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!

Monday 12/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 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 / 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 5 MINUTE

Episode # 05-01 / 1413th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/3/2005 through
Sunday 1/09/2005

"All Five Of The Naked Eye Planets Ring In The New Year"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and what a way to ring in the new year because through the first half of January all five of the naked eye planets will be visible at the same time in predawn skies. Don't miss this because we won't have a five planet pre dawn sky show as good as this until January and February of 2016. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 45 minutes before sunrise the first two weeks of this January facing southeast where the brightest thing you'll see will be our old friend planet number two 8,000 mile wide Venus. And directly above it and much dimmer planet number 1, the tiny pink planet 3,000 mile wide Mercury. And up to their right close to the top bright stars of Scorpius the 4,000 mile wide reddish orange planet Mars. Which is always fun to compare with the heart star of Scorpius, Antares whose name literally means the rival of Mars because they frequently look the same brightness and color although not at the moment.

Now if you're watching early in the month Mars will be close to the three stars that mark the top of Scorpius but if you observe later in the month Mars and Antares will be side by side. And don't worry about Mars looking so dim right now because it is speeding toward us and getting closer every single day and will become super bright once again this November when it will become one of the brightest objects in the night sky and will be outshone only by Venus and the Moon. So start your Mars watch now. To find the other two of our five planets look close to overhead for the king, giant 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And lastly if you look northwest you'll see the planet which comes into opposition and is its closest next week the 75,000 mile wide ringed planet Saturn.

And may I suggest that if you have a relatively clear horizon that, just for fun, draw an imaginary line from Saturn back up to Jupiter then back down through Mars, Mercury and Venus. And in so doing you will have drawn what astronomers call the ecliptic which is the narrow path of the planets along which all the planets orbit including our Earth in their journey around the sun. So if you're having a hard time finding Jupiter or Saturn first find Venus Mercury and Mars, connect them with an imaginary line, then extend that line and you'll bang right into Jupiter and then Saturn. And think of this. If we were on any of those planets looking back at Earth we would see Earth also on that line because the ecliptic, the path of the planets, is the mutual orbital plane all the planets share. And keep in mind that even though the planets look like they're all the same distance away from us if we could go out into space we'd see their true relationship to one another. Earth here, Mercury here, Venus here, Mars here, Jupiter and Saturn. So get thee out before sunrise the first two weeks of this month and if you got a small telescope for Christmas now is the time to use it. What a way to ring in the New Year! 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

#05-01 M

1/03/2005 thru 1/09/2005

"All Five Of The Naked Eye Planets Ring In The New Year"

Horkheimer: 2005 starts off with a cosmic bang because all five naked eye planets are visible at the same time in pre dawn skies. 45 minutes before sunrise look southeast and you'll see the brightest planet, 8,000 mile wide Venus, above it but much dimmer, tiny pink 3,000 mile wide Mercury and above it reddish orange 4,000 mile wide Mars. Close to overhead you'll see giant 88,000 mile wide Jupiter and in the northwest the lord of the rings 75,000 mile wide Saturn which next week will be at its biggest, brightest and closest for the year. Just for fun draw an imaginary line from Saturn to Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Venus. It's called the ecliptic and is the path along which all the planets travel. Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. 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!

Monday 12/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 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 / 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 #05-02 /1414th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/10/2005 through Sunday 1/16/2005

"Saturn Is At Opposition This Week
And At Its Closest, Brightest And Biggest
For The Entire Year"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and what a way to open the new year. Because the most beautiful planet in the solar system ringed Saturn is at opposition this week which means that it is at its closest biggest and brightest for the entire year and can be viewed all night long from sunset to sunrise. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next one hour after sunset facing east where you'll see the brightest grouping of winter's stars, Orion the Hunter easily recognized by three stars which mark his belt, two stars which mark his shoulders, and two stars which mark his knees. Then if you look just to his left you'll also see the two brightest stars of the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux. And just below them an object which usually isn't in this part of the heavens planet number 6 out from the sun 75,000 mile wide ringed Saturn which we've been visiting with our Cassini spacecraft for the past few months and discovering the wonders of this planet and its moon Titan in more detail than ever seen in human history. And this week Saturn is officially at opposition, more precisely on Thursday, the 13th at 6 p.m. Eastern standard time or your local equivalent.

