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!

Friday 12/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 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 / 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 # 03-01 / 1309th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/06/2003 through
Sunday 1/12/2003

"The Moon Meets The Two Biggest Planets
At Their Best Among Winter's Brightest Stars"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And as you regular viewers know the two biggest planets of them all are at their very best for viewing right now and for the next several weeks. But because they're nestled among the brightest stars of winter you may have a hard time finding them unless you employ our old "use-the-moon-to-find-the-planets" trick. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this weekend the 11th and 12th, 8 p.m. Your local time facing east where you'll see so many bright objects it's no wonder if you get confused if you're a beginning star gazer. So the first thing we're going to do is quickly identify the brightest stars of winter which will then leave the first planet I want you to find and the one which is at its best for viewing right now in 30 years. Let's start off with the three bright stars lined up in a row which mark the belt of Orion the Hunter. Two bright stars above are his shoulders and two below are his knees. Then if you shoot an arrow through the belt stars down toward the horizon you will land on the brightest star we can see from earth with the naked eye, the star Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's bigger dog, Canis Major. Hang a left at Sirius and you'll see the brightest star which marks the eye of Canis Minor his smaller dog, Procyon. Then up and to the left of Procyon are the two brightest stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux. And up above them the brightest star of Auriga the Charioteer, Capella. Next, over and to Capella's right, the brightest star of Taurus the Bull Aldebaran. And if you've got really clear dark skies just above Aldebaran you'll see the little cluster of stars called the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades.

Which leaves only one bright object left nestled within this group of winter's brightest stars. In fact, it outshines every star except Sirius and when viewed through even the smallest telescope will absolutely blow you away because its beautiful ring system is tilted at its most dramatic and helps make this 6th planet from the sun at its brightest and best viewing in almost 30 years. It is my favorite planet other than planet earth, 75,000 mile wide Saturn. But if you're one of those who really needs help for sure to find it then wait until Tuesday night January 14th when a gibbous moon will be just above it and off to the side of Aldebaran. And the moon will make it even easier to find Saturn the next night Wednesday the 15th because it will be much closer and just slightly below and off to the side of this wondrous planet.

But there's one more brilliant light visible below Castor and Pollux and Procyon, and close to the horizon. And it is the king of all the planets, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And on Saturday the 18th an almost full Moon will be shining directly above it to help you find it. Plus on Sunday the 19th it will be just below it and to its left. So you can use the Moon on two nights to find Saturn and on two nights to find Jupiter. Plus you've got a whole slew of super bright winter stars to further dazzle you!. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-01M

1/06/2003 thru 1/12/2003

"The Two Biggest Planets At Their Best
Among Winter's Brightest Stars"


Horkheimer: The two biggest planets are at their best and I'll show you how to find them among winter's brightest stars by using the Moon. This weekend around 8 p.m. look east and you'll see winter's brightest stars all clustered together. Orion and his stars, Sirius the eye of his big dog, Procyon the eye of his small dog, Gemini's twin stars Castor and Pollux and Auriga's bright star Capella, Taurus' red star Aldebaran, even the Seven Sisters. And nestled within this group of super bright stars, 75,000 mile wide Saturn, at its best viewing in 30 years. And on the 15th the moon will be right beside it. Plus on the 18th a full moon will be directly above Jupiter. Two bright planets and winter's brightest stars. Keep Looking Up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


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!

Friday 12/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 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 / 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 #03-02 /1310th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/13/2003 through Sunday 1/19/2003

"How to See Something 20,000 Times The Size
Of Our Solar System With Just The Naked Eye"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know winter has its compensations because even though it's cold out for star gazing you can see more bright stars in winter skies than at any other season. And winter skies also contain some of the most incredible cosmic objects you can 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 southeast where you will see winter's most famous constellation Orion the Hunter. Three evenly spaced stars in a row mark his belt and above them two brilliant stars mark his shoulders and below two more mark his knees. And although I usually talk about these brightest stars every January, this week I'd like to zero in on one of Orion's dimmer "stars" because as magnificent as Orion's bright stars are, it is one of his dimmer stars that is one of the most awesome wonders of our nearby universe.

