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 1001
Wednesday June 16, 2010, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1027, 1028, 1029, 1030


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 # 10-27 / 1700th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/5/2010 through
Sunday 7/11/2010

"Venus And The Moon Make a Lovely Duo
And How To Find Three Planets Lined Up In A Row"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next week starting Tuesday the 13th you'll be able to use an exquisite Moon as a finder as it glides by Regulus the great heart star of Leo the lion, the Earth-sized planet Venus, the red planet Mars, which we're still visiting with robotic spacecraft, plus the most beautiful planet in the heavens, ringed Saturn. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Tuesday July 13th about 45 minutes after sunset facing west where just above the horizon you'll see an exquisite crescent Moon complete with Earthshine which will look like a black grey full Moon nestled within the crescent. And if you have really clear skies and a super flat cloudless horizon you just may catch a glimpse of the smallest planet in our solar system, 3,000 mile wide Mercury. But it will be a real challenge and you'll probably need binoculars. You'll have to have an absolutely clear flat cloudless horizon to see it. But what you will see for sure even if you don't see Mercury will be the brightest star which marks the heart of the constellation Leo the lion. Its name is Regulus and it looks like it's the point in a backward question mark of stars followed by a triangle of stars. The triangle of stars marks Leo's rear, the backwards question mark or sickle shape marks Leo's forequarters.

Be that as it may, once you've found Regulus, only four degrees up to its left, which is eight full Moon widths away, because one half a degree is equal to one full Moon, is the brightest planet of them all super spectacular, often misidentified as a UFO, 8,000 mile wide Earth-sized Venus. And if you draw a line from Mercury past Regulus and Venus and extend it, it will pass by the planet which is only half the size of our Earth, rouge gold, 4,000 mile wide Mars. And 9 degrees above it, which is 18 full Moon widths away, is my favorite planet of all ringed Saturn whose rings appear very skinny right now because they are tilted almost edge on to us. Wonderful isn't it?

Tiny Mercury if you have a clear flat horizon, Leo's brightest star Regulus, the brightest planet of them all Venus, tiny rouge gold Mars and super big 75,000 mile wide Saturn lined up in a row on what we call the ecliptic, the path of the planets. Even so many people have a difficult time identifying heavenly objects without a guide. So here is where the Moon comes in. On Wednesday the 14th 45 minutes after sunset, a slender crescent Moon will form an exquisite triangle with Venus and Regulus which makes them both super easy to identify. 24 hours later an even fatter crescent Moon is just below rouge gold Mars. And on Friday July 16th the Moon will be just off to the side of Saturn, eleven degrees away.

Once again start your watch Tuesday July 13th with the Moon just above the horizon. Wednesday the 14th it makes a wonderful triangle with Regulus and Venus. On Thursday it's down below Mars and Friday it hovers off to the side of Saturn. It's so simple to find the planets if you sometimes use the Moon as your finder. Have fun Moon hopping and keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-27 M

7/5/2010 thru 7/11/2010

"Venus And The Moon Make a Lovely Duo
And How To Find Three Planets Lined Up In A Row"

Horkheimer: Next week the Moon will pair up with Venus and visit three planets lined up in a row. Next Monday an hour after sunset face west and you'll be blown away by a brilliant crescent Moon and an even more brilliant Venus. Tuesday they'll still look good together and Wednesday the Moon will hang just below Leo's bright star Regulus and rouge gold Mars. Thursday the Moon will be to Mars' left and Friday will hover just below Saturn. And if you look closely you'll see that Saturn, Mars and Venus are lined up almost in a perfect row on what astronomers call the path of the planets along which all the planets travel in their endless journey through the night sky. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Moon hop the planets. And keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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


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

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






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 1001
Wednesday June 16, 2010, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1027, 1028, 1029, 1030


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 #10-28 /1701st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 7/12/2010 through Sunday 7/18/2010

"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)

