STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

5/18/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 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 # 01-23 / 1226th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/4/2001 through Sunday 6/10/2001

"The Two 'Morning Stars' Of June 2001!"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and as most of you know, the month of June really belongs to Mars because as I speak it is racing toward its closest and brightest meeting with earth on the first night of summer, June 21st; but this month also belongs to Venus because as bright as Mars will appear all night long this month, Venus will be even brighter in pre-dawn skies.

In fact, because Mars is visible from sunset to sunrise, it will appear opposite Venus before dawn; so we could say we have 2 spectacular ' morning stars' this month although in reality they are planets. Let me show you: O.K.., We've got our skies set up for 10 p.m. and if you look southeast you'll see brilliant Mars smack dab between the fish-hook shaped pattern of stars, Scorpius the scorpion, and the teapot shaped portion of Sagittarius. And if you watch Mars all night long, hour after hour it will steadily rise higher in the heavens until at 1 a.m.. Daylight time it will be at its highest and due south after which it will slowly descend toward the south west where, about an hour before sunrise, it will double as a morning star in pre-dawn skies. But if you turn around and look toward the east you will also see dazzling Venus, also doubling as a morning star.

And on Friday the 8th Venus will be at what we call 'greatest elongation' which simply means that it will be at its farthest visual distance from the sun for this go round. So if you go out an hour or so before sunrise this week and next you will see not only brilliant white Venus in the east, but also brilliant red-orange-gold Mars in the west, both masquerading as morning stars. And as you gaze at these two keep in mind that while Venus is the same size as our earth, 8, 000 miles wide and is 66 million miles away from us this week, Mars is only half the size of earth and Venus, 4,000 miles wide and is 43 million miles away from us this week but Mars will be 1 million miles closer and even brighter than it is now on June 21 when it has its closest meeting with earth since 1988. Wow!

Plus if you want to see something really beautiful this week you can watch an exquisite waning crescent glide past Venus. On Saturday the 16th the crescent moon will be to the right of Venus but on Sunday morning the 17th they will make a duo that will take your breath away. And on Monday the 18th they will make an even more exquisite sky picture. Plus you'll even be able to see The Pleiades, the seven sisters. And on Tuesday the 19th at dawn an even skinnier crescent moon will hover just above the horizon, below The Pleiades and to the right of Saturn which has just begun its reappearance. Once again: Saturday the 16th, Sunday the 17th, Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th. Venus and Mars, two morning stars for the wonderful month of June. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#01-23 M

6/04/2001 thru 6/10/2001

"The Two 'Morning Stars'
of June 2001!"

Horkheimer: Although Venus is a planet, historically it has often been called 'the morning star' because of its brilliancy. But because Mars is brighter this month than it's been in 13 years, it also looks like a morning star. Look southwest before sunrise and red-orange-gold Mars will take your breath away. Then turn around and face east and Venus will bedazzle you. And keep in mind that while Venus is 8,000 miles wide and 66 million miles away from us this week, Mars is only half its size, 4,000 miles wide and 43 million miles away which partially accounts for Venus being so much brighter. So this month we have not one but two planets masquerading as morning stars. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


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


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

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







STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

5/18/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 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 #01-24 /1227th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/11/2001 through Sunday 6/17/2001

"Mars At Opposition This Week!
And An Exquisite Venus/Moon Visit"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and yes indeed, this week the red planet Mars is at its closest opposition since 1988. Let me show you: O.K., If you look southeast, Wednesday June 13th, 1 hour after sunset, the night after Mars' opposition you'll see dazzling, brilliant Mars just above the horizon and to the left of the heart star of the scorpion, Antares, Mars' rival namesake. And Mars will indeed look red because you'll be looking at it through the thicker layers of earth's atmosphere which hug the horizon.

In fact, although we've always called Mars the red planet, the only time it really looks red-red is when it's very close to the horizon because as Mars rises higher we look at it through less dense layers of earth's dirty atmosphere and then it becomes its more familiar color which I think is even more beautiful, a kind of brassy-orangeish-gold which we can't duplicate on TV and which you'll have to see for yourself, live, outside under the night sky.

Now whenever we say a planet is at opposition, we simply mean that it is 180 degrees away from the sun, that is directly opposite the sun. So if we could fly out into space Wednesday night and look down on our solar system we would see the sun, earth and Mars all lined up in a row, earth in the middle. And because of this arrangement when ever any planet is at opposition it is visible more hours of the night than at any other time because if you think about it, if a planet is directly opposite the sun it should be visible in earth's skies all the hours that the sun is not, meaning all night long, and indeed, such is the case.

