STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Tuesday 6/20/06 - 1000-1100 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 Shows


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

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

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


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

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 06-27 / 1491st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/03/2006 through
Sunday 7/09/2006

"Earth At Aphelion This Week
And Last Chance To See Saturn!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And believe it or not our Earth is at aphelion this week, which is always fun to explain and if you don't catch Saturn in the next week and a half you won't see it in evening skies again until the end if this year. Let me show you.

O.K. first let's find my favorite planet, ringed Saturn. We've got our skies set up for this weekend Saturday and Sunday July 8th and 9th about 45 minutes after Sunset while there's still a bit of twilight out, facing west. And if you have a really clear flat horizon you'll see the first planet out from the Sun, tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury, then just above it good old 75,000 mile wide Saturn. And just above Saturn tiny 4,000 mile wide mars, which right now is as dim as it ever gets. Three planets lined up in a row on an imaginary line called the ecliptic, which is the path along which all the planets, our Sun and Moon travel. But Saturn is the one we're zeroing in on because it will be gone by mid month.

So if you've got a small telescope this week and next is the time to take a look at it because even through a small telescope you can see Saturn's rings. I suggest looking at it at about 100 to 150 power through any telescope. And in case you see a bright pinpoint of light close to it, that's its largest Moon, 3,200 mile wide Titan, which is even bigger than Mercury and which we've been visiting for the past two years uncovering remarkable secrets. In fact, we now know that Saturn has 47 moons and we're probably going to discover more before our mission to Saturn is ended.

Now everyone has heard that Jupiter is the king of the planets, 88,000 miles wide, which means that since our Earth is only 8,000 miles wide we could line up 11 Earth's across its middle. And the spherical body of Saturn is indeed smaller than Jupiter being only 75,000 miles wide. But if you count Saturn's rings then Saturn is exactly twice as wide as Jupiter, 176,000 miles wide. Wow! And because Saturn's average density is less than water astronomers sometimes joke that if we had a bathtub big enough to hold Saturn it would actually float. Talk about a ring around the bathtub!

And now for my annual comment about aphelion, this week Earth is at aphelion. Which simply means that it is several million miles farther away from the Sun than it was six months ago in the first week of January when it was at its closest or what we call perihelion. Indeed in January our Earth was only 91 and 1/2 million miles away from the Sun but this week it's 94 and 1/2 million miles away, three million miles farther. So why isn't it colder out? My annual clue is the word "tilt". Think about it as you watch Saturn! And keep looking up!

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


Star Gazer Minute

#06-27 M

7/03/2006 thru 7/09/2006

"Last Chance To See Saturn!"

 

Horkheimer: If you don't catch Saturn in the next week and a half you won't see it in evening skies until next year. This weekend just after sunset face west where you'll see 3,000 mile wide Mercury, 75,000 mile wide Saturn and 4,000 mile wide Mars. Through any small telescope Saturn is amazing. You can even see its largest moon, Titan, which is bigger than Mercury. And though Jupiter is the largest planet, if we counted Saturn's rings we could fit two Jupiters across them. It would be brighter than Jupiter if it were as close, but it's twice as far away almost one billion miles. Keep looking up!

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


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


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

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






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Tuesday 6/20/06 - 1000-1100 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 Shows


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

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

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


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



STAR GAZER

Episode #06-28 /1492nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/10/2006 through Sunday 7/16/2006

"How To Find Two Cat's Eyes In Summer's Skies"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And don't you think it's just a bit unfair that of all the constellations named for animals not one of them is named for America's favorite household pet, the pussy cat. After all Orion is not only accompanied by one but two of his favorite dogs. Oh I know there's Leo the lion and even a Lynx but they would hardly qualify as house pets. So until some body gets around to officially naming a kitty in the cosmos we'll have to settle for the second best thing, two marvelous cat's eyes which appear every year in summer's skies. Never heard of them? 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 where if you look toward the south you will see summer's biggest constellation Scorpius the scorpion. It's one of the few constellations, which actually looks like its name. It even has a red star where its heart should be named Antares, a humongous star 700 times wider than our own Sun. Plus you can even see how its rather nasty tail curves up and back on itself just like a real scorpion's with two stars marking its poisonous stinger. Their Arabic names from left to right are Shaula and Lesath. And these names mean "the sting". In folk legend however, they are not only "the sting" but are also the two eyes of an ancient celestial cat, which stare out at us every single summer.

Now although they don't appear to be all that exceptional to the naked eye, if we look deeper into these cat's eyes with a telescope we can see the secrets they have hidden within them for thousands of years, wonderful secrets because when we compare each star to our Sun they are truly marvelous. Indeed while our Sun is about a million miles wide, Shaula is almost twice as wide. And it is a much hotter star than our yellow Sun and burns a fierce blue-white and is in fact 1200 times more luminous. It looks dimmer only because it is 280 light years away, which means that we see Shaula not as it exists now this summer but as it existed when its light left it 280 years ago in the early 1700's. Lesath, the dimmer of the two, is even more incredible and appears dimmer only because it is over 5 times farther away than Shaula, 1600 light years beyond which means that we see it not as it exists now but as it existed 1600 years ago around 400 a.d. and it burns an even fiercer blue-white hot than Shaula and is 15,000 times brighter than our Sun, plus 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 the next few weeks and find these two magical cat's eyes peering through summer nights as they silently ride across the southern sky masquerading as the sting of the scorpion. I'm Jack Horkheimer, keep looking up!

