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 12/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 # 04-01 / 1361 st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/05/2004 through
Sunday 1/11/2004

"Four Bright Planets Dazzle January Evenings
Plus An Easy Way To Find the 7th Planet"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And for those of you who like to do your planet gazing in early evening this January features four of them which will not only delight the naked eye but which will also provide a real treat in amateur telescopes. Plus if you've ever wanted to find the elusive 7th planet Uranus I'll show you an easy trick to find it.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for just after sunset in evening twilight, before it gets completely dark. And if you look southwest you will be dazzled by the brightest planet of them all, 8,000 mile wide Venus, an Earth sized planet completely enshrouded by bright clouds which make Venus act like a giant mirror, a sort of super reflector of sunlight. In fact it has the highest reflectivity rating of all the planets. And you can watch it rise higher and higher every week for the next few months. Plus next week you can use it to find the 7th planet, 32,000 mile wide Uranus which is 17 times farther away than Venus, almost 2 billion miles away compared to Venus' 114 million. On Wednesday and Thursday nights January 14th and 15th you'll be able to see it about two full moon widths up and to the right of Venus if you use a pair of binoculars. It will look like a tiny blue green dot next to diamond brilliant Venus. So if you've never seen it before here's your chance to use Venus as a finder.

Now a much closer and brighter planet is easily visible up and to the left of Venus high in the south in early evening. It looks about the same color and brightness as Orion's reddish orange shoulder star, Betelgeuse. It is, of course, Mars, which although only 4% as bright as it was last August, is still pretty bright, in fact the brightest object in this part of the heavens. It is half the size of Venus, only 4,000 miles wide and just by coincidence next Tuesday January 13th Mars and Venus will be exactly the same distance away from our Earth at 9:20 p.m. E.S.T., 114,373,000 miles away.

But to see the most beautiful planet in the solar system you'll have to look east and I'd suggest about a couple hours after sunset when it's high up enough off the horizon for good viewing. It is, of course, the ringed planet, 75,000 mile wide Saturn. And although almost a billion miles away it is currently shining about as bright as it ever gets, brighter than any star except Sirius because it is not only almost at its closest to us but its rings are tilted so wide open that they act like a kind of reflector making Saturn much brighter than usual. In fact this January it is at its best for viewing until the year 2032. So get out that telescope now.

Lastly if we wait until around 11 p.m. the king of the planets 88,000 mile wide Jupiter will be above the eastern horizon. And on Sunday the 11th an exquisite gibbous Moon will be parked just above it and on Monday the 12th just below it. So there you have it, four bright planets every evening plus Uranus parked right next to Venus. 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

#04-01 M

1/05/2004 thru 1/11/2004

"Four Bright Planets Plus
And Easy Way To Find The 7th Planet
"

Horkheimer: We've got four bright planets before midnight this January plus an easy way to find the 7th planet. 8,000 mile wide Venus will dazzle you after sunset And on Jan. 14th and 15th just up to the right of Venus you'll see a tiny blue green dot through a pair of binoculars which is 32,000 mile wide, 2 billion mile away, Uranus. Up to Venus' left 4,000 mile wide Mars can still be seen. And on the 13th Mars and Venus will be exactly the same distance from us, 114 million miles away. Look east for 75,000 mile wide Saturn which is incredible in a telescope and around 11 p.m. 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, which on the 11th and 12th will have a gibbous Moon parked close by. 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 12/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 #04-02 /1362nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/12/2004 through Sunday 1/18/2004

"Orion And His Rival
Plus The Moon Meets Antares"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Do you know how many constellations there are? Officially recognized internationally by all astronomers today. I'll give you a couple of hints; the same number as the number of keys on a standard piano or the number of calories in a standard banana. Give up? Well, there are 88 keys on a standard piano, 88 calories in a standard banana and 88 officially recognized constellations.

