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 STAH 807
Friday December 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0901, 0902, 0903, 0904


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.

 

"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 09-01 / 1622nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/05/2009 through
Sunday 1/11/2009

"See Three Cosmic Seasons At The Same Time!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And as you regular star gazers know each season on planet Earth has its counterpart in the heavens. And this week and next we'll have a wonderful opportunity to see the most famous constellations of summer, autumn and winter all at the same time, right after sunset. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week and next between the hours of five and six p.m. facing west where the brightest thing you'll see will be our nearest planetary neighbor, same size as planet Earth, 8,000 mile wide Venus. But if you look below and off to the side of Venus toward the northwest horizon you'll see three bright stars which if we draw lines between them make up the great summer triangle. The brightest star Vega, belongs to the constellation Lyra, the harp, the second brightest, Altair belongs to the constellation Aquila the eagle and the third brightest, Deneb marks the tail of Cygnus the swan.

And if you recall, a few months ago at the beginning of summer this great triangle was just rising in the northeast announcing the beginning of its appearance in early evening skies for several months. But this week and next it's letting us know that summer is for sure no longer with us and that it is probably the last bit of summer most of us in the northern hemisphere will see. Next if you look due north you'll see the North Star directly above the horizon and directly above it five stars which if we connect with lines trace out the squashed out capital letter "m". It is one of autumn's brightest constellations and is named for the legendary queen of Ethiopia, Cassiopeia.

But directly above her and slightly off to the side you'll see four much dimmer stars which mark the Great Square of Pegasus the winged horse which is perhaps autumn's most famous constellation. Finally face east and you'll see what is many peoples' favorite constellation, Orion the hunter, just rising and announcing that winter has just begun. He's easy to find because three equally spaced stars lined up in a row mark his belt, two very bright stars mark his shoulders and two very bright stars, his knees. And although there are other winter constellations nearby we'll update you on them as we get a little deeper into winter.

So for now simply go outside this week and next between the hours of five and six p.m. face west northwest for the three brilliant stars which mark the corners of the Summer Triangle depicted by a wonderful lyre, a magnificent eagle and a graceful swan. Then face north and directly above the North Star you will see the five bright stars, which marks autumn's queen, Cassiopeia riding on her throne in a most precarious position. And just above her autumn's magnificent square which marks Pegasus the horse. Finally if you face east you'll see, just rising, the super bright Orion the hunter who will be with us all winter long. So you'd better get used to him now. Three seasons for the price of one. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-01 M

1/05/2009 thru 1/11/2009

"See Three Cosmic Seasons At The Same Time!"

Horkheimer: This week and next you can see three cosmic seasons at the same time. Between five and six p.m. face west and below dazzling Venus you'll see the three bright stars which make up summer's Great Triangle getting ready to exit the heavens. Face north and above the North Star the five bright stars of autumn's queen Cassiopeia and above her the four dim stars which mark autumn's great square of Pegasus, the winged horse. Face east and just rising and announcing that winter has begun, winter's brightest constellation Orion the hunter, three stars marking his belt, two stars his shoulders and two stars his knees. Three cosmic seasons all at the same time; winter's Orion, autumn's Pegasus and Cassiopeia and summer's Great Triangle. 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 STAH 807
Friday December 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0901, 0902, 0903, 0904


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #09-02 /1623rd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/12/2009 through Sunday 1/18/2009

"Saturn's Incredible Shrinking Rings:
See Them At Their Skinniest For 15 Years!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And as some of you may recall back in October I alerted you to the fact that my favorite planet ringed Saturn would be losing its rings soon. And that they would actually disappear from all but Earth's best telescopes on Labor Day weekend 2009. But alas what I didn't tell you was when Saturn does finally lose its rings on September 4th it will be so close to the Sun that we won't be able to see it from Earth. So the second best thing to Labor Day's non-event is that you look at Saturn any night this month because they are now almost at their skinniest. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night through the end of January between 10 and 11 p.m. facing east where you'll see the brilliant stars of Leo the Lion just rising. Several stars, if connected by lines, trace out a sickle shape or a backward question mark and make up the front part of Leo, and a triangle of less bright stars marks his rear. But with a bit of imagination we can picture a very nice lion here. The bright blue star Regulus marks his heart, but there is a slightly brighter object off to the right of his hind quarters and it looks a bit yellowish and that dear friends is the ringed planet, 75,000 mile wide Saturn.