To find it simply look below his three evenly spaced belt stars for three more evenly spaced much, much dimmer stars which make up his sword. And then if you look very carefully at these three stars you will notice that no matter how sharp your eyesight, the middle "star" always seems to look fuzzy and 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 being formed. And incredibly you can see this great cloud and some of the new born stars embedded in it with even the cheapest pair of binoculars.

In fact, this cloud is illuminated by four recently born stars arranged in the shape of a baseball diamond called the Trapezium. And these four stars can actually be seen with a small department store telescope. Now although the Orion Nebula looks like tiny to the naked eye, in reality its size is mind boggling because there is enough material in this nebula to produce over 10,000 stars the size of our Sun. In fact, it is an outrageous 30 light years in diameter, which means 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 the 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 over 12 miles. Is that mind boggling or do I lie? So get thee outside to see the wonderful fuzzy middle "star" in the Sword of Orion and experience some of the awe and wonder of winter's brilliant skies. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


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

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.



Star Gazer Minute

#03-02 M

1/13/2003 thru 1/19/2003

"The Orion Nebula"


Horkheimer: Everyone loves Orion's bright stars but it is one of his dimmer stars that will blow you away. Face southeast in early evening 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 always seems to look fuzzy, out of focus. That's because it isn't a star at all but a humongous 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. Indeed, this nebula is so huge we could line up 20,000 of our solar systems end to end from one edge of it to the other. How's that for a fuzzy little star? I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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!

Friday 12/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 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 / 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 # 03-03 / 1311th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/20/2003 through Sunday 1/26/2003

"The God of War and His Rival
Make An Exquisite Triangle With The Goddess of Love
In Late January Mornings"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And as all of you know this is the year when Mars will come closer to Earth than it's been in almost 60,000 years. And you can watch it come closer and closer and get brighter and brighter, week after week until it becomes one of the most brilliant objects in the night sky at the end of August. And this week you can see it parked right above its rival namesake Antares as they form an exquisite triangle with the planet Venus. Plus if you're one of those who has trouble finding the planets you'll be able to use the Moon next week to find both Mars and Venus.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any morning this week an hour before sunrise your local time facing southeast where the brightest thing you will see is our nearest planetary neighbor, the planet named for the Roman goddess of love, 8,000 mile wide Venus. So named I'm sure because our ancestors realized that this planet is above all else the brightest and most breathtakingly beautiful of all the planets to the naked eye. Then if you look up above it to its right you'll see a planet only half its size and much farther away, the red planet named for the Roman god of war because of its blood red color, tiny 4,000 mile wide Mars, which doesn't look very bright right now but which indeed will be second only in brightness to Venus in just 7 more months.

And below it a star whose name literally means the "Rival of Mars", reddish orange Antares which indeed does frequently rival Mars in both color and brightness. In fact, although Mars is slightly dimmer than Antares right now, by the end of February they will be of equal brightness and will demonstrate once again why our ancestors named this star the "Rival of Mars". You see before Mars was named Mars for the Roman god of war, it was called Ares for the Greek god of war. And as I said Antares literally means "against Ares", "the Rival of Ares". You see, the Romans simply renamed the planets for their gods and goddesses who were the Greek equivalents. In fact, Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love was originally called Aphrodite by the Greeks for their goddess of love.

But even though Ares, that is Mars and Antares frequently look alike when Mars is close enough to be as bright as Antares, there the similarity ends because we know something the ancient Greeks who named Antares couldn't possibly know and that is that whereas Mars is a tiny 4,000 mile wide planet and will be only 170 million miles away this week, Antares is a humongous star 600 million miles wide and so humongous we could fit 3 quadrillion Mars' inside it. And so far away that it takes its light 520 years to reach us.