And of the 88 I guess I'd have to say winter's Orion the Hunter is my favorite because his stars are so bright and also because he contains so many different celestial wonders. Not the least of which is his red shoulder star Betelgeuse. My second favorite constellation has to be Orion's rival Scorpius the scorpion with his red heart star Antares. Now although Orion and Scorpius can never be seen in the sky at the same time, every January after Orion sets, we can see his rival, Scorpius rising over the horizon. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for early evening between 6 and 8 p.m. facing east where you'll easily see the three equally spaced stars in a row that mark Orion's belt, two stars mark his knees and two stars mark his shoulders. And it's his reddish orange shoulder star, Betelgeuse, which has always fascinated me because of its sheer size. You see our Earth is a tiny 8,000 mile wide planet which compared to our star the Sun is really dinky. In fact our Sun is 865,000 miles wide which is so huge we could fit 1 and 1/4 million Earths inside it. But our Sun is actually dinky compared to Betelgeuse even though Betelgeuse is a variable star and changes its size. At its smallest it is 500 times the diameter of our Sun and at its largest, 900 times its diameter. Which means that at its smallest we could fit 125 million Suns inside it and at its largest, 730 million Suns. So now you know why I'm so impressed.

But I have a favorite constellation for each season. And my favorite constellation of summer is Orion's rival Scorpius which you can see just before dawn rising in the southeast after Orion has set in the west. Legend says that the reason Orion and Scorpius can never be seen in the sky at the same time is because long ago Scorpius stung Orion in the heel and Orion wants nothing to do with him ever since. Scorpius' heart star Antares is also a reddish orange super giant star and its size is half way between Orion's Betelgeuse at its smallest and its largest. It is 700 times the diameter of our Sun. And at dawn on January 18th you'll see an exquisite crescent Moon parked right along side it. Don't miss this wonderful sight! The red heart star of the Scorpion in the morning and Orion and his red shoulder star at night. Two rival constellations and two rival stars. 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

#04-02 M

1/12/2004 thru 1/18/2004

"Orion And His Rival"


Horkheimer: My two favorite constellations are winter's Orion the Hunter and his rival, summer's Scorpius the Scorpion and although they can never be seen in the sky at the same time every January after Orion sets we can see his rival rising over the horizon. In early evening face east and you'll see all of Orion's brilliant stars. My favorite is Betelgeuse which is a gigantic 900 times our Sun's diameter. His rival Scorpius is almost as impressive and you can see him rising just before dawn. His red heart star Antares is also humongous, 700 times our Sun's diameter and on the 18th an exquisite Moon will park along side it. 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

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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 12/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 # 04-03 / 1363rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/19/2004 through Sunday 1/25/2004

"2 Super Meetings:
Our Moon With Venus
And Our Moon With Mars"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know sometimes heavenly objects pair up in such a way that almost everyone who sees such an event is absolutely stunned by its sheer visual beauty. Such exquisite cosmic pairings filled our ancestors with awe and wonder and today because we are no different we too stand in awe and wonder at such heavenly sights. But it's even more wonderful for us alive today because not only do we enjoy the sheer beauty of cosmic events, we also intellectually understand what's really going on in the heavens to create such beauty. And two such spectacular pairings will occur next week. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Saturday evening January 24th just after it gets dark and if you look southwest you can not fail to notice the stunning pairing of our nearest neighbor, the Moon, with the nearest planet, Venus. And once you see it you'll know why this pairing of a crescent Moon with Venus has been depicted by almost all cultures down through history, even in the cave paintings of prehistoric man. One aspect of this pairing which makes it truly exquisite is that not only will we see a young crescent Moon but we'll also see what appears to be a black full Moon cradled within the crescent. It's a phenomenon we call "The old Moon in the new Moon's arms" or "Earthshine".

Now the brilliantly lit up crescent is nothing more than the part of the Moon we see which sunlight is striking and reflecting back to Earth but the dim black almost full Moon is caused by sunlight bouncing off our Earth onto the Moon and then reflecting back to us, which is why we call it "Earthshine". And if we were on the Moon looking back at our Earth our Earth would look almost full. In fact our Earth goes through phases just like the Moon but as seen from the Moon Earth phases are exactly opposite Moon phases. In other words, when we see a full Moon from Earth practically no Earth would be visible from the Moon because it would be the time of new Earth. When we see a last quarter Moon, our Earth would look like first quarter and so on. That's part of the science that makes our viewing of such sights even more wonderful. So please mark Saturday night January 24th on your calendar as one night you just have to go out right after dark and marvel at this exquisite pairing.

