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!

One Hour Feed STAH 812
Wednesday May 20, 2009, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0922, 0923, 0924, 0925, 0926


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 # 09-22 / 1643rd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/01/2009 through
Sunday 6/07/2009

"How To Find The Two Largest Planets
Using The Moon As A Finder"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. This month of June 2009 you have two wonderful opportunities to find the two largest planets easy as pie by using the Moon as a finder, one of them just before sunrise and the other just after sunset. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Saturday morning June 13th about an hour before sunrise facing southeast where the brightest thing you'll see will be a 21 day old waning, that is shrinking, gibbous Moon. And only 4 degrees away, which means only 8 full Moons away you'll see the biggest planet, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. So here's your chance to find Jupiter using the Moon. Jupiter will be very bright but not quite as bright as the brightest planet Venus which is off to its side. Now if you have a pair of binoculars you should take a look at Jupiter and the Moon because you'll be surprised at how much detail you'll see.

In fact you'll see all four of Jupiter's four largest Moons looking like pinpoints of light as they orbit around it. Three of the Moons are larger than our own 2,000 mile wide Moon. And on Saturday morning they will be in the following order in relatIon to Jupiter. To the far left Callisto, followed by Europa, followed by Ganymede, with Io on the other side. 24 hours later on Sunday June 14th the Moon will have moved well to the other side of Jupiter. But if you look at Jupiter's four Moons you'll notice a change. While Callisto and Ganymede will still be on the left side of Jupiter, Europa and Io will have changed places.

And it is this Jupiter Moon ballet which first caught the attention of Galileo Galilei in 1610 and which was the one piece of early scientific information, which really made the modern scientific revolution happen because discovering that Jupiter had objects orbiting about it turned the world of science and religion upside down 400 years ago, an event we are celebrating this year, the International Year of Astronomy.

So you early birds have got a fabulous Moon and Jupiter on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th. But if you don't like getting up with the chickens wait until Saturday June 27th just after sunset and around 9 p.m. look west and you'll see a magnificent 5 day old waxing, which means growing, Moon. And just up to its right you'll see the second largest planet, 75,000 mile wide, Saturn whose rings are appearing almost edge on to us right now. It is still a dramatic sight through a small telescope and with a bit of luck you may even be able to see its largest Moon Titan which is just slightly smaller than Jupiter's biggest Moon Ganymede. But remember to see Saturn and Titan you'll need a small telescope. To see Jupiter and its Moons all you need is a pair of binoculars.

So there you have it Saturn after sunset and Jupiter before sunrise, the two largest planets in our solar system, although if we include Saturn's rings in measuring it, it is actually twice as wide as Jupiter. Wow! Keep looking up!

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Star Gazer Minute

#09-22 M

6/01/2009 thru 6/07/2009

"How To Find The Two Largest Planets
Using The Moon As A Finder"


Horkheimer: You can use the Moon to find the two largest planets, one before sunrise and the other after sunset. Saturday June 13th before sunrise face southeast and a beautiful waning gibbous Moon will be just above the planet king, 88,000 mile wide, Jupiter. Through binoculars you'll see its four largest moons three of which are larger than our own Moon. Callisto, Europa, Ganymede and Io. 24 hours later Europa and Io will have changed places. On Saturday the 27th right after sunset face west and an exquisite waxing crescent Moon will be just below 75,000 mile wide Saturn. Through a small telescope you'll see its largest Moon Titan. An interesting thing about Saturn, if we count its rings in measuring it, it is exactly twice as wide as Jupiter. 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!

One Hour Feed STAH 812
Wednesday May 20, 2009, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0922, 0923, 0924, 0925, 0926


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 #09-23 /1644th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/08/2009 through Sunday 6/14/2009

"Join Us In Our Annual Day Star Day Celebration
This Summer Solstice Weekend!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every year on the summer solstice we ask you to experience a great star rise over our Earth's horizon. A star so huge we could fit over one and a quarter million Earths inside it. It sounds simple enough but few people ever pay close enough attention to ever really experience the rising of the only star we can see in the day time, the star we call our Sun, a star I like to call our day star. This year we're suggesting that you celebrate "Day Star Day" on the weekend of the summer solstice and since the summer solstice is Sunday June 21st we suggest you celebrate on Saturday or Sunday.