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


Star Gazer Minute

#06-28 M

7/10/2006 thru 7/16/2006

"How To Find Two Cat's Eyes In Summer's Skies"

Horkheimer: Although there is no constellation named for a pussy cat, there are two cat's eyes in summer skies. Look south for the fishhook shaped pattern of stars Scorpius the scorpion. The two stars, which mark his stinger named Shaula and Lesath were also known in ancient times as "the cat's eyes". Shaula which is two times as wide as our million mile wide Sun is so far away we see it as it existed 280 years ago. And humongous Lesath which is 7 times as wide as our Sun is so far away we see it as it existed 1600 years ago. Pretty impressive pussy cat wouldn't you say? Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

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


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




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

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


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




 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Tuesday 6/20/06 - 1000-1100 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 Shows


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

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

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



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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-29 / 1493rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/17/2006 through Sunday 7/23/2006

"The Red Planet Mars And The Blue Heart Star Of Leo
Pair Up This Weekend!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. If you want to see something really nifty this weekend the tiny red planet Mars will pair up with the humongous blue heart star of Leo the lion just after sunset this Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the beginning of this week, Monday July 17th about 30 to 40 minutes after sunset facing west where if you have a clear unobstructed horizon you will see two fairly bright but not brilliant star like objects. The one closest to the horizon will be the reddish orange planet Mars and directly above it only 2 3/4 degrees or 5 full Moons away you'll see the bluish star Regulus. And if the colors, or I should say tints, of these two are not obvious to you, try using a pair of binoculars.

But the fun part about watching these two night after night this week is that they will come closer and closer together each night until they reach their absolute closest this Friday and Saturday. On Tuesday they'll be only 2 degrees apart, which means that 4 full Moons would fit between them. On Wednesday 1 1/2 degrees or 3 full Moon widths apart, on Thursday only 1 degree or 2 full Moons apart and then ta da! On Friday and Saturday night the 21st and 22nd they will be only 2/3 of one degree apart which means that less than 1 1/2 full Moons could fit between them.

Or if you'd like to think of it this way, if you hold a finger out at arm's length less than 1/2 of the width of your finger would separate them. Which means your finger will completely cover them and that's close! Plus they'll still be pretty close on Sunday when they'll be just slightly over 1 degree or 2 full Moons apart.

Now although this will look like a super close meeting between a planet and a star, it is all an optical illusion. They look close only because of our perspective here on Earth, which is constantly moving in its orbit night after night along with the other planets thus causing the stars and planets to change position night after night. Indeed this weekend Mars will actually be only 20 light minutes away, which means that it will take the light from Mars only 20 minutes to reach us. However Regulus is so incredibly far away that it takes its light 77 years to reach us, which must mean that in order for Regulus to look so bright when it is so far away it must be huge and very bright. Indeed while Mars is only 4,000 miles wide Regulus is so huge we could line up 500 Mars' side by side across its middle. In fact Regulus is over twice the width of our own Sun, 2 million miles wide. And its blue color means that it burns much hotter than our yellow Sun.

So start this weekend right with a cosmic sight with just your naked eye or better yet a pair of binoculars and see if you can tell the difference in color between reddish Mars and bluish Regulus. Keep looking up!


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

 


Star Gazer Minute

#06-29 M

7/17/2006 thru 7/23/2006

"The Red Planet Mars And The Blue Heart Star
Of Leo Pair Up This Weekend!"

Horkheimer: This weekend the tiny red planet Mars will pair up with Regulus the huge blue heart star of Leo the lion. And you can see it! This Friday and Saturday just after sunset face west and you'll see reddish gold Mars less than one degree away from bluish Regulus, so close that your finger held out at arm's length will cover both of them. But this closeness is an optical illusion. In reality 4,000 mile wide Mars is 2 million times closer than 2 million mile wide Regulus which is so huge we could line up 500 Mars' across its middle. If you have a pair of binoculars see if you can tell the difference in color between them. Keep looking up!


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

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


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




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

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


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




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Tuesday 6/20/06 - 1000-1100 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 Shows


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

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

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



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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-30 / 1494th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/24/2006 through Sunday 7/30/2006

"Use The Moon To Find The Largest Planet
And A Super Large Star"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. August will begin with a cosmic bang because during the first week of August a waxing Moon will pay a visit to both the king of the planets and a giant star, which means you'll be able to use the Moon as a finder to locate two wonderful celestial objects. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our sky set up for Tuesday the first night of August 2006 facing southwest an hour after sunset while there's still a bit of twilight. And the brightest thing you'll see will be a lovely first quarter Moon. And directly above it, the second brightest thing in the sky, looking very much like a bright star will be the king of the planets Jupiter.

