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 901
Friday June 19, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 0927, 0928, 0929, 0930


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 # 09-27 / 1648th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/06/2009 through
Sunday 7/12/2009

"The Moon Pays A Visit To The Seven Sisters,
The God Of War, The Goddess Of Love
And The Bull's Eye"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Mark Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 17th, 18th and 19th on your calendar as the days when a beautiful shrinking crescent Moon will visit the tiny star cluster called the Seven Sisters, the red planet Mars, the brightest of all the planets Venus, plus the eye of Taurus the bull. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Friday July 17th one hour before Sunrise facing due east where you'll see an exquisite 24 day old waning, that is shrinking, crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a dark full Moon nestled within the crescent and just below it if it's still dark out where you are you'll see the tiny cluster of stars called The Pleiades or the Seven Sisters which many think looks like an itty bitty dipper. To the naked eye most people can see only six stars here, but with a pair of binoculars you'll see at least fifty and with a small telescope, over 100, wow!

Now you may remember that our Moon moves an average of 26 times its own width every 24 hours. So on Saturday morning July 18th the Moon will have moved well past the Seven Sisters and will be slightly skinnier. And if you look just down to its right you'll see the tiny 4,000 mile wide red planet Mars. Plus if you look just below Mars you'll be able to see another reddish looking object and that is Aldebaran the star which marks the eye of Taurus the bull. It is, however, much larger than Mars. In fact it is 44 times as wide as our almost million mile wide Sun. So huge we could line up over 9000 Mars' across its middle. Double wow! 24 hours later on Sunday the 19th the Moon will have moved another 26 Moon widths and off to its right you'll see the brightest of all the planets, super dazzling 8,000 mile wide Venus, which is frequently mistaken for a UFO.

And now for the fun part, to see just how far away these cosmic wonders are. Next weekend our Moon will be approximately 226 thousand miles away. Venus will be 96 million miles away and Mars will be 170 million miles away. But ta da! the red eye of Taurus, Aldebaran will be a whopping 65 light years away and the Seven Sisters will be even farther, 440 light years away. Or to put it into perspective since light travels 186,000 miles a second we see the Moon as it existed 1 1/4 seconds ago, Venus as it existed 8 1/2 minutes ago and Mars as it existed 15 minutes ago. Aldebaran however is so far away that it takes its light 65 years to reach us so we see Aldebaran as it existed 65 years ago. The Seven Sisters however are seven times farther away, so incredibly distant that it takes its light 440 years to reach us, so we see it as it existed 440 years ago almost 40 years before the first telescope was invented. So don't miss the weekend of July 17th, 18th, and 19th when the Moon visits the Seven Sisters, Mars and Aldebaran and Venus. Keep looking up!

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Star Gazer Minute

#09-27 M

7/06/2009 thru 7/12/2009

"The Moon Pays A Visit To The Seven Sisters,
The God Of War, The Goddess Of Love
And The Bull's Eye"

Horkheimer: Use the Moon to find four cosmic objects on Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 17th, 18th and 19th. On Friday one hour before sunrise face east and a shrinking crescent Moon will be just above the tiny star cluster the Seven Sisters. With binoculars you'll see fifty stars but over 100 with a small telescope. On Saturday an even skinnier Moon will be just to the left of 4,000 mile wide Mars. And below Mars will be Aldebaran, the red eye of Taurus, which is so huge we could line up 9000 Mars' across its middle. On Sunday the Moon will be to the left of dazzling, 8,000 mile wide Venus, which is often mistaken for a UFO. Our Moon is so close we see it as it existed 1_ seconds ago. The Seven Sisters however are so far away we see them as they existed 440 years ago! 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 901
Friday June 19, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 0927, 0928, 0929, 0930


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 #09-28 /1649th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/13/2009 through Sunday 7/19/2009