Now although opposition is a term astronomers use it isn't all that complicated. In fact, it means just what it says, and that is that Saturn is directly opposite the Sun in the sky as seen from Earth which, if you think about it, means that whenever the Sun is not in the sky Saturn should be which further means that as the Sun sets in the southwest this week and next Saturn will be rising in the northeast and will be visible all night long. It will slowly ascend from the northeastern horizon during the first half of evening and at midnight will reach its highest point just slightly south of overhead. After which it will slowly descend toward the west and will set in the northwest as the Sun rises in the southeast.

Now the wonderful thing about opposition is that not only is Saturn visible for naked eye and telescopic viewing all night long but it is also at its closest for the entire year which means that it is at its biggest and brightest. How close? Only 750 million miles away compared to its maximum distance of nearly 0ne billion miles away. This means that Saturn appears much bigger in an amateur telescope and is much easier to view. So if you got a telescope for the holidays get it out now and take a look. You'll be absolutely blown away. You should easily be able to see the dark gap between the rings called Cassini's division and you should have no trouble whatsoever in seeing its moon Titan, which is not only bigger than the planet Mercury but is also the only moon in the entire solar system known to have an atmosphere. So get out your telescope now or find a friend who has one because the lord of the rings is at its best! 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

 

"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

#05-02 M

1/10/2005 thru 1/16/2005

"Saturn Is At Opposition This Week
And At Its Closest, Brightest And Biggest
For The Entire Year"

Horkheimer: This week Saturn is at opposition, which means that it is at its closest, biggest and brightest for the entire year. Face east and just to the left of Orion and below Gemini's Castor and Pollux you'll see 75,000 mile wide Saturn. Opposition means that Saturn is directly opposite the Sun in the sky as seen from Earth, which further means that whenever the Sun is not in the sky, Saturn should be. So we can see it all night long. Watch it slowly ascend until it reaches its highest point at midnight and then descend and set at dawn. It's only 750 million miles away and at its biggest and best in even the smallest telescope. You can even see its moon Titan, which is bigger than the planet Mercury. Wow! Keep Looking Up!


Please give us your comments. (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. 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!

Monday 12/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 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 / 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 # 05-03 / 1415th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/17/2005 through Sunday 1/23/2005

"How To Have A Bit Of Fun With
The Smallest Full Moon Of The Year Next Week"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next Tuesday January 25th we will experience the smallest full moon of the entire year. And if you've got a camera, with a zoom lens you can do something that's really a lot of fun and conduct your own scientific experiment. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday night January 23rd around 8 p.m your local time facing east where you'll see the seven bright stars that make up winter's Orion the Hunter. And just to his left Castor and Pollux the two brightest stars of Gemini the Twins. And just below Pollux planet number 6 from the sun exquisite ringed Saturn which is at its closest, biggest and brightest for the year and visible all night long and which looks absolutely magnificent in even the cheapest telescope. And last but not least the brightest object in this part of the sky a not quite full Moon making a triangle with Castor and Pollux. 24 hours later on Monday the 24th the Moon will have moved below Castor and Pollux and will be only a few hours away from officially being full.

It will look full for all practical purposes although you may notice that it will appear a bit smaller than usual. You can watch it all night long as it crosses the sky with Castor and Pollux and Saturn. And if you get up with the chickens I suggest you go out at exactly 5:32 a.m. Eastern Time or your local equivalent because at that moment the Moon will officially be full and will also officially be the farthest and thus smallest full Moon of the entire year, over a quarter million miles away, 251,987 miles to be exact. And here's where the fun part comes in.

Set up your camera using a zoom lens and take a picture of it. This is the first half of your experiment. The second half will occur six months later on July 21st just before sunrise when we will have the closest and biggest full Moon of the year, only 222,028 miles away, which will be 30,000 miles closer than next week's full Moon. Now remember to use the same zoom lens and setting in July that you use next week. Then take the two pictures, cut them in half either physically or on your computer and place both halves together and you will see a huge difference because July's full Moon will be 13% larger than next week's. We'd love to see your results. So if you'd like, six months from now e-mail the results of your photographic experiment to jackstargazer.com. What fun!

