STAR HUSTLER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for June 1996 is as follows: The feed will be June 24 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. EasternTime on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. EasternTime on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #362-I


969th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/1/96 through Sunday 7/7/96

"What Jupiter Would Look Like If It Were Our Moon's Distance Away"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and as you may recall from our show a few weeks ago this is the week when the King of the Planets, Jupiter, is at opposition. Indeed, the very day it comes into opposition is Independence Day for the USA, the fourth of July. Now whenever a planet is at opposition it means that it is in the opposite direction from the Sun as seen from our planet Earth. It further means when the Sun sets in the west Jupiter will rise in the east, travel across the sky all night long, reach its highest point due south at midnight, and will set in the west at dawn as the Sun rises in the east. In fact, whenever any planet is at opposition you can see it in the sky all night long no matter what hour you are outside. Let me show you. Okay, we've got our skies set up for just after sunset any clear night for the next two or three weeks. And if you look over toward the southeast you'll see two old friends, the Scorpion looking like a capital letter 'J' , and right behind him the teapot-shaped portion of Sagittarius. And, just above the teapot's handle, giant brilliant Jupiter. Now as every amateur astronomer knows even the smallest, cheapest telescope will show you the wonderful bands of weather that encircle this humongous planet. Plus, four ever-changing pinpoints of light which are Jupiter's giant moons. In fact, you can see the moons of Jupiter easily with a cheap pair of binoculars if you hold them absolutely still or have them mounted on a tripod. And, although they look like pinpoints of light from Earth, two of them are almost exactly the same size as our two thousand mile wide Moon, while two others are a thousand mils wider. And, while we're all very used to seeing our quarter million mile away neighbor, the Moon, illuminate our nights, have you ever wondered what it would look like if we could move 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, which is 44 times the width of our Moon - and 390 million miles away this week - to where our Moon is? Only a quarter of a million miles away? Fairly easy to figure out because our two thousand mile-wide Moon appears only one-half a degree wide in our sky. So, since 88 thousand mile-wide Jupiter is 44 times wider than our Moon, it would take 44 of our Moons lined up in a row to equal Jupiter's diameter - which equals 22 degrees. Which means that if we could go outside any night this week, press a magic button and zoom Jupiter towards us to our Moon's distance it would look like this. And almost completely cover Sagittarius' teapot. But to be totally accurate we'd have to do one more thing. You see, because Jupiter is so incredibly huge it would be so bright that whenever it appeared abov the horizon in Earth's skies every star would be wiped out from view. Indeed, the only time we'd see the stars would be when Jupiter was well below the horizon. And Jupiter would not be our Moon, we'd be its. So, thank your lucky stars Jupiter is right where it should be - 390 million miles away this week at opposition - just waiting for you to go outside and remember to Keep Looking Up!


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

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


STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for June 1996 is as follows: The feed will be June 24 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

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

STAR HUSTLER Episode #363-I

970th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 7/8/96 through Sunday 7/14/96

"A Venus at Greatest Brilliancy/ Old Moon Spectacular! And A Red Mars/ Red Stars Triangle"

Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and boy, have we ever got some early morning goodies for you. I mean, you just can't miss what's happening this week and next. Let me show you. Okay we've got our skies set up for the middle of this week, Thursday July 11th at dawn. And if you look toward the east you'll see a fabulously brilliant planet - the second planet from the Sun, Venus - outdazzling everything in the just before sunrise sky. And off to its left, 8 1/2 degrees away, the red planet Mars, much dimmer and kind of a rougey red gold in color. Up and to the right of Venus an exquisitely slim, old crescent moon. And to complete the picture, directly between the Moon and Venus the V-shaped portion of the star cluster called The Hyades with its reddish eye star of the bull, Aldebaran shining bright. And to top it off, directly above the crescent moon our old friends, Autumn's seven sisters - The Pleiades. Oh what a package. But if you think this is good wait until you see what happens the next morning Friday, July 12th. Because on Friday the 12th an even older, slimmer crescent moon will have snuggled up so close to Venus that it will take your breath away. An absolutely rare coupling, which has been depicted on ancient cave walls and pottery for thousands of years. Indeed, on Friday morning the 12th at dawn, 5 am Eastern Daylight Time precisely, the moon will be only four tenths of one degree away from Venus which is less than one full moon away. What an awesome sight! Please, please don't miss this! Now on Saturday morning the 13th at dawn an even slimmer, older moon will be far below Venus and all next week you'll be able to see Venus about as bright as it ever gets, because next week is the week of Venus' greatest brilliancy for this entire go round. Indeed, it will outdazzle everything except the Sun and the Moon in the morning sky all week long. And if you look at it through a small telescope it will look like a wonderful crescent moon. Now, while you're out there, particularly note the distance between Mars and Venus. Then at least once a week beginning August 1st, go outside and watch them as they slowly come closer and closer together. Because on Wednesday morning, September 4th, Venus and Mars will pass within only three degrees of each other. And in the meantime, if you draw a line between red Mars and red Aldebaran above Venus, and another line between red Aldebaran and red Betelgeuse below Venus and another line back to Mars you'll end up with a wonderful red cornered cosmic triangle. And if you've got really dark skies see if you can distinguish the difference in shades of red between these three crimson beauties. It's tricky, but fun if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!