"My Favorite And Almost Everyone's Favorite
Summer Constellation"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know if I had to pick only one constellation, which I like better than all the rest in summer skies, it would have to be the ancient, gigantic and dreaded Scorpius the scorpion. Let me show you how to find it.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any summer night in June, July or August facing south before midnight and depending on what month and hour you look the scorpion will either be southeast, due south or southwest. But you should have no trouble finding it because it's huge and one of the few constellations, which actually looks like its name. Indeed if we connect each bright star in Scorpius with lines we can see a very simple-line representation of a scorpion with his claws drawn in. Or if you're afraid of scorpions you can imagine this constellation to be a giant fishhook as seen by some ancient Polynesians or the capital letter 'J', for Jack. Scorpius has been around for thousands of years and was depicted by many cultures, including the ancient Egyptians.

In ancient Greece and Rome however, the scorpion was much big bigger than now and its claws extended forward from it as if getting ready to grab whatever planets or comets might come its way. And if you look closely you'll see two stars where his claws used to be. They are named Zuben Elgenubi and Zuben Eschamali and in Arabic, literally mean the northern claw and the southern claw. But Julius Caesar and his megalomaniacal friends in the Roman Senate decided that Rome was so special that it needed its own constellation as a form of ancient PR. So they did a hatchet job on Scorpius' claws to make up the constellation, which they said stood for the symbol of Roman justice, Libra. Talk about cosmic injustice!

At any rate once you've found Scorpius' with his claws no longer outstretched, pay particular attention to where the scorpion's heart should be. Because believe it or not, there, just by coincidence, a red star named Antares is right where his red heart should be. And this star Antares is my very favorite summer star, hands down because it is one of the three largest stars we can see with the naked eye. Now I usually refer to our Sun as being a million miles wide to make it easy to remember, but in fact it is a bit short of that number being only 865,000 miles wide, but which is still pretty huge compared to our 8000 mile wide Earth. In fact our Sun is so huge we could fit over a million and a half of our Earths inside it.

Antares however puts our Sun to shame, because it is 700 times wider than our Sun, so huge we could fit over 350 million Suns inside it! Or if you'd like to think of it this way if we placed one edge of it where our Sun is, it would reach out past the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter, wow! And it is so far away that it takes 520 years for its light to reach us. So whenever we look at Antares we see it not as it exists now but as it existed 520 years ago. Wow again! So get thee out any summer night and marvel at the magnificent scorpion who should fill you full of wonder instead of ancient dread. Keep looking up!

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

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-28 M

7/13/2009 thru 7/19/2009

"My Favorite And Almost Everyone's Favorite
Summer Constellation"

Horkheimer: Almost everyone's favorite summer constellation is Scorpius the scorpion. Any night in June, July or August face south before midnight and you'll see several bright stars which trace out a fish hook or the letter 'J'. This is the ancient cosmic scorpion. Coincidentally a giant red star named Antares is right where his red heart should be. And it is huge. Whereas we could fit over 1 1/2 million of our Earths inside our own Sun, Antares is so huge we could fit over 350 million Suns inside it! In fact if we placed one edge of it where our Sun is it would reach out past the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter. Plus it is so far away it takes its light over 520 years to reach us. Wow! Find the scorpion this summer! And 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 901
Friday June 19, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 0927, 0928, 0929, 0930


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 # 09-29 / 1650th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/20/2009 through Sunday 7/26/2009

"The Pussy Cat And The Scorpion : A Strange Tale
Of A Tail"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Although the night skies are loaded with constellations named after animals not one of them is named after America's favorite household pet, the pussy cat. However to compensate for this obvious negligence every summer two marvelous cat's eyes glide across summer's skies and in the most improbable of places, on the tail of a scorpion. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in July and August from after dark to after 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, which is a humongous 700 times wider than our own million mile wide Sun. And if you follow the stars down from Scorpius' heart star you will see how his rather nasty tail curves up and then back on itself just like a real Scorpion's tail 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 glide across the southern sky masquerading as the sting of the Scorpion. 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

#09-29 M

7/20/2009 thru 7/26/2009

"The Pussy Cat And The Scorpion : A Strange Tale
Of A Tail"