But why you may ask does the Moon change its distance from Earth? The answer is quite simple. The Moon's orbit around our Earth is not a perfect circle. It is a slightly stretched out circle called an ellipse. The closest point to our Earth on this ellipse is called perigee. So July's full Moon will occur when the Moon is near this perigee point. The opposite and farthest from Earth point of the Moon's orbit is called apogee and next Tuesday's full Moon will be near it, thus its small size. A simple but elegant explanation don't you think? So get out your cameras or just enjoy next week's farthest and July's closest full moons with your plain old naked eye. 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

 

"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

#05-03M

11/17/2005 thru 1/23/2005

"How To Have A Bit Of Fun With
The Smallest Full Moon Of The Year Next Week"

Horkheimer: Next Tuesday the 25th we'll see the smallest full Moon of the year. And if you've got a camera you can conduct your own fun experiment. The Moon will be officially full at 5:32 a.m. Tuesday morning at which time it will be the farthest and smallest full moon of the year, almost 252,000 miles away. Just for fun take a picture of it with a zoom lens. Then next July 21st when we'll have the closest full Moon of the year, almost 30,000 miles closer, take another picture. Cut them in half, lay them side by side and you'll see a huge difference because July's full Moon will be 13% larger than next week's full Moon. Vive la difference! And Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. 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!

Monday 12/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 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 / 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 #05-04 / 1416th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/24/2005 through Sunday 1/30/2005

"Punxsutawney Phil Is Joined By Two
Celestial Tongue Twisters And Other Sky Goodies
On Ground Hog Day Morn"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Everyone knows that February 2nd is Groundhog Day, the day when folk myth says that if a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow we'll have six more weeks of winter which has a smidgen of scientific truth to it because if Phil sees his shadow it means the sun is out and skies are clear and clear skies in February mean that the heat that the Earth absorbs during daylight hours quickly dissipates out into space at night prolonging the amount of time it takes for our Earth to slowly warm up. Conversely if Phil doesn't see his shadow it means it's cloudy out and clouds keep Earth's heat from escaping into space.

Be that as it may, Punxsutawney is one of those words that is a tongue twister for many. But if you get up a couple hours before Phil you'll be able to catch a couple of cosmic items whose names are equally bizarre and fun to pronounce along with several lovely sky objects. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our skies set up for Groundhog Day next Wednesday February 2nd about an hour before sunrise facing southeast where the brightest thing you'll see will be a last quarter Moon. Up to its right you'll see the brilliant king of the planets 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And just below it the brightest star of Virgo, Spica. Now if you draw an imaginary line from Jupiter to the Moon and continue that line it will pass just above the giant red star Antares which marks the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion and will whisk on by the tiny 4,000 mile wide, red orange planet Mars.

So you've got two wonderful stars Antares and Spica, two wonderful planets, Jupiter and Mars and an exquisite Moon to greet you a couple of hours before Phil crawls out of his hole. But it's two dimmer stars near the Moon which are really made for Groundhog Day because of their wonderfully weird names. They are the two brightest stars of the constellation Libra, the scales of justice. The one closest to the Moon is called Zuben Elgenubi and the one above it is called Zuben Eschamali. Don't you love it? Zuben Elgenubi and Zuben Eschamali on Punxsutawney day? Now Zuben Elgenubi means the southern claw and Zuben Eschamali means the northern claw. But as any school kid can tell you the scales of justice don't have claws. What gives? Well before Julius Caesar came along these two stars marked the claws of the then much larger constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. But Julius Caesar wanted to extend the power of the Roman Empire into the very heavens themselves, so he lopped off the poor scorpion's claws and renamed them for the symbol of roman justice.

Now if it's cloudy out on the 2nd and you can't see the stars and Phil can't see his shadow then on the third the Moon will be just above the three stars which mark the top of Scorpius and on Friday the 4th it will be just past Antares, and on Saturday the 5th will be parked right underneath Mars named for the Roman god of war. Happy Groundhog Day morn and Keep Looking Up!

