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 1012
Wednesday May 18, 2011, 1230-1330/SD06
Includes episodes 1123, 1124, 1125, 1126


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 on YouTube

 

 
 

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 11-23 / 1748th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/6/2011 through
Sunday 6/12/2011

"Those Starry Summer Nights Are Coming"


James: Hey there star gazers I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida and I'll be your guide to the sky this month on Star Gazer. Summer officially begins for the northern hemisphere on Tuesday June 21st at 1:16 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. But the skies are already loaded with wonderful summer constellations and planets. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next, 10 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 but if you have dark skies you can see it. The handle is drawn from the North Star through two very dim stars, which then connects to two more dim stars to draw part of the bowl and then another dim star and finally a bit brighter star Kochab finishes off the bowl of the Little Dipper. Now the Big Dipper is a much brighter and larger star pattern and is directly to the Little Dipper's left in the northwest. Four stars mark its cup and three stars mark its handle.

And once you've found the Big Dipper you can shoot an arrow through its handle across the sky almost overhead and down into the western sky to find one of the 'final four' brightest stars in the sky, Arcturus. It is the brightest star of Bootes the herdsman, which looks something like a kite. Then if you extend that arrow from Arcturus it might land on Spica the brightest star of Virgo.

Now I say might, because this year there are two lights that will make good targets for your arrow. The light to the left is the star Spica in the zodiacal constellation Virgo the virgin. 14 degrees to Spica's right is the ringed planet Saturn. Now Saturn is just a bit brighter than Spica to your eye and if you look carefully is slightly more yellow in appearance. Take a look and see for yourself.

Next look just above the western horizon and you'll see spring's most famous constellation Leo the lion. A sickle shaped pattern or backwards question mark of stars marks the front part of Leo and a triangle of stars marks his rear. And in a couple of weeks he'll dive below the horizon as summer's stars replace him.

Next if you turn 180 degrees around and face east you'll see the three incredibly bright stars which mark the points of the giant Summer Triangle. The brightest is Vega in Lyra the harp, the second brightest, Altair, in Aquila the eagle and the third brightest, Deneb, in Cygnus the swan. And every year as summer begins we always see these three celestial dazzlers rising over the eastern horizon announcing that summer is here.

Look south and you'll see my favorite stars of summer, the giant fish hook shaped pattern of stars Scorpius the scorpion, which is always trailed by the teapot shaped pattern of stars, which is part of Sagittarius the centaur. So there you have it every direction you look you'll see wonderful stars as we await the beginning of summer, 2011.

In the south Scorpius and Sagittarius; in the east the three brilliant stars of the Summer Triangle; in the north, both the Little and Big Dippers, then following the handle of the Big Dipper into the west Arcturus and Spica and Saturn. And finally, hugging the western horizon, Leo the lion bidding us farewell.

And in the morning skies throughout June you'll be treated to three planets in the eastern sky before dawn. Venus will be hovering just above the horizon before dawn while Mars and Jupiter will get higher each morning. There are a couple of good Moon/ planet scoochies that you don't want to miss. Saturday June 25th before dawn in the eastern sky the waning crescent Moon will be above Jupiter. The next day the 26th the Moon will be even closer to Jupiter. Then on Tuesday June 28th a super skinny, 27 day old crescent Moon will be in between Mars and The Pleiades. This summer is going to show you lots of wonderful starry nights so remember to keep looking up!

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

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

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
 
 
 

Star Gazer Minute

#11-23 M

6/06/2011 thru 6/12/2011

"Those Starry Summer Nights Are Coming"

James: Summer officially begins for the northern hemisphere on Tuesday June 21st at 1:16 p.m. Eastern Time. But the skies are already loaded with wonderful summer constellations and planets. Let me show you. O.K., face north around 10 p.m. next week where you'll see the Little Dipper at its very highest above the North Star. The North Star is the star at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. Now the Big Dipper is directly to the Little Dipper's left in the northwest. Then shoot an arrow through the Big Dipper's handle across the sky almost overhead and down into the western sky to find Arcturus. Then if you extend that arrow from Arcturus it will land on Spica the brightest star of Virgo. 14 degrees to Spica's right is the ringed planet Saturn. This summer is going to bring you lots of wonderful starry nights so remember to 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 1012
Wednesday May 18, 2011, 1230-1330/SD06
Includes episodes 1123, 1124, 1125, 1126


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 #11-24 /1749th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/13/2011 through Sunday 6/19/2011

"Join Us In Our Annual Day Star Day Celebration On This Summer Solstice Weekend 2011!"