Horkheimer: Although there is no constellation named for a pussy cat there are two cat's eyes in summer's skies. Look south for the fishhook shaped pattern of stars Scorpius the Scorpion and you'll see two stars which mark his stinger. Named Shaula and Lesath in ancient times these two were known as the cat's eyes. Shaula which is 2 times as wide as our million mile wide Sun is so far away we see it as it existed 280 years ago. Lesath however, is a humongous 7 times as wide as our Sun and so incredibly much farther away than Shaula that we see it as it existed 1600 years ago. So look for these 2 magnificent cat's eyes as they ride across summer's skies on the tail of the scorpion. 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 901
Friday June 19, 2009, 1130-1200/SD06
Includes episodes 0927, 0928, 0929, 0930


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 # 09-30 / 1651st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/27/2009 through Sunday 8/02/2009

"How To Find Two Wonders Of Summer's Skies :
The Heart Of The Scorpion
And The Heart of Our Galaxy"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Did you know that any moonless night in August you can use an ancient constellation to find two incredible summer night sky sights, both the magnificent red heart of the scorpion and the incredible milky white heart of our galaxy. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next just after it gets dark out facing south where you'll see two of summer's most famous star patterns, a constellation which looks like a fish hook or a capital letter 'J', Scorpius the Scorpion and directly behind it several bright stars which if connected by lines would look like a teapot. Now Scorpius is officially called a constellation. But the Teapot is not. It is called an asterism, which means that it is a small pattern of stars within a constellation.

And the constellation to which the Teapot belongs is a very large pattern of stars named thousands of years ago for a mythical creature called a centaur, a creature half man and half horse. Named Sagittarius, he was known to be a great master with the bow and arrow, a centaur archer. His bow is marked by two stars of the Teapot's lid and the star at the bottom of the spout. The arrow goes from the top star in the handle through the other star of the lid with the tip of the arrow marked by the star, which also marks the tip of the spout. And with a little imagination you can see that it is aimed at the red star which marks the heart of the scorpion, Antares, which is a giant star 700 times as wide as our Sun.

But on really dark moonless nights far from city lights you'll also see that the tip of Sagittarius' arrow is embedded in the widest and densest part of that great ribbon of light called the Milky Way which stretches all the way from the southern horizon up to the zenith and back down to the northeast horizon. In fact if you look closely at Sagittarius and Scorpius you'll see that most of the Teapot and the bottom half of Scorpius are embedded in the Milky Way. And if you take a pair of binoculars and look here or anywhere along the Milky Way you will see that it is made up of millions of pinpoints of light, each one of which is a distant star which along with our Sun all belong to a giant cosmic spiral family of 200 billion stars we call the Milky Way Galaxy.

Our galaxy is shaped kind of like putting two plates face to face together, thin around the outside with a big bulge in the center. And you'll notice that when you look at Sagittarius and Scorpius that the Milky Way bulges here and is much thicker and wider than the rest of the Milky Way. And that's because the bulging center of our galaxy lies in this direction over two dozen light years away. In fact the tip of Sagittarius' arrow is pointed directly at it. So find the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy and the heart of the scorpion with the help of an ancient archer. 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.

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 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#09-30 M

7/27/2009 thru 8/02/2009

"How To Find Two Wonders Of Summer's Skies :
The Heart Of The Scorpion
And The Heart of Our Galaxy"

Horkheimer: On any moonless night in August you can use an ancient archer's arrow to find two cosmic wonders. Look south for the fish hook shaped constellation Scorpius and directly behind it the teapot portion of Sagittarius. Sagittarius was a mythical creature, half man and half horse. A master archer whose bow and arrow are marked by the front half of the teapot. His arrow is aimed at both Antares, the giant red heart star of Scorpius which is 700 times wider than our Sun and also at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy which is the family of 200 billion stars to which our Earth and Sun belong. The Milky Way is widest between Sagittarius and Scorpius because the great bulging central hub of our galaxy lies beyond. So use Sagittarius to find the scorpion's heart and the heart of our galaxy. 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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