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 907
Friday December 18, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 10-01 / 1674th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/04/2010 through
Sunday 1/10/2010

"Super Cosmic Fun : How To Play The Mars / Sirius Game!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And have we ever got cosmic fun for you because all month long you can play the Mars / Sirius game which will show you just how fast things can change in the heavens. Let me elucidate.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first two weeks of January around 10 p.m. facing south where directly in front of you, you'll see the seven brightest stars of Orion the Hunter. Two bright stars mark his shoulders, two bright stars mark his knees and three stars lined up in a row mark his belt. And although these stars are super bright they are not as bright as the star just below Orion which you can find by shooting an imaginary arrow down through his belt to the left because it will land smack dab on Sirius the star which marks the eye of Orion's bigger dog, Canis Major. Sirius is a very special star because it is the brightest star we can see with the naked eye.

Now astronomers measure a star's brightness in magnitudes. Sirius is magnitude -1.4 but don't let the minus fool you because minus is actually brighter than plus in astronomy. And now here is where the game part comes in. After you've found Sirius, find Mars, which is super easy because all you have to do is face east. Look for the bright sickle shape of stars, which marks the front of Leo the Lion and the bright triangle of stars, which marks his rear. And just in front of Leo's face you'll see brilliant dazzling rouge gold Mars. Now at the beginning of January it will be much dimmer than Sirius, only -.8, which still makes it brighter than any of the stars of Leo. But it still has a way to go to rival Sirius, which is where the real fun comes in. Because if you go out at least once a week and compare Mars and Sirius you will see that Mars grows rapidly and dramatically brighter. And it should because it covers a lot of distance during January. Indeed on January 1st Mars was 69 million miles away but it will zoom over a million miles closer to Earth every week and on January 29th will be 7 million miles closer at a distance of only 62 million miles. Wow!

And here's something else that's really nifty about the Mars / Sirius game. Each successive night in January Mars will be just a little bit higher and at the end of January will rise in the east just after the sun sets in the west; so you won't have to stay out so late to see it! It will however be visible in the sky all night long! Rising in the east at sunset, slowly traveling up the sky until it reaches its highest point at midnight, then slowly traveling down the sky and setting in the west at sunrise. And please mark these two dates on your calendar. On Wednesday January 27th Mars will make its closest approach to Earth for all of 2010 and 2011. And two nights later on Friday the 29th it will officially reach opposition which means that it will be directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth. So get thee out any night during January. First face south and find Sirius, then face east to find Mars and watch Mars race closer each night until at month's end it will be almost as bright as the brightest star in the heavens! Keep looking up!

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"Star Gazer" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-01 M

1/04/2010 thru 1/10/2010

"Super Cosmic Fun : How To Play The Mars / Sirius Game!"

Horkheimer: Mars is racing toward us and you can have real fun watching it grow brighter each night if you play the Mars / Sirius game. Around 10 p.m. face south. Look for Orion the Hunter then shoot an arrow through his three belt stars and it will land on Sirius the brightest star you can see with the naked eye. Next face east and you'll see rouge gold Mars just above the stars of Leo the Lion. Compare Mars' brightness with Sirius once or twice a week and by the end of January when Mars is at its closest for 2010 and 2011 it will be almost as bright as Sirius. And that is because Mars will be 7 million miles closer at the end of January than it was on January 1st. Start your Mars / Sirius watch 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 STAH 907
Friday December 18, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode #10-02 /1675th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 1/11/2010 through Sunday 1/17/2010

"The King Of The Planets And Our Nearest Neighbor
Make A Dynamic Duo And Another
Get Ready For Mars Reminder!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And have we ever got three nifty cosmic items for you. The brilliant planet Jupiter pairs up with an exquisite waxing crescent Moon this sunday and Monday and the red planet Mars is getting brighter every night as it races for its super close meeting in just two weeks. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this sunday night January 17th one hour after sunset facing southwest where you will see an absolutely dazzling 88,000 mile wide Jupiter and just below it off to its right a slender sliver of a waxing, that is growing, crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a grey black full Moon nestled within the bright crescent, a phenomenon which has long been called the "Old Moon in the new Moon's arms". And might I remind you that this is the kind of pairing of cosmic objects that has fascinated human beings throughout all recorded history and I'm sure long before record keeping even began. Don't miss this please.