James: Hey there star gazers I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida and I'll be your guide to the sky this month on Star Gazer. 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 daytime, the star we call our Sun, a star I like to call our Day Star. Now since the summer solstice officially occurs at 1:16 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday the 21st which is a work day, I am suggesting you celebrate Day Star Day on Saturday or Sunday, the 18th and 19th.

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 on the world around you.

And while you're out there in the predawn waiting for the Sun, you may also notice a few bright points of bright light over there in the east. Half way up the sky you'll easily spot a bright light which is the planet Jupiter. And if you keep getting up for several days and doing a little dawn gazing you'll be rewarded on June 26th with a skinny 25 day old moon about 5 1/2 degrees off to the left of Jupiter. Down and to the left of Jupiter, just above the horizon, as the morning light gets stronger you'll have a chance to catch a last glimpse of Venus as it lingers in the morning sky for a few more days. Venus will disappear soon and won't be seen again until it pops out into the evening sky in September. Look about 2/3rds of the way between Jupiter and Venus for a faint reddish orange light and that will be Mars. The brighter red star below Mars is Aldebaran the bright red eye of Taurus. If getting up so early to see the planets is too great a stress for you forget the planets and just watch the sunrise on the day of the solstice. 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. 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

#11-24 M

6/13/2011 thru 6/19/2011

"Join Us In Our Annual Day Star Day Celebration

On This Summer Solstice Weekend 2011!"

James: On this year's summer solstice Tuesday 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 really paid close attention to a sunrise you will be amazed at what you've missed. So celebrate Day Star Day with us Tuesday the 21st or if you prefer, on the weekend, the 18th or 19th. 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 1012
Wednesday May 18, 2011, 1230-1330/SD06
Includes episodes 1123, 1124, 1125, 1126


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 # 11-25 / 1750th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/20/2011 through Sunday 6/26/2011

"A Bunch Of Celestial Triple Headers Next Week"


James: Hey there star gazers I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida and I'll be your guide to the sky this month on Star Gazer. Next week you have multiple chances to see three celestial objects line up in a row. Let's start with the early morning trio first.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday morning June 27th about 4:45 a.m. Remember it's summer time and morning twilight has already started. Look east and you'll spot a skinny, 26 day old, waning crescent Moon. It's between one and two fists high. Down to its left is a little cluster of stars called The Pleiades. If you look carefully they might look like a Little Dipper but the Little Dipper it is not. If you wait too long the morning twilight will wipe them out so get out early.

Up to the right of the Moon you'll easily spot a bright white spot of light in your morning sky, the planet Jupiter. So that's triple header number one, The Pleiades, the 26-day-old Moon and the king of the planets, Jupiter. For the next triple you'll have to wait a little bit. As time goes by The Pleiades and everything else will rise higher. Look below The Pleiades for a reddish orange spot of light, our old friend planet Mars. Mars is not very bright right now because it's on the other side of the solar system and is more than twice as far away as the Sun. Below Mars look close to the horizon for Aldebaran in Taurus the bull. So The Pleiades plus Mars and Aldebaran make the second of our triple line-ups.

Then if you go out the next morning, Tuesday June 28th, same time, same direction and the Moon has gotten a day older and is now about three degrees below The Pleiades and almost in line with Mars and Aldebaran. It will be worth getting out of bed for, believe me. Let's take a look at that one more time, Monday June 27th, The Pleiades, the crescent Moon and the king of the planets, Jupiter. Then line up number two, The Pleiades, Mars and Aldebaran. Then Tuesday the 28th a really skinny, waning crescent Moon is worming its way into the other line up of The Pleiades, Mars and Aldebaran.

Now I know some of you are reluctant to get up this early in the morning so just for you I have scheduled a couple of evening triple line-ups. Go out after sunset June 28th and look northwest. And as it gets even darker you'll first see the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury. As it gets darker you'll be able to spot the twins of Gemini, Pollux and Castor. Mercury will be noticeably brighter than Pollux and Castor but you have already noticed that these three aren't quite in a straight line. Just be patient. The next night June 29th Mercury will have moved a bit closer to a straight line and the next night June 30th things will be even better.