And if you look at it through a telescope now its rings will appear very, very skinny and almost edge on to us, much different than they usually look. You see we see more or less of Saturn's rings depending on where it is in its orbit. It takes Saturn 29 1/2 Earth years to make one orbit about the Sun and as it does so its rings constantly appear to change position as seen from Earth. In April of 2003 they appeared wide open as astronomers say. And we were looking up at Saturn from underneath so to speak, at the south side of Saturn's rings. But ever since then they have been slowly closing month after month, year after year. Slowly tilting downward so that by Christmas Eve last month they almost disappeared and they are now slowly revealing a little bit more of themselves in a kind of tease but only for a short time. Because starting in the middle of May they will start their real disappearing act.

And as I said, on Labor Day weekend will disappear from sight through all of but Earth's biggest telescopes. Although we won't see them disappear this time because Saturn will be so close to the Sun. Then however they will slowly open once again and in 8 years, in October of 2017 they will be wide open once again, but this time we'll be looking at the rings' northern side, down at their top side, so to speak.

But it's all an optical illusion! Saturn's rings do not actually tilt, it's simply a matter of perspective of where Saturn and our Earth are in their orbits. When we are in this position we look up at the southern side of Saturn's rings and when we are in this position we look down at the northern side of Saturn's rings. In between they disappear. So see Saturn's rings at their skinniest right now because they won't look this skinny again until March of the year 2025. And frankly I don't think I'll be here to remind you. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-02 M

1/12/2009 thru 1/18/2009

"Saturn's Incredible Shrinking Rings:
See Them At Their Skinniest For 15 Years!"

Horkheimer: This January you can see Saturn's rings at their skinniest until March of 2025. Between 10 and 11 p.m. face east and you'll see the brilliant stars of Leo the Lion. A sickle shape marks his front part, a triangle marks his rear. The bright blue star Regulus marks his heart and a slightly brighter yellowish object is to the side of his rear, ringed, 75,000 mile wide Saturn. Through telescopes its rings now appear almost edge on and at their skinniest for 15 years because as Saturn orbits the Sun we see its rings from different positions. Sometimes we see them almost edge on like right now. But we'll have to wait for 8 years to see them wide open. And you can watch them slowly open wider and wider. 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 STAH 807
Friday December 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0901, 0902, 0903, 0904


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 09-03 / 1624th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/19/2009 through Sunday 1/25/2009

"The Moon Plays Tag With Venus
And Orion's Two Brilliant Bow Wows!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. We're in the middle of the "Moon-visits-Venus-season". And next week we have four nights when we can watch an ever growing crescent Moon play tag with the queen of the planets. Plus let's take a closer look at Orion's two dogs.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Tuesday Jan.27th an hour after Sunset facing southwest where if you have a really clear flat horizon you may be able to see an exquisite one day old slender sliver of a crescent Moon snuggled close to the horizon. 24 hours later on Wednesday the 28th an even bigger crescent complete with earthshine which will look like a dim blackish gray full Moon nestled within the crescent will be well below but on its way to meet the brightest planet we can see in the nighttime sky, super dazzling, 8,000 mile wide, same size as Earth, Venus, which is getting brighter every single night and will reach super maximum brilliancy at the end of February.

But it gets even better because on Thursday night the 29th an even more wonderful crescent Moon will be parked just down to the right of Venus. And the two of them together will absolutely blow you away. But if it's clouded in do not fret because on Friday night January 30th a slightly fatter crescent still complete with earthshine will take its place above the brilliant queen of the night. Don't miss this nightly sky show, please. Tuesday the 27th, Wednesday the 28th, Thursday the 29th and Friday the 30th.

And now for those of you who aren't into planets and the Moon just turn yourself around and face southeast and you'll easily be able to spot seven bright stars, which make up Orion the hunter. And we're going to use the three equally spaced stars of Orion's belt to help us find his two dogs. Simply shoot an arrow down through them and that arrow will land almost smack dab on the brightest star we can see with the naked eye, Sirius, the star which marks the eye of Orion's big dog Canis Major which means big dog in Latin.

Sirius is one of my favorites because whenever we see it close to the horizon it always sparkles like a magnificent celestial diamond often flashing blues, greens, reds and yellows. But to find Orion's other dog is a bit trickier. You have to hang a left at Sirius and the first bright star you'll land on will be the star Procyon which marks the eye of Orion's little dog Canis Minor which in Latin means little dog. In fact our word canine comes from the word canis.

At any rate if we compare Procyon and Sirius to our Sun we find that Procyon is 11 1/2 light years away and two times the diameter of our Sun. But it's 7 1/2 times brighter. Sirius on the other hand blows both Procyon and our Sun away. In fact even though it's only 1 3/4 times the size of our Sun, it's nearly twice as massive and thus 25 times as bright. Wow! And it's really close only 8 1/2 light years away. So get thee out and see Orion's two wonderful bow wow's and our Moon visiting the queen of the night. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-03 M

1/19/2009 thru 1/25/2009

"Orion's Two Brilliant Bow Wows!"