So right off the bat on the first night of August you can use the Moon to find the largest of our solar system's planets. Now we all know that when the Moon is waxing it is growing because that is what waxing means in astronomical terms. And it always moves from west to east. In 24 hours time it moves approximately 13 degrees or 26 times its own width toward the east, so 24 hours later on Wednesday August 2nd we can expect the Moon to be well past Jupiter and a little bit fatter. So on Tuesday night look up to the left of the Moon to find Jupiter. On Wednesday look up to its right. 24 hours later on Thursday night August 3rd an even fatter Moon will be parked next to the j-shaped pattern of stars we call Scorpius the scorpion and to the right of the bright star which marks the scorpion's heart. It is called Antares and it is one of the biggest stars we can see with the naked eye.

So you can use the Moon to find Antares on Thursday night. And 24 hours later you can use it again as a finder when it will be just past Antares. Once again the Moon below and to Jupiter's right on Tuesday the 1st, the Moon below and to Jupiter's left on Wednesday the 2nd, Thursday the 3rd the Moon is parked to the right of Antares and on Friday is to the left of Antares.

But now comes the fun part, comparing the Moon, Jupiter and Antares. You see our 2,000 mile wide Moon will be less than a quarter million miles away on the first 4 nights of August whereas 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, which is so huge we could line up 44 Moons across its middle, will be 490 million miles away. But the mind blower is Antares which is 700 times as wide as our almost one million mile wide Sun and is so far away that it takes 604 years for its light to reach us. Wow! Isn't it easy to find planets and stars if you use the Moon as a finder? Keep looking up!


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


Star Gazer Minute

#06-30 M

7/24/2006 thru 7/30/2006

"Use The Moon To Find The Largest Planet
And A Super Large Star"


Horkheimer: During the first week of August you can use a waxing Moon to find both the king of the planets and a gigantic star. Tuesday August 1st face southwest an hour after sunset. Directly above the Moon you'll see the king of the planets Jupiter, so huge we could line up 44 Moons across its middle. On August 2nd the Moon will be down to Jupiter's left and August 3rd approaching Antares the giant red star, which marks the heart of Scorpius. Antares is so huge we could line up 700 of our Suns across its middle. On August 4th the Moon will be just past it. Use the Moon to find a giant planet and a bigger giant star. Keep looking up!

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


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




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

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


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



STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Tuesday 6/20/06 - 1000-1100 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 Shows


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

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

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



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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 06-31 / 1495th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/31/2006 through Sunday 8/06/2006

"See The Two Planets Closest to The Sun Side By Side"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Almost every one knows that our Earth sometimes called "The third rock from the Sun" is the third planet out from the Sun in distance. But do you recall the names of the planets closer to the Sun than Earth, planets #1 and 2? Well planet #1 is Mercury and planet #2 is Venus. And this week and next you'll be able to see them side by side if you get up with the chickens. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the middle of this week, Thursday August 3rd about 45 minutes before sunrise facing northeast where the brightest thing you'll see in the sky will be planet #2 from the Sun 8,000 mile wide Venus, which is often called Earth's twin because it is almost exactly the same size. Then shining not so brightly 5 degrees below it which is about the width of 10 full Moons lined up end by end is tiny pinkish 3,000 mile wide Mercury. Now I recommend that you wait until next week to look for them because by Wednesday August 9th they'll be much closer, in fact only 2 degrees apart which means they'll be only 4 full Moon widths away from each other and thus much easier to find. In fact they'll also be about 2 degrees away from each other on Thursday the 10th, Friday the 11th, Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th.

But to see them you must have a clear unobstructed horizon. And you have to look during twilight because they won't be high enough above the horizon to see while it's still dark out. Now because Mercury is planet #1 and Venus is #2 from the Sun it would stand to reason that Mercury would be farther away from us than Venus but aha! such is not always the case and here's why. If we could go out into space and look down at our Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth, all lined up in a row in their proper order from the Sun we would see that Mercury's distance from us is 57 million miles, while Venus' distance from us is 26 million miles.

But we rarely ever see the planets like this in such an idealized situation because they are always moving in their orbits around the Sun. So this week and next Mercury and Venus are in much different places in their orbits relative to the Sun and Earth. Mercury, instead of being farther away from us than Venus, is 82 million miles away whereas Venus on the far side of its orbit from us is a whopping 145 million miles away from us. Yet here on Earth they appear perfectly lined up one above the other all due to our perspective. So sometime next week get thee outside and look for the first and second rocks from the Sun, from the third rock from the Sun. It's as simple as 1,2,3! Keep looking up!


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


Star Gazer Minute

#06-31 M

7/31/2006 thru 8/06/2006

"See The Two Planets Closest To The Sun Side By Side"


Horkheimer: This week and next planets #1 and 2 pay each other a very close visit. This Thursday, 45 minutes before sunrise face northeast and you'll see brilliant planet #2, 8,000 mile wide Venus directly above not so brilliant planet #1, 3,000 mile wide Mercury. They'll be only 10 full Moon widths away from each other. But next week they'll be much closer only 4 full Moon widths apart. And although Venus will appear much brighter than Mercury it will be much farther away. In fact, Mercury will be only 82 million miles from Earth while Venus will be a whopping 145 million miles away. Keep looking up!

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

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


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




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

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


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


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