Then the next night Sunday January 25th the crescent Moon will be slightly fatter and well beyond Venus on its way to the reddish orange light up and to the south, our old friend planet Mars. On Monday it will clearly be approaching it. But the nifty night, which is also a night you can use the Moon to find Mars if you're really stumped on finding the planets, a not quite first quarter Moon will be parked right underneath Mars providing yet another exquisite sight. So mark Tuesday the 27th as "The Moon meets Mars night" and Saturday the 24th as the night of a spectacular meeting of our Moon and Venus. 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

#04-03 M

1/19/2004 thru 1/25/2004

"The Moon Meets Venus
And The Moon Meets Mars"

Horkheimer: Next week two spectacular pairings of the Moon and two planets will take your breath away. On Saturday the 24th just after dark look southwest and you'll see an absolutely stunning pairing of a young crescent Moon and the most brilliant of all the planets Venus. You'll also see what looks like a black full Moon cradled within the crescent called "The old Moon in the new Moon's arms" which is caused by sunlight bouncing off our Earth onto the Moon and then reflecting back to us. On the 27th a fatter Moon will meet the red orange planet Mars which although not nearly as bright will still make a beautiful sight. The Moon Meets Venus and The Moon Meets Mars. 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

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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 12/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 #04-04 / 1364th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/26/2004 through Sunday 2/01/2004

"The 6th Planet Runs Rings Around
Punxsutawney Phil On Groundhog Day Night"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And can you guess what the 6th planet has to do with Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous ground hog, and Candlemas Day? A lot, because on Groundhog Day which is also Candlemas Day, the 6th planet, ringed Saturn, will pair up with a 12 day old Moon among the brightest stars of winter and will literally run rings around Punxsutawney Phil. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday morning February 2nd Groundhog Day and Candlemas Day at sunrise facing east. And according to American folklore, if Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow and sees his shadow he'll crawl back in and sleep for six more weeks because tradition says if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. And there's a hint of science to back up this claim. You see 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 longer because they let the Sun's heat radiate back out into space. If, however, days are cloudy in early February then more daytime heat will be trapped by the clouds, kind of like a greenhouse, thus bringing a slightly earlier spring. But where did this Groundhog Day tradition come from anyway?

Well Groundhog Day has a much older name, Candlemas Day, which is the 40th day after Christmas and our Groundhog Day tradition comes right from it. You see, long ago, in Germany, children chanted, "If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, come, winter, have another flight. If Candlemas Day bring clouds and rain, go, winter, and not come again." So Groundhog Day is the secular version of Candlemas. Be that as it may, what will happen Groundhog Day night will run rings around poor old Phil. Because just after it gets dark out, if you look east, you'll see winter's most famous stars coming up over the horizon with an added attraction this year. Three stars mark Orion's belt, two stars mark his knees and two stars his shoulders. His belt points to the brightest star we can see from Earth, Sirius the dog star. And if we look to the left of Orion we see the two bright stars of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux. But this year something extra has been added, the exquisite planet Saturn, which is still at its best for viewing until 2032 because its rings are now tilted almost wide open which make it act like a giant reflector and is a sight you'll never forget in even the cheapest department store telescope.

But the really special attraction this Groundhog and Candlemas Day night, is the pairing of Saturn with our nearest neighbor a 12 day old Moon, a pairing that would grab even Phil's attention. And I recommend that if you have a small telescope to not only look at Saturn but also at the Moon, which will look quite dramatic in its 12 day old phase. So happy Groundhog and Candlemas Day! And have the best ever Groundhog Day night! 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

#04-04 M

1/26/2004 thru 2/01/2004

"A Super Sight On
Groundhog Day Night"

Horkheimer: Want to know what the 6th planet has to do with Groundhog Day? Well on Groundhog Day night just after dark look east and you'll see winter's most famous stars with an added attraction this year. First find the three stars which mark Orion's belt, the two which mark his knees and two which mark his shoulders. Directly below his belt the brightest star we can see, Sirius. To Orion's left, Castor and Pollux of the Gemini Twins. And between Gemini and Orion is this year's added attraction the pairing of brilliant Saturn with an exquisite 12 day old Moon. A pairing that would grab even Punxsutawney Phil's attention. Don't miss this super sight on Groundhog Day night. Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
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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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