Now I know some of you are thinking that I'm talking about a sunrise and that you've seen thousands of them. But believe it or not although you may have seen thousands of sunrises very few people have ever taken the time to completely experience what's happening all around them as the Sun rises because sunrise involves a complex series of steps as night slowly turns into dawn and finally into day. And believe me if you follow our simple instructions you will be amazed at what you've missed because you will experience one of the grandest events in nature which most people ignore.

To participate here is all you have to do. Simply get up fifteen minutes before twilight begins while it is still dark out on the day you've chosen and whether you live in the heart of a city or out in the country makes no difference because it's not the Sun itself you're going to observe but the effects of sunrise on everything around you as your part of the world slowly turns from night into day. It is better to be outside but if not just sit by an open window. Now for the rules, which are absolutely essential: no radio, no television, no doing your normal wake up routine. All distractions must be eliminated. Simply sit quietly inside or outside and when you see the sky slowly start to brighten look, listen and feel what happens all around you because a sunrise is more than visual. Watch the delicate interplay of light, color and shadow, but also listen and you will hear the sounds of our world and its creatures waking up. You'll feel the wind change, the temperature change and much, much more.

Keep track of all the subtle changes you notice and record your observations on paper or into a voice recorder. Then read or listen to your observations a few days later. Believe me if you've never done this before you'll be absolutely amazed at what a star rise over a small planet can do for you. Of course remember to never look directly at the Sun at any time, as you can do permanent eye damage before you feel any real pain. Only observe the effects of the Sun and the world around you. I truly think that many of you will gain a whole different perspective of your place on this planet and our planet's place in the universe, a perspective that you may find life altering. Happy "Day Star Day", my friends, and keep looking up!

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Star Gazer Minute

#09-23 M

6/08/2009 thru 6/14/2009

"Join Us In Our Annual Day Star Day Celebration
This Summer Solstice Weekend!"

Horkheimer: On this year's summer solstice Sunday June 21st, we invite you to celebrate the rising of our local star the Sun because most people have never really experienced a sunrise. Get up before twilight begins to observe not the Sun itself but the incredible effects of a sunrise on everything all around you. Sit quietly and tune in with all your senses. Listen to the different sounds of nature as our Earth wakes up. Feel the wind and temperature change and watch the delicate interplay of light, color and shadow. We call our Sun our Day Star because it is the only star we can see in the daytime and if you've never paid really close attention to a sunrise you will be amazed at what you've missed. So celebrate Day Star Day with us Sunday the 21st. 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!

One Hour Feed STAH 812
Wednesday May 20, 2009, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0922, 0923, 0924, 0925, 0926


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 # 09-24 / 1645th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/15/2009 through Sunday 6/21/2009

"Mars And Venus Are At Their Closest On The Summer Solstice.
The First Day Of Summer!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Get ready to say goodbye to spring and hello to summer because this Sunday June 21st summer officially begins in the northern hemisphere at 1:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time or your local equivalent. Which means that summer will officially begin at 11:46 p.m. on the 20th in the Rocky Mountain time zone and 10:46 p.m. on the 20th Pacific Daylight Time. At any rate, whatever time zone you're in the beginning of summer is actually an astronomical event and marks the precise moment our Sun reaches its highest point north of the celestial equator. And just coincidentally, this year on the solstice Earth's two neighboring planets will be at their very closest for the entire year and will be a wonderful sight for all of you who get up just before the Sun does. Let me show you.

O.K. we've got our skies set up for this Friday morning June 19th about an hour before sunrise facing east northeast where you will see an exquisite 26 day old, waning, that is shrinking, crescent Moon complete with Earthshine which will look like a dark full Moon nestled within the crescent. And directly below them our two planet neighbors, super brilliant 8,000 mile wide. Earth-sized, Venus and half its size, 4,000 mile wide and much dimmer, Mars. They will be only 2 degrees 4 minutes apart and since a full Moon is _ a degree wide this means that slightly more than 2 full Moons could fit between them. On the next day Saturday June 20th the Moon will have moved well past this sensational duo and will be even skinnier. And Mars and Venus will be even closer only 1 degree 59 minutes apart, which means that slightly less than two full Moons could fit between them. But ta da on Sunday the 21st, the first morning of summer, Mars and Venus will be at their very closest! Only 1 degree 57 minutes apart. Wow! A summer solstice coincidence.