And now for those of you who still have trouble finding objects like Mars and Antares and venus, simply wait until this Monday the 27th when an exquisite 24 day old crescent Moon will be parked right along side Mars. And if you can't find Venus which I find almost impossible to believe then on Tuesday morning the 28th the moon will be parked almost alongside it. Monday, the Moon, Mars and Antares; Tuesday, the Moon and Venus. So get thee out and enjoy Venus and Mars and its rival in a triangle. A cosmic love triangle? And try to imagine that by August Mars will be 40 times brighter than its now brighter rival. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


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

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-03 M

1/20/2003 thru 1/26/2003

"Mars, Antares And Venus
In A Love Triangle"

Horkheimer: You can see a cosmic love triangle every morning between Mars and its rival Antares and an exquisite Venus. An hour before sunrise face southeast and 8,000 mile wide Venus will dazzle you. Up to its right tiny 4,000 mile wide Mars and a star whose name literally means "the Rival of Mars" because Antares and Mars look alike in color and brightness whenever Mars is close enough to earth. But there the similarity ends. 4,000 mile wide Mars is only 170 million miles away this week whereas 600 million mile wide Antares is so huge we could fit 3 quadrillion Mars' inside it. Monday the Moon will be parked alongside them and on Tuesday alongside Venus and by August Mars will be 40 times brighter than its now brighter rival. Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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!

Friday 12/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 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 / 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 #03-04 / 1312th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/27/2003 through Sunday 2/2/2003

"Punxsutawney Phil And The King Of The Planets,
Candlemas And The First Cross Quarter Day Of 2003"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. How many of you know what the king of the planets has to do with Punxsutawney Phil and Candlemas Day and the first Cross Quarter Day of 2003? Would you like to know? O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday morning February 2nd just before sunrise facing southeast where the most dazzling thing you'll see will be our nearest planetary neighbor, good old 8,000 mile wide Venus which almost always is the brightest planet we can ever see. And just above it the planet which will become one of the brightest objects in the night sky by August and brighter than it's been in almost 60,000 years, 4,000 mile wide Mars.

But the real reason we're showing you the sky just before sunrise on February 2nd is because February 2nd is Groundhog Day and if just after sunrise Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow and sees his shadow, he'll crawl back into his burrow and sleep for 6 more weeks because as tradition says, "If he sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter." The reason being that if we have clear skies in early February the sun will cast Phil's shadow. And it is indeed more likely that clear skies will keep us colder because they let the sun's heat radiate back out into space. If February days are cloudy more daytime heat is trapped by the clouds, kind of like a greenhouse and so days theoretically will get a bit warmer.

And when you look at Venus you couldn't get a more perfect example of this because Venus is always enshrouded by clouds which trap solar energy so efficiently that Venus experiences what we call the "run away greenhouse effect" for indeed temperatures on the surface of Venus are hot enough to melt lead. So even though it seems that clear skies and sunshine would make us warmer just the opposite is really true. But long ago before Americans called February 2nd Groundhog Day it has been known as Candlemas Day, the 40th day after Christmas. And our groundhog tradition comes right from it because hundreds of years ago in Europe children chanted "If Candlemas be fair and bright, come winter have another flight. If Candlemas bring clouds and rain, go winter and not come again." Additionally February 2nd is also called the first Cross Quarter Day of the year which means that it is one of the four days one half of the way between the solstices and the equinoxes. In fact February 2nd is one half of the way from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox. So what does this all have to do with the king of the planets? Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for just after sunset Groundhog Day night facing east where directly opposite the setting Sun you will see 88,000 mile wide Jupiter rising beacause this year on the night of February 2nd Jupiter is officially at opposition which means that it's directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth and at its closest and brightest and best for viewing for the entire year. And you'll be able to watch it slowly cross the heavens hour after hour because it will be visible from sunset to sunrise. So get out those telescopes and celebrate Jupiter at opposition and Groundhog Day, Candlemas and the half way point between winter and spring. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#03-04 M

1/27/2003 thru 2/2/2003

"Punxsutawney Phil And The King Of The Planets,
Candlemas And the First Cross Quarter Day Of 2003"

Horkheimer: How many of you know what Jupiter has to do with Punxsutawney Phil, Candlemas Day and the first Cross Quarter Day of 2003? Well, just after sunset Groundhog Day Night face east and you'll see 88,000 mile wide Jupiter which this year is officially at opposition on February 2nd which means it's directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth and at its closest and brightest and best for viewing for the entire year and will be visible all night long! February 2nd is also called Candlemas day, the 40th day after Christmas, and the first Cross Quarter Day which marks the half way point between the seasons, halfway between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. So happy Groundhog Day and Keep Looking Up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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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