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!

Tuesday 12/20/05 - 1000-1100 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.

NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 06-01 / 1465th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/02/2006 through
Sunday 1/08/2006

"Fasten Your Seat Belts Because Earth Is
Closest To The Sun And At Its Fastest This Week!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Believe it or not this week our planet Earth will not only hit its highest speed for the entire year but will also be at its closest to our local star the Sun. "But hold on a minute", you say. "How can that be? If our Earth is closer to the Sun this week than it will be for the entire year, why is it so cold out?" to which I reply " Ah sweet mystery of life". Let me explain.

O.K., let's get right down to basics starting with our Earth's yearly path around the Sun. Now we all know, of course, that our Earth makes one trip around the Sun once a year. In fact that's what our definition of a year is, one trip around the Sun and not for just our Earth but for any planet. Now it just so happens that it takes our Earth 365 1/4 Earth days to make one complete trip around our local star. So 365 1/4 Earth days equals one Earth year. If however we could journey to the planet closest to the Sun, Mercury, we would find that Mercury makes one trip around the Sun once every 88 Earth days, so a year on Mercury is 88 Earth days long.

Contrast this with the king of the planets Jupiter which takes 12 Earth years to make one trip around the Sun, which makes one Jupiter year 12 Earth years long. In other words if you're 24 years old on Earth you'd be only two years old on Jupiter. Now most of the time you hear me or other astronomy types say that our Earth is 93 million miles away from the Sun, but that's actually hardly ever true. 93 million miles is Earth's average distance away from the Sun. You see because our Earth's path is not a circle but a kind of squashed out circle called an ellipse our Earth can move as far away from the Sun as 94 1/2 million miles and as close as 91 1/2 million miles. And this week at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time January 4th, Earth is at its closest to the Sun for the entire year, 91,405,952 miles. Conversely on July 3rd this year at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time the Earth will be at its farthest point from the Sun 94, 507,914 miles away.

And now here's the fun part, according to Kepler's second law of planetary motion whenever an object is closest to the Sun it travels at its fastest. And when it's at its farthest from the Sun it travels at its slowest with constantly varying speeds between closest and farthest. This week on January 4th our Earth is highballing at a speed of 68,000 miles per hour but by July 3rd it will have slowed down by about half a mile a second and will be moving only 65,499 miles per hour. Which leaves us with one unanswered question. If our Earth is closest to the Sun in January and farthest from the Sun in July why isn't it colder in July than it is now? Well I want you to think about that for the next six months and I'll give you the answer the first week of this July. One clue however, until then I hope this doesn't put a 'tilt' in the year for you. Think about that and keep looking up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
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Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-01 M

1/02/2006 thru 1/08/2006

"Fasten Your Seat Belts Because Earth Is
Closest To The Sun And At Its Fastest This Week!"

Horkheimer: Believe it or not this week our Earth will be at its closest to the Sun and traveling at its highest speed for the entire year. Although we hear it said that Earth is 93 million miles away from the Sun, Earth's path around the Sun is not a perfect circle but a kind of squashed out circle called an ellipse. So our Earth can move as far away from the Sun as 94 1/2 million miles or as close as 91 1/2 million miles. And this week at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time January 4th our Earth is at its closest to the Sun for the entire year, 91 million 405 thousand 952 miles away. It's also traveling at its fastest speed this week zipping through space at a whopping 68,000 miles per hour. Fasten your seat belts 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Tuesday 12/20/05 - 1000-1100 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.



 

NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #06-02 /1466th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/09/2006 through Sunday 1/15/2006

"The Moon Visits Saturn At Its Best And
Jupiter Visits The Scorpion's Claw"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Mark this weekend as very special because you'll be able to use the Moon to find Saturn, which is at its brightest and closest to Earth this month and next for the entire year. Plus Jupiter will pay a super close visit to one of the scorpion's claws. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our sky set up for any night this week about an hour after sunset facing east where you'll see my favorite planet, planet number 6, ringed Saturn which always knocks your socks off through even the smallest department store telescope. So if you got a telescope for Christmas this is the time to get it out because Saturn is at its brightest and closest to Earth for the entire year this January and February. It will be at its absolute closest and brightest on January 27th. 75,000 miles wide, it is second in size only to the king of the planets Jupiter. But because it is almost twice as far away it always appears much dimmer. So in case you're one of those who always has a hard time finding the planets simply wait until this weekend because this Saturday the 14th the exquisite January full Moon which is called the Moon after Yule will be parked right above Saturn.

