Mars and Jupiter and on Thursday just off to its left. Then on Friday the 11th an even closer meeting with the ringed planet Saturn. Once again, February 7th, February 8th, February 9th February 10th and February 11th.

Now as much fun as it is to watch the moon travel past the planets one after another, if you really want to get into star gazing it's even more fun to watch how they move in relationship to each other from week to week and month to month. You see on February 1st, Mars and Jupiter are separated by a mere 36 degrees, that's 72 moon widths apart and Jupiter and Saturn are separated by 13 degrees, that's 26 full moons apart, but by the end of February they will have changed their positions dramatically.

Now the closer a planet is to the sun the faster it moves so since Mars is planet 4 it will change its position much faster in the night sky than either Jupiter or Saturn and since Jupiter is planet number 5 it will change its position in the sky much faster than planet number 6, Saturn. So, by the end of this month Mars will be only 20 degrees away from Jupiter or 40 full moon widths apart and Jupiter will be only 11 degrees away from Saturn, just 22 full moon widths apart. And in just a couple months' time these planets will actually meet each other, and I'll keep you informed all the way.

And here's an interesting piece of planet information for you: Right now, this week all of the other 8 planets are on the other side of the sun from us which makes our earth the solitary planet on this side of the sun for the time being. But don't worry, what goes around comes around and eventually we will join them on their side. Until then, however, Hurray for our side! And watch the planet parade. It's easy, just Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-05 M

1/31/2000 thru 2/6/2000

"Moon Visits Planets, Planets Visit Each Other"

 

Horkheimer: Look west and south any night this week an hour after sunset and you'll see 3 planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. On Monday the 7th a crescent moon will pay a visit to Mars, then on Thursday it will visit Jupiter and on Friday Saturn. Now although the moon has been visiting these planets regularly, the planets themselves are getting ready to visit each other and you can watch them closing in on each other all month long. On February 1st Mars and Jupiter will be separated by 72 full moon widths and Jupiter and Saturn by 26 full moon widths. But by month's end Mars will be only 40 full moons away from Jupiter and Jupiter will be only 22 moons away from Saturn. Will they ever meet? I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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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