If you do however you'll have a second chance to see a slightly different and almost as dramatic a pairing 24 hours later on Monday night the 18th when the Moon will be just a tiny bit fatter and above Jupiter. Don't miss this please also! And while we're talking about Jupiter let me remind you that 2010 could well be labeled the year of Jupiter because on September 20th it will be at its closest, biggest and brightest since 1963, an event of which I will keep you posted throughout the year.

But just how close will Jupiter come to earth you ask? Well let's do some comparisons between now and then. This weekend, when you look at Jupiter and our nearest neighbor the Moon, our Moon will be approximately 252,000 miles away from earth. Jupiter however will be 540 million miles away! But by September 20th it will be only 367 million miles away, that is 173 million miles closer, which is super close for Jupiter. So see Jupiter now while you can because it will slowly drop lower and lower toward the western horizon and by the end of February will disappear from sight and will not return until April.

And now I'd like to remind you once again that in two weeks time the tiny 4,000 mile rouge gold planet Mars will be at its closest and brightest for all of 2010 and 2011. To find it the next couple of weeks simply look east about two hours after sunset. It will look like a super bright rouge gold steadily glowing light just above the stars which make up Leo the Lion. It is easy to spot and believe it or not during the next two weeks you'll actually be able to watch it grow even brighter each night until it is at its closest on the 27th, only 62 million miles away. Wow!

So there you have it a chance to watch rouge gold planet Mars as it closes in on Earth and two chances to see the king of the planets pair with a waxing crescent Moon on sunday the 17th and Monday the 18th. And all you need to enjoy these sights is clear skies and your naked eye. 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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-02 M

1/11/2010 thru 1/17/2010

"The King Of The Planets And Our Nearest Neighbor
Make A Dynamic Duo And Another
Get Ready For Mars Reminder!"

Horkheimer: On Sunday and Monday giant Jupiter pairs up with the Moon plus Mars is only two weeks away from its super close meeting. On Sunday one hour after sunset face southwest and you'll see dazzling 88,000 mile wide Jupiter paired up with a waxing crescent Moon, a sight which will take your breath away. 24 hours later on Monday the Moon will have moved above Jupiter and provide yet another exquisite view. Then two hours after sunset face east and you can watch rouge gold Mars get brighter every single night until it reaches its closest and brightest for all of 2010 and 2011 on January 27th. Watch Mars race toward us and enjoy two nights of exquisite Jupiter / Moon pairings. 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 907
Friday December 18, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 10-03 / 1676th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/18/2010 through Sunday 1/24/2010

"How To See One Of The Most Awesome Wonders Of
The Universe With The Naked Eye"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. When ever the constellation Orion the hunter is mentioned most people think of the three stars which make up his belt. But as wonderful as they are they really can't compare in wonder to one of the most incredible cosmic objects you'll ever see with the naked eye which masquerades as the middle star of the three stars which hang below Orion's belt and make up his sword. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night the next few weeks in early evening facing south where you will see winter's most famous constellation Orion the Hunter riding low above the horizon. Three evenly spaced stars in a row mark his famous belt, above them two bright stars mark his shoulders and below two more bright stars mark his knees. But if you look carefully just below his three belt stars you'll see three evenly spaced, much dimmer stars, which make up his sword. But no matter how sharp your eyesight, the middle "star" will always seem to look fuzzy, slightly out of focus.

And that's because it's not a star at all but something we call a nebula, a great cosmic cloud of gas and dust out of which brand new stars have recently been and are still being born. In fact this nebula, called the Orion Nebula, is a stellar womb, a birthplace and nursery of stars. And incredibly with a small inexpensive telescope you'll actually be able to see the four recently born stars which light up this gigantic gas cloud. They are arranged in the shape of a baseball diamond and are called the Trapezium. And they were born only one million years ago which compared to our Sun, which is 4 and a half billion years old, makes them true stellar infants.

Now although this nebula of Orion's looks tiny to the naked eye, in reality its size is mind boggling because there are at least one thousand unseen stars here hidden within this dense cloud. Plus there is enough material in this humongous cloud to produce over 10,000 stars the size of our Sun, wow! And think of this. When we measure distances to the stars we use the term 'light year', which is simply the number of miles light travels in a year, which is 6 trillion miles. The closest star to Earth other than our Sun is 4 1/3 light years away, which means it takes 4 1/3 years for its light to reach us.