And while you're looking up at Saturn and the Moon you might want to also contemplate the fact that this Saturday is the first day of the Roman year 2759 A.U.C. which mean stands for 'ab urbe condita' which means that Rome was founded 2759 years ago. But in case it's cloudy out simply go out the next night this sunday January 15th and the still full Moon will be parked just below Saturn and begging you to look at it with your naked eye or your telescope or a friend's telescope. Once again to find Saturn easy as pie look east an hour after sunset this Saturday and the full Moon will be parked right above it and on sunday right below it.

Plus as a bonus if you have a pair of binoculars look just above Saturn and you'll see a tiny cluster of stars called The Beehive which consists of a group of about 200 very young stars about 400 million years old which is pretty young compared to our Sun which is 5 billion years old. Wow!

Now if you want to see the king of the planets this weekend simply go out around 6 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, look southeast and it'll be the brightest thing in the sky. 88,000 miles wide, its globe is only 13,000 miles bigger than Saturn, although Saturn's ring system puts Jupiter to shame. And this weekend, parked less than one degree away from it, will be the ancient southern claw of the scorpion, a star with the bizarre name of Zubenelgenubi which means southern claw in Arabic. And much farther away from Jupiter above it you'll see the northern claw Zuben Eschamali. Plus if you've got a small telescope you'll actually see Jupiter and Zubenelgenubi in the telescope at the same time. Wow again! The king and the claw in the morning and Saturn and the Moon in the evening. Keep looking up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-02 M

1/09/2006 thru 1/15/2006

"The Moon Visits Saturn At Its Best And
Jupiter Visits The Scorpion's Claw"


Horkheimer: This weekend you'll be able to use the Moon to find Saturn, which is at its brightest and closest to Earth this January and February for the entire year. An hour after sunset face east and you'll see planet #6 Saturn, which looks super through even the smallest telescope. 75,000 miles wide it is second in size only to Jupiter. This Saturday January's full Moon, which is called the Moon after Yule will be parked right above it and this Sunday it will be parked right below it. Plus right next to it through a pair of binoculars you'll see a lovely cluster of about 200 young stars called The Beehive. Saturn and the Moon and The Beehive this weekend! Keep looking up!


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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Tuesday 12/20/05 - 1000-1100 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.



NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-03 / 1467th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/16/2006 through Sunday 1/22/2006

"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 you can't stay outside star gazing for as long a time as you can in summer you can in that short time see more bright stars in winter skies than at any other season. And winter skies 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 year 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 created. 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. And even better, with a small telescope you'll be able to see the four recently born stars which illuminate this vast cloud. They are arranged in the shape of a baseball diamond and are called the Trapezium. Now although the Orion Nebula looks 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 12 miles. Is that mind boggling or what?

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 night skies. I'm Jack Horkheimer, keep looking up!


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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-03 M

1/16/2006 thru 1/22/2006

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

Horkheimer: Everyone loves Orion's bright stars but it is one of his dimmer stars that will blow you away. Face southeast 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. In fact, if the distance from our Earth to the Sun were one inch the distance across the Orion Nebula would be 12 miles! 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

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Tuesday 12/20/05 - 1000-1100 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.



NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-04 / 1468th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/23/2006 through Sunday 1/29/2006

"Saturn At Its Closest, Biggest And Brightest
For The Entire year This Week!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and yes you heard me right the most beautiful planet in our solar system, planet #6, Saturn, is at opposition this week which means it's at its closest, biggest and brightest for the entire year. So if you got a telescope for Christmas now is the time to get it out because even the smallest telescope will show Saturn at its best.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for early evening this Friday January 27th facing east when Saturn is officially at opposition. Opposition simply means that Saturn is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth and whenever a planet is at opposition it is always at its brightest and closest to Earth. And if you think about it for a minute if a planet is directly opposite the Sun then it should be visible in the sky all the hours the Sun is not and indeed such is the case. In fact, this week, as the Sun sets in the west Saturn will rise in the east and slowly travel higher and higher until it reaches its highest point at local midnight. After which it will slowly descend hour after hour and will set in the west just as the Sun rises in the east. But to see Saturn well I would suggest you wait a couple of hours after sunset until it's high up enough off the horizon to clear all trees and buildings.

Now while you're out there you'll notice that it is surrounded by some of winter's brightest stars, the stars of Orion, plus the brightest star visible in the sky Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's dog and directly above Saturn the two bright stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux. This Friday the 27th when Saturn is at its closest, it will be only 755 million miles away, which is super close for Saturn because it can be as far away from us as 945 million miles.

Now we always hear that Saturn is the second largest planet, 75,000 miles wide, second to Jupiter, which is 88,000 miles wide. But that's true if you count only the body of Saturn. In fact if you count the distance from one edge of its ring system to the other you will find that it is 176,000 miles wide, exactly twice the diameter of Jupiter which means we could fit two Jupiters side by side across the rings of Saturn. Wow! Saturn is wonderful but weird. In fact it is less dense than water. So theoretically if we could find a bathtub big enough, Saturn would actually float, and hopefully not leave a ring around the cosmos.

