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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 12/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0801, 0802, 0803, 0804


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 # 08-01 / 1570th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/07/2008 through
Sunday 1/13/2008

"The Two Brightest Planets Prepare
For A Super Close Meeting On Feb. 1st!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And have we ever got something exciting for you to watch every morning before sunrise for the next three weeks because the two brightest planets, Jupiter the king and Venus the queen will move just a little bit closer to each other every single morning until they are super close and at their closest on February 1st! Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday of this week January 7th 30 minutes before sunrise facing southeast where you will see the most dazzling of all the planets, our so-called twin sister planet because it is almost the same size as Earth, the planet named for the Roman goddess of love Venus. Venus indeed is the brightest of all the planets because it's so close to us being planet number two from the Sun while we're planet number three and because it is the most reflective of all the planets as it is completely enshrouded in a bright cloud cover which acts like a giant mirror and reflects more sunlight than any other planet. Look below Venus and you'll see the second brightest planet which is 11 times the width of Venus and Earth, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. But to see it this week you're going to have to have a really clear flat horizon because it's extremely close to the horizon.

The reason I want you to start looking this week is so you can see how dramatically these two planets move closer to each other morning after morning. On Monday this week they are 25 degrees apart which means that since a full Moon is 1/2 a degree wide we could fit 50 full Moons between them. Now each morning they will be just a little bit closer. And in only one week's time by next Monday January 14th 45 minutes before sunrise they will be only 18 degrees or 36 full Moons apart. Plus you'll notice that Jupiter is now much higher above the horizon. On Thursday the 17th Venus and Jupiter will be only 15 degrees or 30 full Moons apart but they will move one degree closer, that is two full Moon widths, every single day from then on. Wow! On Monday the 21st they will be only 22 full Moons or 11 degrees apart and one week later on Monday the 28th only 4 degrees or 8 full Moons apart. Then the fun really begins! On Tuesday only 3 degrees apart, on Wednesday 2 degrees apart, on Thursday January 31st only 1.2 degrees apart and ta da! on Friday February 1st one hour before sunrise the two brightest planets will be at their very closest only six/tenths of one degree apart which means we could just barely fit one full Moon between them! And their combined light will be so bright it will knock your socks off!

So start your Venus / Jupiter watch this week and keep watching at least once a week. But after Monday the 28th watch every single morning as they close in on each other and finally on February 1st practically slam into each other, visually speaking of course. Happy two brightest planets watching and keep looking up!

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-01 M

1/08/2008 thru 1/13/2008

"The Two Brightest Planets Prepare
For A Super Close Meeting On Feb. 1st!"

Horkheimer: On February 1st the two brightest planets will have a super close meeting and you can watch them move closer every single day. Forty five minutes before sunrise face east and you will see the brightest planet Venus and underneath it the second brightest Jupiter. Monday the 14th they'll be only 18 degrees or 36 full Moons apart. But on Monday the 28th only 4 degrees or 8 full Moons apart, on the 29th only 3 degrees, on the 30th 2 degrees and on the 31st only 1.2 degrees. Then ta da! on Friday February 1st they will be at their very closest, only six tenths of one degree or one full Moon apart. Start watching them race toward each other now. Keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.
This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.

Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. 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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 12/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0801, 0802, 0803, 0804


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 #08-02 /1571st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/14/2008 through Sunday 1/20/2008

"See Mars And The Red Triangle Now!
And Compare The Red Planet With The Brightest Star!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. As most of you regular viewers know on Christmas Eve Mars was officially at opposition and at its brightest and closest until the year 2016. In fact until January 3rd it was brighter than Sirius the brightest star in the sky. But since then because it is rapidly speeding away from earth it is losing a little bit of its brightness every single night and by the end of January will be only half as bright as it was on January 1st. So I beg you to see it now and the two bright red stars which make up what I call the great cosmic red triangle!

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week and next about two hours after sunset facing east where you will see three red lights which if connected by lines make up the great cosmic red triangle. The brightest object in the triangle is Mars. The second brightest is Betelgeuse, the shoulder star of Orion the hunter and the dimmest is Aldebaran which marks the fierce red eye of Taurus the bull. And although Mars is the brightest it's only because it is so close. In fact it is only a 4,000 mile wide planet. Aldebaran on the other hand is a star even bigger than our million mile wide Sun, almost 40 times as wide! Betelgeuse however puts them both to shame because it is what is known as a variable star and changes its size regularly. At its smallest it is about 500 times the width of our Sun and at its largest about 900 times as wide. Wow!