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

#10-28 M

7/12/2010 thru 7/18/2010

"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 1001
Wednesday June 16, 2010, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1027, 1028, 1029, 1030


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 # 10-29 / 1702nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/19/2010 through Sunday 7/26/2010

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

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#10-29 M

7/19/2010 thru 7/25/2010

"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:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Half Hour Feed STAH 1001
Wednesday June 16, 2010, 1230-1300/SD06
Includes episodes 1027, 1028, 1029, 1030


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 # 10-30 / 1703rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/26/2010 through Sunday 8/1/2010

"The Incredible Planet Threesome Of August 2010"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And are we ever going to open August with a cosmic super show because you'll be able to watch three planets forming a planetary triangle, come closer and closer until on Sunday night August 8th they'll all meet in a circle less than 5 degrees wide. And that my friends is super close! Plus we'll even throw in an appearance of the first planet from the Sun for the first week of August. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Sunday night August 1st 45 minutes after sunset facing west. And before we move on to our planet threesome let's handle the first planet out from the Sun first, tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury, which you'll see just above the horizon looking rather pinkish. It's called the pink planet because it never gets very high above the horizon so we always see it through dusty, dirty layers of our Earth's atmosphere which make it look pink. Binoculars will really help.

And now for the super goodie threesome simply look up to Mercury's left and the brightest planet of them all will be super dazzling, 8,000 mile wide, Earth-sized Venus. The reason it's so bright is that it is completely covered by clouds which act like a mirror and reflect brilliant Sunlight. It's so bright it has often been mis-identified as a UFO. Up to its left you'll see two wonderful planets both about the same brightness, but much dimmer than Venus, tiny half-the-size-of-our-Earth-and-Venus, 4,000 mile wide, rouge gold Mars, and just above it, super beautiful through a telescope, the ringed planet, 75,000 mile wide Saturn, whose rings look almost edge on to us right now.

You'll notice that these three planets form a nice triangle. The fun part is that we can watch it shrink and become a much tighter triangle night after night, finally ending up in a 5 degree wide triangle Sunday August 8th. This Sunday August 1st Mars and Saturn are only two degrees apart from each other. One half of a degree is as wide as a full Moon so we could fit four full Moons between Mars and Saturn. The distance between Venus and Saturn and Venus and Mars however is roughly 7 degrees, which means we could fit 14 full Moons between Venus and Saturn and Venus and Mars. Watch the changes. Monday August 2nd, Tuesday August 3rd, Wednesday August 4th, Thursday August 5th, Friday August 6th, Saturday August 7th and ta da! Sunday August 8th all three of them form a much different looking triangle and could fit in a circle less than 5 degrees wide, which is 10 full Moons wide. Wow!

So mark Sunday August 8th as the night you have to go out 45 minutes after sunset and see a super planet threesome just above the horizon. But remember even though they look close they are not. Indeed on Sunday August 8th Venus will be 72 million miles away, Mars will be 189 million miles away, Saturn however will be a whopping 951 million miles away which shows us that appearances from planet Earth can be very deceiving when it comes to the planets. Start your planet watch this Sunday August 1st and on Sunday August 8th you'll reap your planet reward. 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

#10-30 M

7/26/2010 thru 8/1/2010

"The Incredible Planet Threesome of August 2010"

Horkheimer: Next week you can watch three planets get closer and closer until on Sunday August 8th they'll all meet in a tight circle. Sunday August 1st 45 minutes after sunset face west and low on the horizon you'll see the smallest planet 3,000 mile wide Mercury, above it the brightest planet 8,000 mile wide Venus, above it 4,000 mile wide Mars and 75,000 mile wide Saturn. Venus, Mars and Saturn will form a nice triangle and you can watch that triangle shrink night after night. Monday August 2nd, Tuesday August 3rd, Wednesday August 4th, Thursday August 5th, Friday August 6th, Saturday August 7th, then ta da! Sunday August 8th all three of them will fit in a circle less than 5 degrees wide, which is super close. 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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