Because if you go out as the sun sets in the northwest you will indeed see Mars rising in the southeast and as hour after hour goes by Mars will rise higher and higher into the heavens until local midnight, which is 1 a.m. Daylight time when it will reach its highest point. In fact, Mars will be due south at 1 a.m. every night this week. Then as the night progresses, Mars will slowly descend toward the southwest and will set in the southwest just as the sun rises in the northeast.

And because Mars always looks redder when we look at it through thicker layers of earth's atmosphere, it will appear much redder close to sunset and sunrise this week than when it's at its highest at 1 a.m. when we look at it through fewer layers of atmosphere. And you can watch this color change for yourself because if you go out at 1 a.m. and look due south, instead of looking red, Mars will indeed look like an incredible burnished ball of brassy orangeish-gold, directly above the scorpion's tail.

Now even though Mars is the star planet this week and next, don't forget brilliant Venus which this Saturday will be joined by an exquisite crescent moon which will be even closer and more breathtaking on Sunday the 17th and Monday the 18th. In fact while you're out there compare Venus' dazzling white with Mars' bloody red. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.



Star Gazer Minute

#01-24 M

6/11/2001 thru 6/17/2001

"Mars At Opposition This Week!"

Horkheimer: This week the red planet Mars is at its closest opposition since 1988. And if we could look down on our solar system this week the sun, earth and mars would be lined up in a row, earth in the middle, Mars directly opposite the sun. Now whenever a planet is directly opposite the sun it is visible all the hours the sun is not, all night long. so look southeast at sunset and watch Mars as it climbs higher with Scorpius and Sagittarius hour after hour until at 1 a.m. it is at its highest due south. And then watch it slowly descend toward the south-west where it will set at sunrise. Mars is up all night! And at its brightest in 13 years. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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




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

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


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






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

5/18/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 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 # 01-25 / 1228th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/18/2001 through Sunday 6/24/2001

"The Fabulous Summer Solstice of 2001!"
Mars At Its Closest in 13 Years!
And The First Total Eclipse of The Sun
Of The Millennium

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. This week is the week of the Summer Solstice, and this solstice of 2001 is really special. By solstice, of course, I mean the first day of summer which occurs at precisely 3:38 a.m., Eastern daylight time, Thursday the 21st. And this solstice has 2 blockbuster celestial events because at 7:58 a.m. Eastern daylight time, the first total solar eclipse of the millennium will occur, though there is one small catch, you'll have to be in Africa to see it.

But what everyone can see, all over the world, will occur after sunset on this first night of summer because then the red planet Mars will be at its closest and brightest in 13 years! What a way to begin the summer of 2001. Now as most of you know, our earth is planet #3 from the sun and Mars is #4. But because earth moves much faster in its orbit than Mars, their distance from each other constantly varies. About every 2 years and 2 months Mars and earth come close to each other on the same side of the sun and we call this an opposition. But because our orbits are not perfect circles some oppositions are closer than others. And this opposition is the closest since 1988.

But in order to appreciate how wonderful this opposition really is, you have to know how far away Mars can get. You see, only 11 months ago in July 2000, Mars was way over on the other side of the sun from earth, 244 million miles away from us, but this week on the night of the Summer Solstice it is 202 million miles closer, only 42 million miles away which means that it will be almost 80 times brighter and 6 times bigger than it was last July. So Mars has really changed its appearance as seen from planet earth. In fact, Mars displays the greatest range of brightness and size of all the planets. That's why when Mars gets really close astronomers get really excited about it. They can see so much more detail.

To find it when it's high above the horizon look south between 10 and 12 p.m. For the fish hook shaped constellation Scorpius the scorpion and the teapot shaped portion of Sagittarius and there you'll see dazzling, brilliant brassy-orangeish-ruby-gold Mars at its brightest since 1988. And as you look at Mars try to think of how this planet must have fascinated our ancestors who had no idea what it really was and could not understand why this planet could become so incredibly bright every 2 years and then rapidly dim and eventually brighten again.