So take a look at these three red beauties now and notice that they are each a different shade of red, with Mars appearing to be more orangeish rouge gold. And pay special note to Mars' brightness each night because you can actually see it grow a tiny bit dimmer each night. In fact by March 12th it will no longer be the brightest but will be only as bright as Betelgeuse and by March 28th only as bright as Aldebaran. But what is even more astonishing is that if you shoot an imaginary arrow through the three belt stars of Orion down toward the horizon it will land directly on the brightest star we can see from earth Sirius which marks the eye of Canis Major Orion's big dog.

Now for most of December and for the first two days of January Mars was actually brighter than Sirius but as you can now see it is not and is rapidly dimming. That's because it is moving so quickly away from Earth. In fact when Mars was at opposition on Christmas Eve it was only 55 million miles away from Earth, but by this weekend January 19th and 20th it will be 65 million miles away, and by January 31st a whopping 72 million miles away! So get thee out at least once or twice a week and watch Mars as it gives up center stage to first Betelgeuse and then Aldebaran. And remember that you're going to have to wait until 2016 to see Mars as bright as it is right now. Keep looking up!

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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-02 M

1/14/2008 thru 1/20/2008

"See Mars And The Red Triangle Now!
And Compare The Red Planet With The Brightest Star!"

Horkheimer: Mars is still super bright but it will be 50% dimmer by January 31st. To find it face east a couple hours after sunset and it will still be brighter than red Betelgeuse, Orion's shoulder star and Aldebaran the fierce red eye of Taurus the bull. Together, the three make up a great cosmic red triangle with Mars easily the brightest. But by March 12th it will be only as bright as Betelgeuse and by March 28th only as bright as Aldebaran. For most of December Mars was as bright as Sirius the brightest star in the sky but it was then only 55 million miles away. By January 31st it will be a whopping 72 million miles away. So see Mars now while it's still bright and a part of the great red triangle. Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer




 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. 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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 12/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0801, 0802, 0803, 0804


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 # 08-03 / 1572nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/21/2008 through Sunday 1/27/2008

"Next Week Is The Week When
The Two Brightest Planets Meet!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And please don't miss next week's super sensational meeting of the two brightest planets in our solar system. O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday of this week January 21st, 45 minutes before sunrise facing southeast where if you have a clear flat horizon you will see two incredibly bright lights, so bright you may mistake them for the landing lights of oncoming aircraft or two UFO's. The brighter is the brightest planet in our solar system, 8,000 mile wide earth sized Venus. And down to its left, the second brightest planet of them all and 11 times the width of Venus, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter.

Now on Monday this week Venus and Jupiter are only 11 degrees apart from each other, which is pretty simple to visualize if you think of a full Moon as being one half a degree wide, which means that we could fit 22 full Moons between them. But each morning from then on they will move one degree or two full Moons closer to each other which is really fast for heavenly objects. In fact in only one week's time by Monday the 28th they will be only four degrees or eight full Moons apart.

And from then on you should take a look every single morning because the change from day to day will be very dramatic. On Tuesday the 29th they'll be only three degrees or six full Moons apart. On Wednesday the 30th only two degrees or four full Moons apart. And on Thursday January 31st, only one point 2 degrees or little more than two full Moons apart. But then, ta da! The day of super closeness arrives as we welcome in the new month because on Friday February 1st these two brightest of all the planets will be at their very closest, only six tenths of one degree apart which means we could just barely fit one full Moon between them. Believe me seeing these two brilliant objects so close together will simply knock your socks off.

And please remember that although you don't need any optical aid to see this wonderful sky show it's even more fun if you use a pair of binoculars or a small telescope. So please, please start watching some time this week. And starting next Monday the 28th watch every single morning as they close in on each other until on February 1st they practically slam into each other, visually speaking of course. And I say visually speaking because even though they'll look like they're super close and side by side nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact on February 1st Venus will be 107 million miles away but Jupiter will be over five times farther away than Venus a whopping 578 million miles. Wow! So start your Venus / Jupiter watch now. It's fun, it's free, it's science and it's beautiful. Keep looking up!


