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. 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!

6/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 00-27 /1178th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/3/2000 through Sunday 7/9/2000

"Earth Farthest From The Sun This Week, and

The Two Largest Planets Light Up The Morning Skies"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers . Yes, believe it or not, this week our earth is actually farther from the sun than at any other time of the entire year. In fact, on Monday July 3rd our earth was at its absolute farthest distance from the sun for the year, being 94 million, 512 thousand, 258 miles away which is over 3 million miles farther away than it was when it was at its closest on January 3rd when it was only 91 million 400 thousand, 5 miles away. So, if we're father away from the sun in July than in January, why isn't it cooler in July than in January?

Well it is if you happen to live south of the equator in the southern hemisphere. But we live north of the equator in the northern hemisphere and because our earth is tilted 23 1/2 degrees to the plane of its orbit, our northern hemisphere is tilted more directly toward the sun in July and it's the sun's more direct rays that make our northern hemisphere warmer in July than in January, even though our earth is 3 million miles farther away in July. And be thankful because if our earth were 3 million miles closer in July, summers in the northern hemisphere would be absolutely unbearable. So when you're out sweating in the heat this month remember it could be a lot worse.

And now, something for those of you who are getting up in the morning before sunrise, especially those of you who are out camping on vacation, we have the 2 largest planets brightly shining just before sunrise in pre-dawn skies. Simply look east before dawn any morning the next few weeks and you will see brilliant 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter about a third of the way up the sky from the horizon and up and to its right the ringed planet, 75 thousand mile wide Saturn. Right now Jupiter and Saturn are in front of the stars of Taurus the Bull and you can see Taurus' brightest star, the giant red star Aldebaran which marks his fierce eye. And although Aldebaran looks much, much dimmer than Jupiter or Saturn it is only because it is so much farther away.

In fact, Aldebaran is so huge it could hold 38 million Jupiters or 64 million Saturns because it is almost 30 million miles wide. And if you have really dark skies and look before it starts to get light out you may even be able to see the 7 daughters of Atlas riding on the shoulder of Taurus, the stars we call The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. To find them simply imagine that the Pleiades and Jupiter and Saturn are all the points of a little triangle, with the Pleiades at the top.

And if you have a telescope why not use it some summer morning to show an excited child the wonder of the Pleiades close up, the dark bands around Jupiter's equator and the magnificent rings of Saturn. A sight you and a child will never forget. So, out with you under these July skies and enjoy the fact that even though it's hot out, it would be a heck of a lot hotter if we were as close to the sun right now as we were last January. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-27 M

7/3/2000 thru 7/9/2000

"Earth Farthest From The Sun In July"

 

Horkheimer: Believe it or not, this week our earth is 3 million miles farther away from the sun than it was in January. So why is it so hot out? Well, because our earth is tilted 23 1/2 degrees to the plane of its orbit, our northern hemisphere is tilted more directly toward the sun in July and it's the sun's more direct rays that make our northern hemisphere warmer in July than in January. And be thankful because if our earth were 3 million miles closer in July, summers in the northern hemisphere would be absolutely unbearable. And if our earth were 3 million farther away in January you could make snowmen in Florida. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

6/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov




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


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #00-28 /1179th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/10/2000 through Sunday 7/16/2000

"It's Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali Time

Once Again!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Yes indeed it's that time of year when if you want to pronounce the stars right you're going to have to loosen up your tongue because the stars we're going to look at can literally leave you tongue-tied. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for the next couple of weeks just after it gets dark out and if you look south you will see the giant fish-hook shaped constellation Scorpius the Scorpion followed by the teapot shaped portion of Sagittarius. But up and to the right of the fish hook of Scorpius you will see 2 semi-bright stars with two of the strangest sounding names in the heavens, Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali.