Of course, also think about what we now know about this tiny 4, 000 mile wide world which is only half the size of our planet earth because not only have we landed on it, but we have also mapped it so completely that we now know it has the largest grand canyon of the solar system, so huge it would stretch from one end of the United States to the other and a humongous volcano, Olympus Mons, 17 miles high and so gigantic it would cover the entire state of Georgia. Wow! So get out and see Mars now because in just a few weeks it will rapidly grow dimmer as it rapidly moves away from us. What a fabulous first night of summer! I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#01-25 M

6/18/2001 thru 6/24/2001

"The Fabulous Summer Solstice of 2001!"

Horkheimer: This year's Summer Solstice is very special. In the morning the first total solar eclipse of the millennium occurs over Africa. And in the evening Mars is at its closest and brightest in 13 years. Now the distance between Mars and earth constantly varies. Last July Mars was 244 million miles away but this week it is only 42 million miles away, 80 times brighter and 6 times bigger. To find 4,000 mile wide Mars look south between 10 and midnight and remind yourself that not only have we landed there, but we now know it has a grand canyon so long it would stretch completely across the United States and a 17 mile high volcano that would cover the state of Georgia. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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




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

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


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





STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

5/18/2001 9:30 - 10:00 am Eastern time (4 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 #01-26 /1229th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/25/2001 through Sunday 7/1/2001

"Earth Farthest From The Sun
On The 4th Of July!
The Moon Pays A Visit To Dazzling Mars!
And A 4 Planet Pre-Dawn Tease!"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings fellow star gazers and boy oh boy have we ever got a wonderful month of July for you! During the first week alone the moon visits Mars which is at its closest since 1988, earth is at its farthest from the sun and 4 planets are lined up getting ready for a super show in pre-dawn skies. Let me show you: O.K., We've got our skies set up for this week, the last week of June, an hour after sunset facing south-southeast where you will see the planet which is dozens of times brighter than it was just a few months ago and its brightest since 1988, 4,000 mile wide, red-orange-gold Mars just to the left of its color rival, red-orange-gold Antares, the star which marks the heart of the scorpion and which is usually brighter than Mars, but which is now completely dwarfed by Mars' current brilliance.

And if you watch Mars night after night, Mars will move even closer to Antares until the 19th after which it will retreat in an eastward direction. Now this Sunday the 1st, Mars and Antares will be approached by a brilliant waxing moon. But on Monday the 2nd an even bigger and more brilliant moon will make an exquisite equilateral triangle with them. On the 3rd an even bigger moon will hover just to the left of Mars and then on Wednesday the 4th of July an almost, but not quite, full moon will be smack dab above the lid of the teapot of Sagittarius. Unfortunately however, because the moon will be so incredibly bright, it will diminish the brilliance of 4th of July fireworks.

Now not only will we have an almost full moon on the 4th of July, this July 4th our earth will also be at aphelion. 'helion' comes from the Greek word ' helios' which means sun, and 'ap' means farthest from. So believe it or not, even though summer has just started in the northern hemisphere, on the 4th of July our earth will actually be at its farthest point from the sun, 3 million miles farther away than we were on January 4th when we were at perihelion, 'peri' meaning closest to the sun. So why is it warmer in July if we're actually farther from the sun than we were in January? Simple, because our earth is tilted, the rays of the sun are more direct and thus more intense in the northern hemisphere in July than they are in January. The distance doesn't make that much difference.

So not only will we have the moon pay a visit to Mars and Antares this first week of July, our earth will also be at aphelion on July 4th. Plus, this year an extra special goody, because if you go out side any morning the first week of July at dawn and look east you will see 4 planets, loosely lined up in a row, getting ready for some spectacular mid-month meetings. Brilliant Venus, followed by the ringed planet Saturn, and hovering closer to the horizon tiny pinkish Mercury. And even closer to the horizon, dazzling Jupiter. Wow! What a way to start the month named for Julius Caesar, good old July. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#01-26M

6/25/2001 thru 7/1/2001

"July Sky Goodies"

Horkheimer: During the first week of July the moon visits Mars which is still at its closest since 1988 plus the earth is at its farthest from the sun, plus 4 planets are lined up for a sky show. Look southeast July 2nd where the moon will make an equilateral triangle with dazzling Mars and the scorpion's heart star Antares. On the 3rd it will be just to the left of Mars and on July 4th smack dab above the lid of Sagittarius' teapot. Also on the 4th our earth will be at aphelion, its farthest from the sun for the year, over 3 million miles farther away than it was in January. Plus before dawn in the east 4 planets are lined up getting ready for some spectacular mid-month meetings. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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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