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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-03 M

1/21/2008 thru 1/27/2008

"Next Week Is The Week When
The Two Brightest Planets Meet!"

Horkheimer: Next week the two brightest planets will have a super close meeting and you can watch it! On Monday the 21st, 45 minutes before sunrise facing southeast, the brightest planet Venus and the second planet Jupiter were only 11 degrees or 22 full Moons apart and will move 2 full Moons closer each day! By next Monday the 28th they'll be only 4 degrees or 8 full Moons apart, on Tuesday only 3 degrees or 6 full Moons, on Wednesday only two degrees or 4 full Moons, on Thursday only 1.2 degrees or 2 full Moons and then ta da! on Friday February 1st they will be at their very closest only six tenths of one degree or one full Moon apart. Don't miss this! Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. 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!

Half hour feed
Thursday 12/20/07 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0801, 0802, 0803, 0804


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 # 08-04 / 1573rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/28/2008 through Sunday 2/3/2008

"How To Use Orion The Hunter To Find
His Two Hunting Dogs, A Huge Bull Named Taurus
And A Bunny Rabbit"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know I think almost everyone's favorite constellation of winter has to be Orion the hunter simply because it's so huge, so bright and so easy to identify. But did you know that you can use the stars of Orion to find the giant bull of the heavens called Taurus plus Orion's two hunting dogs and a crouching rabbit named Lepus?

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in February between 8 and 10 p.m. looking due south where you will see the only three bright stars evenly spaced and lined up in a row, they make up the fabled belt of Orion the hunter. And directly above them you will see two bright stars, which mark Orion's shoulders and below the belt two bright stars which mark his knees. Now if we shoot an arrow in either direction through Orion's belt we can find several wonderful cosmic objects.

For instance if we shoot an arrow up to Orion's right our arrow will land almost smack dab on a reddish orange star named Aldebaran, which is the fierce red eye of Taurus the bull. But if you have really dark skies and extend that arrow a little bit further you will see a tiny dim cluster of stars riding on Taurus' shoulder, the cluster of stars called the Seven Sisters, The Pleiades. And one legend has it that they're riding on the shoulder of Taurus to escape Orion who is in hot pursuit of them across the heavens. But Taurus is making sure that Orion will never get past his fierce burning eye to the fair maidens and has been doing so for thousands of years.

So we can use Orion's belt to find not only Aldebaran but also the lovely and delicate and much dimmer Seven Sisters. Next shoot an arrow through Orion's belt in the opposite direction and it will land smack dab on the brightest star we can see in the night sky. Its name is Sirius and it marks the eye of one of Orion's two dogs, Canis Major which in Latin means the big dog. And if you use your imagination and draw lines between some of these stars you can come up with a pretty good stick figure of a pooch. But Orion also has a smaller canine companion named Canis Minor and to find it is a bit trickier. Take Bellatrix, one of the shoulder stars of Orion, and draw a line between it and the other shoulder star, Betelgeuse, then extend that line to the east and while it won't run smack dab into Canis Minor it will come very close to the bright star Procyon which marks his eye. It too is very bright although not as bright as Sirius.

So we have now used the belt of Orion to find Orion's big dog and his two shoulder stars to find Orion's little dog. But one of my favorite constellations near Orion is a rabbit, which Orion's two dogs have probably been hunting for the past few thousand years. His name is Lepus the hare. And he's directly underneath Orion's feet perhaps hiding in a cosmic bush Orion is standing in: smart Lepus, not so smart Orion. So there you have it, Orion and Taurus and Orion's two dogs plus a clever widdel bunny wabbitt. Keep looking up!


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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-04 M

1/28/2008 thru 2/3/2008

"How To Use Orion The Hunter To Find
His Two Hunting Dogs, A Huge Bull Named Taurus
And A Bunny Rabbit"

Horkheimer: You can use Orion's stars to find several cosmic creatures. In early evening February look due south for Orion. Shoot an arrow up through his belt and it will land on aldebaran the fierce red eye of Taurus the bull. Extend that arrow and it will land on the tiny dim star cluster the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. Shoot an arrow the other direction through Orion's belt and it will land on Sirius which marks the eye of Orion's big dog. Shoot an arrow through Orion's shoulder stars and it will almost land on Procyon the eye of Orion's little dog. Plus underneath Orion escaping his detection is a clever widdel bunny wabbit named Lepus the Hare. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer


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