Horkheimer: Everyone loves winter's Orion the hunter but have you ever seen his two dogs? An hour after sunset face east southeast and you'll see the seven bright stars which make up Orion. Shoot an arrow through his three belt stars and it will land on the brightest star we can see with the naked eye, Sirius, which marks the eye of Orion's big dog Canis Major. Sometimes it looks like a diamond flashing blues, reds, greens and yellows. To find Orion's smaller dog simply hang a left at Sirius and the first bright star you'll land on will be Procyon which marks Orion's little dog Canis Minor. Procyon and Sirius are almost two times our Sun's diameter and while Procyon is a whopping 7 1/2 times brighter than our Sun, Sirius is 25 times as bright. Wow! Or should I say bow wow! Orion's two cosmic canines. 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 STAH 807
Friday December 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0901, 0902, 0903, 0904


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE (Contact us for current price)

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
Lorain County JVS-CORE
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-1400
Fax: (440) 775-1460
E-mail: NASA_order@lcjvs.net
http://www.nasa.gov/education/core

Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR GAZER.
Changes may well be made as production requires.



"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 09-04 / 1625th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/26/2009 through Sunday 2/1/2009

"If Punxsutawney Phil Gets Up Before Sunrise On Groundhog Day What Will He See?"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Well it's that time of year when everyone's attention is riveted on that prognosticator of prognosticators, a groundhog named Phil who every year on February 2nd supposedly comes out of his burrow just after sunrise and if he sees his shadow will go back into his burrow for six more weeks which supposedly means there will be six more weeks of winter. Because if he sees his shadow the skies are clear and clear skies always release heat into our Earth's atmosphere thus keeping our Earth cool longer. If however Phil does not see his shadow it presumably means it's cloudy out and clouds always trap heat, which supposedly means we'll have an early spring. But have you ever asked yourself what would Punxsutawney Phil see on February 2nd if he came out an hour before sunrise? Well I think he'd be totally confused and messed up and might head wildly for the hills. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this weekend Saturday and Sunday January 31st and February 1st an hour after sunset when it's good and dark out facing east where you'll be able to see some of the brightest stars we ever see together in the night sky. Because winter's seasonal stars which means the stars most prominently visible in early evening are among the brightest of any season, starting with the brightest star we can see with the naked eye Sirius which marks Orion the hunter's big dog, Canis Major.

And close by Procyon the eye of Orion's smaller dog, Canis Minor. Also high above the horizon the seven bright stars which mark Orion himself. And a bit above him Aldebaran the brilliant red star, which marks the fierce eye of Taurus the bull. To the left of it another bright star Capella in Auriga the Charioteer, plus Castor and Pollux the two brightest stars of Gemini the Twins. So if Punxsutawney Phil decides to go out clubbing the night before his big television appearance he would see these wondrous stars of winter and be thankful that he has a fur coat.

But heaven forbid that he gets up an hour before the Sun does the next day because instead of seeing winter's super bright cold crisp stars he might be bewildered to see the three super bright stars of the summer triangle in their place in the east and in the southeast my favorite summer constellation Scorpius the scorpion followed by the teapot portion of Sagittarius which is simply my way of reminding you that whenever astronomers and star gazers talk about the stars of the season they are referring to those constellations which are very high up above the eastern horizon and well placed for early evening viewing.

In fact in the dead of winter if you're just a little bit tired of Orion and his entourage you can always wait until just before sunrise to see the cosmic gang of summer time. So, Punxsutawney Phil, please don't get up before the Sun comes up on Groundhog Day because you may be so confused the seasons will turn upside down. Happy Groundhog Day and keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-04 M

1/26/2009 thru 2/01/2009

"If Punxsutawney Phil Gets Up Before Sunrise On Groundhog Day What Will He See?"

Horkheimer: Everyone knows that if Punxsutawney Phil gets up just after sunrise and sees his shadow there'll be six more weeks of winter. But what will he see if he gets up before sunrise? Well if he goes out clubbing the night before, he'll see all the super bright stars and the super bright constellations of winter, Sirius in Canis Major, Procyon in Canis Minor, Orion the Hunter, Aldebaran in Taurus, Capella in Auriga, and Castor and Pollux, the Gemini twins. But if Phil looks an hour before sunrise he may be bewildered to see the three bright stars of the Summer Triangle and summer's most famous constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius. And that's because in any season we can always see the stars of two seasons ahead just before sunrise which could totally confuse poor old Phil. Happy groundhog day and keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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]