Now in Arabic, Zubenelgenubi means the "Southern Claw" whereas Zubeneschamali means "The Northern Claw". And over 2 thousand years ago they were the claws of the Scorpion but then Julius Caesar and his cronies came along and chopped them off and re-named them Libra, The Scales of Roman Justice which to my way of thinking was a pretty unjust thing to do to poor old Scorpius. At any rate, these 2 stars are as wonderful as their names. And although they look alike and appear to be the same brightness, they are actually very, very different.

Zubenelgenubi is 65 light years away from our earth and is twice as wide as our million mile wide sun. But it shines 25 times brighter and is racing toward us at the incredible speed of 6 miles per second. And upon closer examination we find that Zubenelgenubi is not just 1, not even 2, but 3 stars, 2 of which are so close together they orbit each other once every 20 days. On the other hand, or other claw I should say, Zubeneschamali, the Northern or Upper Claw is over twice as far away as Zubenelgenubi, 140 light years distant. So if it appears as bright to us as Zubenelgenubi it must be much larger. In fact it is 30 times wider than Zubenelgenubi and 6 times brighter which means that it is 60 times wider than our sun and 150 times brighter. And it is speeding toward us 4 times faster than Zubenelgenubi, at a rate of 21 miles per second.

Plus Zubeneschamali is the center of a centuries old debate. You see over 2,000 years ago when it was still part of Scorpius it was listed as the brightest of all the Scorpion's stars, even brighter than Antares, Scorpius' super bright heart star. However in the 2nd century a.d. the great astronomer Ptolemy described Zubeneschamali as equal to Antares in brightness. But today, 1800 years later, Antares appears 5 times brighter than Zubeneschamali. The mystery is, has Zubeneschamali dimmed over the past 2,000 years or has Antares gotten much, much brighter? No one knows. At any rate some night in the next few weeks find these 2 wonderful tongue twisters for yourself. It's even easier than saying Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-28 M

7/10/2000 thru 7/16/2000

"Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali"

 

Horkheimer: Look due south before midnight and you'll see the fish hook shaped pattern of stars called Scorpius and to its right the 2 brightest stars of Libra which have 2 of the strangest sounding names in the cosmos. The star closest to the horizon is named Zubenelgenubi, which means the southern claw and the star above it is named Zubeneschamali which means the northern claw. And in fact 2,000 years ago these were the official claws of the Scorpion. But then Julius Caesar came along and chopped them off and renamed them for Libra for the Roman Scales of Justice which seems a pretty unjust thing to do to the Scorpion. They're the tongue twisters of the cosmos, Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

6/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)

Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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



STAR GAZER

Episode # 00-29 / 1180th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/17/2000 through Sunday 7/23/2000

"A Pre Dawn Super Sky Show

For The Last Week Of July!"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and although our skies have been completely bare of any naked eye planets in early evening, next week will more than make up for it when the moon visits 3 planets just before sunrise, and the biggest planet of them all hangs suspended between a cluster of stars and a giant red star. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for dawn, Wednesday morning July 26th and if you look due east you'll see an absolutely exquisite pairing of an old crescent moon and the 7th planet out from the sun, the ringed planet, 75 thousand mile wide Saturn. In fact the moon will be only 2 degrees away.

Then if you look down and to the left of Saturn and the moon you will see the biggest planet of them all, 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter. But if you look directly above Jupiter you will see a dim cluster of stars, 6 of which are visible to the naked eye, The Pleiades, The Seven Sisters. In fact The Pleiades, Jupiter and Saturn will be the points of a very nice triangle. Now if you measure the distance between Jupiter and The Pleiades and go that same distance below Jupiter you will land directly on the star which is the eye of Taurus the Bull, the giant red star Aldebaran. In fact, almost all next week Jupiter will be directly midway between The Pleiades and Aldebaran. Then if you go out the next morning, Thursday July 27th you will see an even skinnier old crescent moon and it will have moved past Saturn, Jupiter and Aldebaran and will make yet another exquisite sky picture.