And if it's raining out on Sunday you can go out on the second day of summer, Monday the 22nd and they'll still be extremely close, only 2 degrees 1 minute apart. Wow again! Once more on Friday the 19th the Moon, Mars and Venus will all be close to each other. On Saturday Mars and Venus will move a bit closer and on Sunday, the first day of summer, they will be at their closest for the year! Don't miss this please. And if you have binoculars or a small telescope this sight will be even more wonderful. What a way to start summer.

But once again let me remind you that this closeness is all an illusion due to our perspective from here on Earth. In reality on the first day of summer our Moon will be only 225 thousand miles away whereas Venus will be 77 million miles away. Mars however will be a whopping 179 million miles away! And as a piece of cosmic trivia, on the third day of summer, Tuesday the 23rd, the former ninth planet Pluto will reach opposition which means it will be directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth. And even though you won't be able to see it, it will be a whopping 2.9 billion miles from Earth. So get thee out on the first morning of summer and watch the goddess of love and the god of war meet. Keep looking up!


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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Star Gazer Minute

#09-24 M

6/15/2009 thru 6/21/2009

"Mars And Venus Are At Their Closest On The Summer Solstice.
The First Day Of Summer!"

Horkheimer: This Sunday June 21st is the first day of summer for the northern hemisphere and just coincidentally Venus and Mars will be at their closest for the entire year. An hour before sunrise face east northeast and you'll see super bright 8,000 mile wide Venus and right next to it much dimmer 4,000 mile wide Mars. They will be less than 2 degrees away from each other, which means we could fit only 2 full Moons between them. That's close! But although they look close we must remember it is an illusion due to our perspective here on Earth. In reality Venus will be 77 million miles away whereas Mars will be over twice as far away, 179 million miles! Wow! Happy first day of summer 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:

One Hour Feed STAH 812
Wednesday May 20, 2009, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0922, 0923, 0924, 0925, 0926


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 # 09-25 / 1646th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/22/2009 through Sunday 6/28/2009

"The Wonderful Stars Of Summer
And How To Find Them"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. This week is the first week of summer for the northern hemisphere but since it doesn't really get dark out until 10 p.m. or so for people at more northerly latitudes this means that a lot of you will have to stay up a little later to do your summer star gazing. But summer stars are worth it. Let me show you how to find them.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next 10 to 11 p.m. facing north where you'll see the Little Dipper at its very highest above the North Star. In fact, the North Star is the star in the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. Now the Little Dipper is not nearly as large or bright as the Big Dipper, which is directly to its left in the northwest. Four stars mark its cup and three stars mark its handle. And once you've found it you can shoot an arrow through its handle to find the 3rd brightest star in the sky, Arcturus which is the major star of Bootes the Herdsman although the entire constellation looks something like a kite. You can extend that arrow from Arcturus over to the brightest star of Virgo Spica. Remember? Arc to Arcturus, speed on to Spica!

Now, we can tell from the stars alone that spring is almost over because spring's most famous constellation is just above the western horizon. A sickle shaped pattern or backward question mark of stars mark the front part of Leo the Lion and a triangle of stars mark his rear. And he looks like he's getting ready to lunge below the horizon before summer kicks him out of evening skies.

Next if you turn 180 degrees around and face east you can see the three incredibly bright stars which mark the points of a very large triangle, the brightest of which is Vega, the second brightest Altair and the third Deneb, the three stars which mark the points of the great Summer Triangle. And every summer in mid June just after it gets good and dark out we always see this triangle of three celestial dazzlers rising over the eastern horizon.

Of course, my personal favorite stars of summer are always somewhere in the south - southeast, due south, or southwest. So just look south and there you'll see a giant fish hook shaped pattern of stars which is none other than summer's infamous Scorpius the scorpion, which is always trailed by the teapot shaped portion of stars which make up part of the constellation Sagittarius the centaur. So there you have it any direction you look you'll see wonderful stars during the first nights of summer. Keep looking up!