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

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


STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for June 1996 is as follows: The feed will be June 24 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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

STAR HUSTLER Episode #364-I

971st Show


To Be Aired : Monday 7/15/96 through Sunday 7/21/96

"The Biggest Planet, The Biggest Star and The Biggest Full Moon of the Year!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and if you're the kind of person who thinks bigger is better, well we've got a bigger and better week for you next week because in one fell swoop we're going to show you three of the biggest things that will dominate late July skies. Indeed, not only are we going to show you the biggest planet and how to find it once again, but, we're also going to show you the biggest star of summer and how to find it. And for our finder we're going to use our nearest neighbor in space which on Monday the 29th and Tuesday the 30th will be the biggest Full Moon of the entire year. Let me show you. Okay we've got our skies set up for Thursday night, July 25th just after it's gotten dark out. And if you go outside and look due south you will see a lovely waxing gibbous Moon, which translated simply means that the Moon is growing from small to big, waxing, that is, and is slightly humped looking. In fact, the word gbbous means humped. And the Moon does indeed look a little humped from first quarter to Full. Now if you look closely just below this gibbous Moon on Thursday the 25th, you'll see three stars almost in a row which mark the head of the Scorpion. And just to their left you'll see the brilliant heart of the Scorpion, the star Antares whose name literally means the Rival of Mars. Because whenever Mars is visually close to Antares they rival each other in color. Now on the next evening, Friday the 26th, ou will notice the Moon has gotten slightly fatter and has passed to the left of Antares. And Saturday the 27th, an even fatter Moon will be just to the right of an extremely bright object, the biggest planet of them all, Jupiter. On the night of the 28th it will have passed Jupiter and will be approaching Full. Then on the two nights when the Moon is Full, the 29th and 30th, if the Full Moon looks larger than usual to you, you'll be absolutely right because it will be the closest Full Moon of the entire year; only 222 thousand miles away, that's 33 thousand miles closer than the farthest and smallest Full Moon of the year on January 5th. In fact, it will appear 15% larger. But even though our two thousand mile wide Moon will look many times brighter than the neighbor it visited a couple of nights before, Jupiter, it is nevertheless dwarfed by Jupiter because Jupiter is so huge that it would take 44 of our Moons lined up, side by side, to reach across Jupiter's middle. And as big as Jupiter, and even though it appears brighter than the star Antares, Antares in reality makes it look like a cosmic pee wee. Because Antares is so humongous it would take 6,800 Jupiters lined up side by side to stretch across Antares middle. In fact, because Antares is 600 million miles wide, if we placed one edge of it where our Sun is, its edge would reach out past Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and over two hundred million miles beyond Jupiter. You see, I told you it was going to be a big week and its all for you for free if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!

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

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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for June 1996 is as follows: The feed will be June 24 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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

STAR HUSTLER Episode #365-I

972nd Show


To Be Aired : Monday 7/22/96 through Sunday 7/28/96

'Blaze Star' : The Incredible Mystery of the Lost Jewel of the Northern Crown - Part 1


Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and this week I'm going to show you one of the most exquisite tiny constellations of them all which is easy to find if you have fairly dark skies away from city lights and use our old Arcturus trick. Let me show you. Okay, we've got our skies set up for this week between 9 and 10 pm your local daylight savings time. And if you look to the left of due north, that is northwest, you'll find our old friend the Big Dipper. Then using our standard old trick of drawing an imaginary line following the arc of the dipper's handle we will arc to the closest bright star, Arcturus. Remember? Arc to Arcturus? But then instead of continuing that arc speeding on to Spica in the constellation Virgo, we will instead this time simply hang a right at Arcturus, look slightly east of it, for a star that is not nearly as bright as Arcturus but the brightest one in the near neighborhood. its name is Alphecca and it is the brightest star in a half circle of star we call Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown which at this time is almost directly overhead. And the reason Alphecca is so much brighter than the other stars in the crown is because it is so much closer being only 75 light years away. And to make sure you've found Alphecca and the Northern Crown and haven't gone too far to the east and stumbled onto the Summer Triangle, well just keep in mind that between 9 and 10 pm for the next two weeks the Northern Crown will be almost overhead and on the meridian. That is on an imaginary line that we can draw from due North to the top of the sky and down to due South. Now, although Alphecca is a lovely star in the crown there is a far more interesting one. It is called T-Coronae Borealis, or more popularly "Blaze Star", not to be confused with the one who lit up Earl Long's career. At any rate, long ago something very peculiar happened to this star which is so dim that it can only be seen through a telescope. You see just one year after the end of the Civil War on May 12, 1866 astronomers saw this star erupt into such blazing brilliance that by the end of the night it was actually brighter than the brightest star in the crown, Alphecca. Amazed by this incredible outburst they calculated that its light had increased 2,500 times. But, was this newly visible star to last? Was it destined to be the newest and brightest diamond in the old Northern Crown? Well, by the next night it had already begun to fade and just one week later it was once again invisible to the naked eye. What in heavens name happened to it? And would it ever be seen again? Well the answer is 'yes', but it would not be seen again by those who had originally witness it. In fact, just as it had blazed forth at the end of one great war so, too would it blaze forth at the end of another. And next week we'll conclude our tale of the mystery of this lost jewel in the Northern Crown, which is a cosmic tale you won't forget. In the meantime, however, find the Northern Crown for yourself and its current brightest star, Alphecca. It's easy if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

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

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


STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for June 1996 is as follows: The feed will be June 24 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for July 1996 is as follows: The feed will be July 29 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for August 1996 is as follows: The feed will be August 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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

STAR HUSTLER Episode #366-I

973rd Show


To Be Aired : Monday 7/29/96 through Sunday 8/4/96

The Incredible Mystery of the Lost Jewel of the Northern Crown : Part 2, Conclusion

Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and let me briefly recap last week's show. You may recall that I showed you that to find the Northern Crown, Corona Borealis, you simply go outside between 9 and 10 pm your local time this week, find the Big Dipper and using its handle arc to Arcturus, then hang a right and go east from Arcturus to the closest bright star which is Alphecca, the brightest star in the Northern Crown. This week it is almost overhead between 9 and 10 pm. To further recap I said that one year after the Civil War, May 12,1866, a star, completely invisible to the naked eye exploded 2500 times its normal brightness and became for one short night, and one night only, the brightest star in the crown, then dimmed and disappeared one week later. Named T-Coronae Borealis, astronomers of that time couldn't figure out what happened to it. And not a one of them ever saw it visible to the naked eye again. The century ended and a new one began. Then came another great war, World War 1, came and went and yet another. And the exquisite Northern Crown looked as it always had for thousands of years before and as it does tonight. But then, one year after the second great war, World War 2, on the night of February 9th, 1946 T-Coronae Borealis did it again in an almost exact repeat performance of 80 years before - one year after the Civil War. What in heavens name was going on? Well, although the astronomers of 1946 didn't understand the complete picture they were able to determine that the outer layers of this star had exploded and were expanding away from the star at the rate of over 2,700 miles per second. And later studies showed that while the brightest star in the crown, Alphecca, was only 75 light years away, this exploding star, T-Coronae Borealis was 2600 light years beyond which meant that for it to become even brighter than Alphecca it would have had to have blazed in just a few hours time from its normal 50 times brighter than our Sun to over 200 thousand times brighter than our Sun. What could cause this? Well, astronomers now know that T-Coronae Borealis is actually two stars, a giant red star with a blue -white dwarf companion; and that normally gas is gravitationally interchanged between the two. But every so often the super hot dwarf star reaches a critical level of gas collected from the cool red giant star, its outer layers of gas violently explode and fling their material throughout the heavens causing the dwarf star to become thousands upon thousands of times brighter in just a few seconds. And then after the gas is shed, the star quickly dims back to its normal invisible-to-the-naked-eye brightness and the whole slow process of accumulating gas to yet another critical level begins. So, will the now invisible-to-the-naked-eye lost jewel in the crown, T-Coronae Borealis, brighten again? In our lifetime? Will we have to wait another 80 years from 1946 to see? Who knows? But one night if you're lucky, perhaps you may see the lost jewel of the Northern Crown blazing away in all its brilliance, for one brief night and one night only, if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!

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

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


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