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


Star Gazer Minute

#05-04 M

1/24/2004 thru 1/30/2005

"Punxsutawney Phil Is Joined By Two
Celestial Tongue Twisters And Other Sky Goodies
On Ground Hog Day Morn"

Horkheimer: If you get up before Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day you'll see two stars whose names are equally bizarre and fun to pronounce. An hour before sunrise face southeast where you'll see a last quarter Moon, the planet Jupiter, Virgo's bright star Spica, Antares the heart of the scorpion and the planet Mars plus two dim stars named Zuben Elgenubi and Zuben Eschamali which were formerly the right and left claw of Scorpius until Julius Caesar lopped them off and made them part of Libra the Roman scale of justice. Zuben Elgenubi, Zuben Eschamali and Punxsutawney Phil, what a mouth full of weird words for Groundhog Day. Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. 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!

Monday 12/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 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 / 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 #05-05 / 1417th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/31/2005 through Sunday 2/6/2005

"Saturn Takes Center Stage Among
Winter's Hexagon Of Bright Stars"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Right now the ringed planet Saturn is about as good as it gets because it's extremely close to Earth and thus much brighter and bigger to both the naked eye and through small telescopes. And it's visible almost all night long. Plus it is nestled within the great hexagon that is formed by some of winter's brightest stars. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next about 7 p.m. facing southeast where just above the horizon you'll see the brightest star visible from Earth, Sirius, which is the eye star of Canis Major, Orion's bigger dog. Directly above him you'll see the seven stars which make up his owner Orion the mighty hunter. Two bright stars mark his shoulders and two bright stars his knees and three not quite as bright, equally spaced stars in a row mark his belt, which you can use to find two other bright stars. First if you're not positive that you've located Sirius then shoot an arrow down through Orion's three belt stars and it will land smack dab on Sirius.

Conversely if you shoot an arrow through his belt in the other direction it will pass very close to Aldebaran the fierce red eye star of Taurus the bull, which is one of the six bright stars that make up winter's hexagon. To form the first part of our hexagon draw a line from Sirius to Orion's bright knee star rigel then up to Aldebaran and then hang a left and continue that line to Capella the brightest star of auriga the charioteer. Hang another left and go down to Pollux the brighter of the two brightest stars of Gemini the twins, the other of which is Castor. Then drop your imaginary line down to the next nearest brightest star Procyon, which marks the eye of Orion's smaller dog Canis Minor. And finally draw a line from Procyon over to Sirius, and you have connected the six bright stars that mark the points of the Winter Hexagon.

Now after you've done that you may notice that there's another very bright light in the hexagon this year that isn't usually there. In fact, only Sirius is brighter. It's located just below Pollux and is beautiful, brilliant Saturn almost at its best. And please if you've got a small telescope or a friend who has one make sure you look at Saturn now while it's still very close because it will absolutely stun you. You'll actually be able to see the dark gap between its two major rings called the Cassini division named after the 17th century astronomer who first discovered it. And if the name sounds familiar it's because our Cassini spacecraft is exploring Saturn and its moons right now. For even more fun watch Saturn and the Winter Hexagon as they slowly climb the heavens hour after hour because there are more bright objects in this part of the heavens than any place else in the entire sky. Around 10:30 p.m. your local time Saturn will reach its very highest and in some places will appear almost overhead. So there you have it six super bright stars making a great hexagon in winter's skies and a super bright visitor nestled among them. 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

 

"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

#05-05 M

1/31/2005 thru 2/6/2005

"Saturn Takes Center Stage Among
Winter's Hexagon Of Bright Stars"

Horkheimer: Saturn is about as good as it gets because it's extremely close, big and bright, plus it's nestled in the great hexagon formed by some of winter's brightest stars. About 7 p.m. face southeast and you'll be able to trace a great hexagon using winter's brightest stars. From Sirius, the eye of Orion's big dog, draw a line to Orion's knee star Rigel, then to Taurus' eye star Aldebaran, Auriga's bright Capella to Gemini's bright Pollux to Procyon the eye of Orion's little dog and then back to Sirius. And close to Pollux you'll find a super bright light, which usually isn't there, ringed Saturn, which just begs you to get out a telescope or find a friend who has one. So get thee out now and Keep Looking Up!

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


[SmilinJack]Return to the [STAR GAZER Main Page]