Through even the smallest telescope you can see Saturn's largest moon Titan which we visited last year and found to be covered with bizarre chemical lakes. It is the second largest moon in our solar system with only Jupiter's Ganymede topping it. In fact it is actually larger than the planet Mercury. Wow again! So get thee out this week and next a couple hours after it gets dark out, look east and directly below the twins you'll see my favorite planet of them all, at least for viewing. I'm not ready to pack my bags yet. Enjoy the cosmic lord of the rings and keep looking up!


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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-04 M

1/23/2006 thru 1/29/2006

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

Horkheimer: This week planet #6 Saturn is at opposition which means that it's at its closest, biggest and brightest for the entire year. Opposition means that Saturn is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth so it's visible in the sky all night long from sunset to sunrise reaching its highest point at midnight. Look for it around 10 p.m. when it's high up off the eastern horizon. It's directly below Gemini's two bright stars Castor and Pollux. Although its globe is smaller than Jupiter its ring system is twice as wide and because Saturn is less dense than water it would actually float if we could find a bathtub big enough. Through a small telescope you can see its largest moon Titan, which is bigger than the planet Mercury. Wow! 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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!

Tuesday 12/20/05 - 1000-1100 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.



NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-05 / 1469th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/30/2006 through Sunday 2/05/2006

"The Moon Pays A Visit To A Red Planet
And A Red Star"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and mark this Sunday and Monday February 5th and 6th as the two nights when an exquisite first quarter Moon will visit both the red planet Mars and the giant red star which marks the eye of Taurus the Bull, Aldebaran. And as a bonus we'll throw in The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday evening February 5th about one hour after sunset facing southwest. And if you look high above the horizon you will see an exquisite first quarter Moon. And parked right below it, much dimmer than it was a couple months ago but still very bright, the planet which we've been visiting for the past quarter century, rouge gold Mars. It's still brighter than most of the stars we can see although it is only 1/6th as bright as it was when it was at its closest and brightest on October 30th. So I strongly suggest you see it now before it zooms away from us. It's pretty easy to find, especially this Sunday when you can use the Moon as a finder parked right above it.

Now if you have really good eyesight and look just up to the left of the Moon you will see the tiny cluster of stars called The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters although the bright moonlight close by will lessen their brightness. But if you look at them through a pair of binoculars you'll be absolutely stunned. They're named for the Seven Daughters of Atlas. And according to western legend they are actually riding on the shoulder of Taurus the Bull, so Taurus has to be close by and indeed he is because if you look just to the left of The Pleiades you will see the bright red star Aldebaran, which marks Taurus' eye. Now a group of stars which form a V shape are called the Hyades and mark the face of Taurus so you can see The Pleiades are indeed riding on his shoulder. Now on Monday February 6th the Moon will be past The Pleiades and just above and to the right of Aldebaran. And what I'd like you to do Sunday and Monday is to compare the reddish colors of Mars and Aldebaran because while they'll look quite similar in color there will be some subtle differences. See if you can detect and describe them.

The other differences between them are not subtle at all however. Mars is a 4,000 mile wide planet in our solar system, only 100 million miles away on the 5th and 6th while Aldebaran is a super giant red star far beyond our solar system, 400 trillion miles away! The only reason it looks about the same size and brightness as Mars is because it is so far away. In fact it is 29 million miles wide, so huge we could fit over 397 trillion Mars inside it. Think of it this way: when we look at Mars we see the light that left it about 9 minutes ago whereas when we look at Aldebaran we see the light that left it 65 years ago. Wow!

So get out this weekend and use the Moon to find the red planet Mars and the red super star Aldebaran. I guarantee you'll be impressed. Just remember to keep looking up!

keep looking up!


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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


NEW FOR STAR GAZER!
"Star Gazer" is now available for
Video Podcasting as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here  Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#06-05 M

1/30/2006 thru 2/05/2006

"The Moon Pays A Visit To A Red Planet
And A Red Star"

 

Horkheimer: This Sunday and Monday a first quarter Moon will visit a red planet and a red star. On Sunday face southwest and an exquisite Moon will be parked right above bright red Mars and to its left you'll see Aldebaran the bright red star which marks the eye of Taurus the Bull. And on Monday the Moon will be parked right above it. See if you can detect any differences in their reddish colors because while Mars is a 4,000 mile wide planet only 100 million miles away, Aldebaran is a 29 million mile wide star, 400 trillion miles away. In fact we could fit 397 trillion Mars inside Aldebaran. They may look the same but what a difference. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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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