The Orion Nebula however is so incredibly huge that we have to measure its size in light years. And it is a mind blowing 30 light years in diameter, which means that it takes 30 years for light to travel just from one end of it to the other. In fact it is so huge it would take 20,000 of our solar systems lined up end to end to reach from one edge of Orion's 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 out to see this wonderful fuzzy middle "star" in the sword of Orion which astronomy writer Stephen James O'Meara says looks like, "Angel's breath against a frosted sky". See if you don't agree. 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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-03 M

1/18/2010 thru 1/24/2010

"How To See One Of The Most Awesome Wonders Of
The Universe With 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. And that's because it isn't a star at all but a gigantic cosmic cloud of gas and dust where new stars are being born, a stellar nursery. We call it the Orion Nebula and there is enough material here to produce over ten thousand stars the size of our Sun. It is a humongous 30 light years wide, which means that 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? 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:

Half Hour Feed STAH 907
Friday December 18, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004


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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 10-04 / 1677th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/25/10 through Sunday 1/31/2010

"Mars At Its Closest, Biggest And Brightest For The Year
Plus The Closest, Biggest And Brightest Full Moon
Of The Year!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And talk about a week of superlatives! Not only is the red planet Mars at its closest, biggest and brightest for this year and next, but we'll also have the closest, biggest and brightest full Moon for all of 2010. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week and next a couple hours after Sunset facing east where you will see Mars, a dazzling rouge gold steadily glowing light, brighter than any star in the sky except Sirius, the brightest star we can see and which you can compare to Mars simply by turning to the right and looking southeast. Notice however that while Sirius is just slightly more dazzling it shines a brilliant cold bluish white while Mars glows a warm yellow gold with a hint of rouge red. And as I mentioned before whereas Mars was 69 million miles away on January 1st, this wed. Jan 27 it is 7 million miles closer, and at its very closest at a distance of only 62 million miles away! Two nights later on Friday the 29th, it is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth or as astronomers say at opposition.

So if you've never been able to find Mars before you can find it now just by looking east. It will be directly above Leo the Lion, which is identifiable by a sickle shaped group of stars which mark his front and a triangle of stars which mark his rear. And because it is directly opposite the Sun it will be visible all the hours the Sun is not, which means it will rise in the east just after the Sun sets in the west and will slowly travel up the heavens and reach its highest point at midnight and then will slowly descend the heavens and set in the west as the Sun rises in the east. So you can see it all night long.

Now although Mars is at its very brightest this week it will still be very bright throughout February. But because it is only half the size of our planet Earth, 4,000 miles wide, it never gets really big in a telescope like Jupiter, which is 88,000 miles wide. Through a telescope you'll see more of its northern hemisphere, which is tilted toward Earth right now. In fact it is springtime in Mars' northern hemisphere right now. So you'll be able to watch Mars' northern polar icecap, which will look like a white dot, slowly shrink as the weeks go by and spring turns into summer. Go to our website regularly because we'll be featuring some really good views by planetary photographer, Dr. Don Parker of Coral Gables Florida.

And now to see the closest, biggest and brightest full Moon of the year simply go outside Saturday night January 30th just after sunset, face east and you can watch it rise. It will be only 221,560 miles away, which is 31,000 miles closer than the farthest full Moon of this year on August 24. In fact it will look 13 % bigger and 30% brighter. Now because full Moons always look bigger when they are closer to the horizon, this full Moon will look its biggest just after sunset on Saturday and just before sunrise Sunday. So get thee out for both the Moon and Mars at their closest, biggest and brightest for the year! 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 with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're now on YouTube

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-04 M

1/25/2010 thru 1/31/2010

"Mars At Its Closest, Biggest And Brightest For The Year
Plus The Closest, Biggest And Brightest Full Moon Of The Year!"

Horkheimer: This week Mars is at its closest, biggest and brightest for 2010 and 2011. Plus this weekend you'll see the closest, biggest and brightest full Moon of the year. Mars is only 62 million miles away this week. To find it, look east a couple hours after sunset. It will look like a brilliant rouge gold light just above the stars of Leo and is brighter than every star in the sky except the brightest star Sirius. And through a small telescope you'll be able to see its north polar icecap. This weekend this year's closest full Moon will look 13 % bigger and 30% brighter than this year's farthest. What a week! Both the Moon and Mars at their closest and brightest! 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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