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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
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Star Gazer Minute

#09-25 M

6/22/2009 thru 6/28/2009

"The Wonderful Stars Of Summer
And How To Find Them"

Horkheimer: Summer officially began last Sunday and if you wait until it gets good and dark out you'll see wonderful stars in every direction. Face north and the Big Dipper's handle points to the brightest star of summer Arcturus while in the west spring's Leo the Lion is getting ready to plunge below the horizon. In the east you'll see Vega, Deneb and Altair, the three very bright stars which make up the Summer Triangle and announce the beginning of summer. Finally look south for the fish hook shaped Scorpius the Scorpion followed by the teapot portion of Sagittarius. Summer star gazing is wonderful! 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:

One Hour Feed STAH 812
Wednesday May 20, 2009, 1000-1100
Includes episodes 0922, 0923, 0924, 0925, 0926


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 # 09-26 / 1647th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/29/2009 through Sunday 7/05/2009

"Earth At Aphelion On The 4th Of July
And The Reason For The Seasons"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. If someone asked you, "Why is it hotter in July than in January?" Could you give the correct answer? Well many people would tell you that the reason it's hotter in July than in January is because our Earth is closer to the Sun in July than in January. But believe it or not that is about as far from the truth as you can get because our Earth was at its closest point to the Sun for the year on January 4th and will be at its farthest point this week on the 4th of July. So why isn't it colder now if we're farther away from the Sun? Let me explain.

O.K., we're out in make believe space with a make believe Sun and Earth and if our path around the Sun, its orbit, were a perfect circle and if our Earth were not at all tilted the weather and the seasons would be approximately the same everywhere on Earth all year long, year after year after year. But about 400 years ago an astronomer named Kepler discovered that our Earth does not travel in a perfect circle but rather in a stretched out circle called an ellipse and that our Earth is not at the center of that ellipse. So as it makes its annual trip around the Sun Earth's distance from the Sun changes. It's always closest in January and always farthest in July. But this doesn't account for the seasons, does it?

The major cause of the different seasons is due to the tilt of our Earth. Now next week on the 4th of July we'll be in the heat of summer but only in the northern hemisphere, everything above the equator. Everywhere south of the equator will be experiencing winter. You see our Sun always puts out relatively the same amount of light and heat. But in northern hemisphere summer our Earth is in the place in its orbit where the northern hemisphere is tilted more directly toward the Sun and thus the Sun's rays strike more directly on the northern hemisphere than the southern hemisphere.

So right now in the northern hemisphere the Sun's rays are more direct and thus it's hotter in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere where the Sun's rays are less direct, so it's colder. Conversely when our Earth is on the other side of the Sun in January even though it's at its closest point for the year our northern hemisphere is tilted so that the Sun's rays are less direct upon it so we have the cold of winter whereas the southern hemisphere is tilted more directly toward the Sun's rays, so it's summer time for the southern hemisphere and the temperature is hot in January. It's really as simple as that.

The reason for the season is because of our Earth's tilt. Our distance from the Sun has very little to do with it. In fact when our Earth was closest to the Sun on January 4th it was only 91 _ million miles away. But since that time it has moved over 3 million miles farther away and on this upcoming July 4th will be 94_ million miles away. And that 3 million miles difference doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference temperature wise. So this 4th of July ask some friends why it's hotter in July than in January and see what kind of answers you get. Keep looking up!


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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
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 Click Here

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Star Gazer Minute

#09-26 M

6/29/2009 thru 7/05/2009

"Earth At Aphelion On The 4th Of July
And The Reason For The Seasons"

Horkheimer: This 4th of July our earth will be at aphelion, at its farthest point from the Sun for the entire year, over three million miles farther way than it was in January. So why is it hotter in July than in January? It all has to do with our Earth's tilt. In July our northern hemisphere is tilted more directly toward the Sun and thus the Sun's direct rays make the weather warmer in the northern hemisphere whereas the less direct rays make it colder in the southern hemisphere. So it's summer now above the equator but winter below it. Conversely in January our northern hemisphere is tilted away from the direct rays of the Sun making it colder, even though our Earth is closer in January. Happy Earth at Aphelion 4th of July day! 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


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