The next day, Friday July 28th an even skinnier crescent moon will be headed toward the horizon and if you look very close to the east northeast horizon you should be able to see the 1st planet out from the sun, the tiny 3 thousand mile wide pink planet, made almost entirely out of iron, our old friend Mercury. And if you really want an exquisite picture and a challenge, go out the next morning, Saturday July 29th and you may see an extremely slender sliver of a crescent moon less than 1 degree above Mercury. And if you've got a pair of binoculars make sure you take a look because both Mercury and the moon will fit in the same field of view as seen through your binoculars.

So there you have it: An exquisite old moon, 2 degrees from Saturn on Wednesday the 26th, an even skinnier moon just past Saturn, Jupiter and Aldebaran on Thursday the 27th, and an even thinner moon on Friday the 28th. And in case you've always had a hard time finding Mercury, an exquisite sliver of a moon will be less than 1 degree above it on Saturday the 29th. Three planets, a waning old crescent moon, the Seven Sisters and Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull. And although Jupiter is so huge we could fit 1300 Earths inside it, Aldebaran is so humongous we could fit 36 million Jupiters inside it! So if you're out camping or on vacation during the last week of July be sure you get up just before dawn and look toward the east for a wonderful parade of an old moon past some wonderful stars and planets. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-29 M

7/17/2000 thru 7/23/2000

"A Pre-Dawn Super Sky

For The Last Week of July!"

 

Horkheimer: Get up before dawn next week to see a waning moon visit three planets. On the 26th the moon will be huddled just off to the side of 75,000 mile wide Saturn. And on the 27th it will be just below 88,000 mile wide Jupiter and the 30 million mile wide red eye star of Taurus the Bull, Aldebaran. On the 28th it will be half way between Aldebaran and tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury. And on the 29th they'll make an exquisite pair. Once again, the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th. And don't be surprised if you see the 3 belt stars of winter's Orion peeking up over the horizon. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

6/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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


 

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #00-30 /1181st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/24/2000 through Sunday 7/30/2000

"Two Cat's Eyes In Summer Skies"

Horkheimer:Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and don't you think it just a bit unfair that of all the star patterns named for animals, not one of them is named for America's favorite household pet, the pussy cat? After all, Orion is accompanied by not only one but by two of his favorite dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. Oh I know there's Leo the Lion and and The Lynx, but they would not qualify as household pets. But I guess we should look on the bright side because every summer if we look really hard, even though we won't be able to find a whole kitty on the cosmos, we will at least be able to find part of one, the two cat's eyes of summer skies. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in July and August from after dark to midnight and if you look toward the south you will see my favorite summer constellation, Scorpius the Scorpion. Now it's one of the few constellations which actually looks like its name. Even a humongous red star named Antares, which is 700 times wider than our own sun, marks the spot right where its red heart should be. Plus you can even see how its rather nasty tail curves around up and back on itself just like a real scorpion's with 2 stars marking the poisonous stinger. Their Arabic names from left to right are Shaula and Lesath, Shaula being the brighter. And these names mean 'The Sting'. In folk legend however, they are not only the sting, but also do double duty as the 2 eyes of an ancient cat which stare out at us every single summer.

Now although to the naked eye they don't appear to be all that exceptional, if we look deeper into these cat's eyes with a telescope we can see the secrets they have hidden from the eyes of man for thousands of years. And when we compare them to our sun they're absolutely wonderful. Indeed, while our sun is almost a million miles wide, Shaula, the brighter cat's eye is almost a 2 times our sun's diameter, about 2 million miles wide. But it is a much hotter star than our yellow sun and burns a fierce blue-white and is in fact 12 hundred more luminous. And because it is 280 light years away from us, we are seeing Shaula not as it exist now this summer, but as it appeared when its light left it 280 years ago in 1720 but Lesath,the dimmer of the 2 cat's eyes is even more exceptional. In fact the only reason it appears dimmer is because it is over 5 times farther away than Shaula, 1600 light years beyond which means we are seeing it not as it exists now this summer but as it existed 1600 summers ago in 400 a.d. And it burns an even fiercer blue-white hot than Shaula and is 15 thousand times brighter than our sun. And Lesath makes both Shaula and our sun seem puny by comparison because it is 2 1/2 times the diameter of Shaula and 7 times as wide as our sun. Some pussy cat, eh folks?

So get thee outside sometime this summer and find these 2 magical cat's eyes peering through summer nights as they ride across the heavens on the sting of the scorpion. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-30 M

7/24/2000 thru 7/30/2000

"Two Cat's Eyes In Summer Skies"

 

Horkheimer:Don't you think it's unfair that of all star patterns named for animals, not one of them is named for America's favorite household pet, the pussy cat? The closest we're gonna come to a cosmic kitty is the 2 stars which mark the Scorpion's stinger, which you can see by looking south after it gets dark out. You see in folk legend they do double duty as the 2 eyes of an ancient cat. Shaula, the brighter cat's eye is 2 times our sun's diameter, 2 million miles wide. And we see it as it existed when its light left it 280 years ago in 1720. Lesath is 7 times as wide as our sun and is so far away we see it as it existed 1600 summers ago in 400 a.d. Pretty impressive pussy cat, don't you think? I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

6/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (5 shows)


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov




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


 

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #00-31 /1182nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/31/2000 through Sunday 8/6/2000

"A Planet Named George and

How To Find It Next Week ... Maybe"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and mark next week as the week when the planet George will be at its closest and brightest to our planet for the entire year. And with a little luck you may even be able to find it with the naked eye. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night next week between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., facing due south where you will see the very dim stars of Capricorn directly in front of you. Down and to its right you will see the famous bright teapot of stars of Sagittarius embedded in the Milky Way and an almost equal distance to Capricorn's left, the brightest star in this part of the heavens, the star Fomalhaut. And just at the eastern tip of Capricorn lies the very distant and very dim, but 3rd largest planet in our solar system which was originally named George and which was discovered not by a professional astronomer, but by a professional oboist and organist who only used astronomy as a hobby.

His name was Sir William Herschel. And over 200 years ago in 1781, after calculating the orbit of a so-called comet which he had personally discovered one night realized that his comet was not a comet at all but was in fact a planet. So he immediately named it for his benefactor, King George the third of England. Indeed the 7th planet was first named George, for awhile anyway. But this really irked politically incorrect, non-George-loving astronomers so they renamed it Herschel after its discoverer. But then a few other astronomers made claims they had discovered it even before Herschel, even though they didn't recognize it for what it was, so they insisted that it shouldn't be named either George or Herschel but should be named after one of the ancient gods as were all the other planets.

So they named it for the Greek god who had charge over all the heavens, even before Zeus came along, the god Uranus, a god who was both son and husband of Gaia, the Earth, and who was also the father of the Titans and the race of one-eyed giants known as the Cyclops. Sadly Herschel and his fellow astronomers never lived to discover the true nature of planet George, renamed Herschel, renamed Uranus because it turned out to be even stranger than the god for which it was named. Indeed, Uranus is called the sideways planet because it travels around the sun on its side with its north pole pointed directly at the sun during part of its orbit and its south pole pointed at the sun during the other part which creates the longest seasons ever on any planet in our solar system. In fact while it takes Uranus 84 years to make one orbit around the sun, each season on Uranus is 21 years long.

To find it go out around midnight with a pair of binoculars, look due south and hunt for a teeny-weeny blue-green disk. It's 4 times the width of our earth, 32000 mile wide and has its own set of 10 rings and supports a family of 15 moons. As strange as the way it got its name. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-31 M

7/31/2000 thru 8/6/2000

"A Planet Named George"

 

Horkheimer: Next week the planet George will be at its closest and brightest for the entire year. To find it look due south around midnight with a pair of binoculars for a teeny-weeny blue-green disc, about 3 1/2 fist widths to the left of Sagittarius' tea pot. It's 32,000 miles wide, has a set of 10 rings and 15 moons and is tilted on its side. It was originally named for King George the Third and then renamed for Herschel, its discoverer, then renamed finally for a Greek god whose name we use today. The 7th planet out from the sun, 4 times as wide as our earth, good old Uranus. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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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