This is a great opportunity to see the reason why planets are called planets, they move against the background of the sky while stars do not. The word planet comes from a Greek word that means wanderer. The Greeks noticed that five of the bright stars in their night sky moved and logically enough referred to them as the wandering stars, asteres planetes.

Well Mercury will give you a good demonstration of this motion over the next few nights if you care to watch. June 28th Mercury will be here, June 29th, here, June 30th, here, July 1st, here, July 2nd, here, and then July 3rd look who joins the party. A three day old waxing crescent Moon is off to the left of Mercury and guess what? It's making up the next triple line-up for us with Mercury and Pollux.

So next week has an abundance of triple line-ups for us to enjoy; in the morning, in the east on the 27th The Pleiades, the Moon and Jupiter, plus The Pleiades, Mars and Aldebaran; then on the 28th, The Pleiades, the Moon, Mars and Aldebaran. Then in the evening from June 28th through July 3rd watch Mercury dance past Pollux and Castor and form one last triple with the Moon and Pollux on July 3rd. 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

#11-25 M

6/20/2011 thru 6/26/2011

"A Bunch Of Celestial Triple Headers Next Week"


James: Next week you have multiple chances to see three celestial objects line up in a row. We've got our skies set up for Monday morning June 27th about 4:45 a.m. look east and you'll spot a waning crescent Moon. Down to its left is a little cluster of stars called The Pleiades. Up to its right you'll spot a bright white light, Jupiter. Look below The Pleiades for our old friend, the planet Mars. Below Mars look for Aldebaran, the red eye of Taurus the bull. The next morning, the 28th, the Moon is below The Pleiades and almost in line with Mars and Aldebaran. Go out after sunset June 30th and look northwest. You'll first see the planet Mercury. As it gets darker you'll be able to spot the twins of Gemini, Pollux and Castor. And then July 3rd look who joins the party. A three day old waxing crescent Moon is making up the next triple line-up for us with Mercury and Pollux. 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 1012
Wednesday May 18, 2011, 1230-1330/SD06
Includes episodes 1123, 1124, 1125, 1126


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 # 11-26 / 1751st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/27/2011 through Sunday 7/3/2011

"A Lunar Liaison With Leo The Lion And The Curious Caper Of The Clipped Claws"


James: Greetings fellow stargazers! I'm James Albury from the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College in Gainesville Florida and I'll be your guide this month on Star Gazer. This Independence Day, you'll get to see the Moon have a close encounter with the heart of Leo the lion, and you'll get to see a pair of stars whose names are a tantalizing tongue twister. Wondering what I'm talking about? Here, let me show you!

Alrighty! I've set our sky to just after sunset facing west. Close to the horizon you'll see a thin, barely 5 day old crescent Moon. Take a look just to the upper right of the Moon and you'll see the bright star, Regulus. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo the lion and in Latin, the name Regulus means "prince" or "little king". This is quite appropriate since this star marks the heart of the celestial "king of the beasts". Leo is easy to find in the spring and early summer sky. Just use the Big Dipper.

Look at the two stars of the Big Dipper's bowl that are the pointer stars, Dubhe and Merak, those are the familiar stars you use to find the North Star. Then take the opposite stars, Phecda and Megrez and go in the opposite direction, and you'll land smack dab on Regulus. Regulus, is actually a multiple star system, with 4 stars orbiting in pairs. This stellar ballet is happening over 78 light years away, so when you look at Regulus, you're actually looking at it the way it appeared back in 1933. Another interesting thing about Regulus is that in Arabic, it was named "Galb al asad" which translates as "the heart of the lion". During this particular lunar liaison, Regulus is just a mere 5 degrees away from the Moon, or 10 full Moon widths. So it should provide a very pretty display. So while you're outside watching the fourth of July fireworks, take a look over to the west and check out the Moon's close approach to Regulus the heart of Leo the lion.

Now if you look to the south at the same time, you'll see our old friend, Scorpius the scorpion. He looks like a giant letter "J" in the sky, where the bright red super giant star Antares marks his heart, his claws on current star charts are here, and here. But did you know that the scorpion's claws were much longer than they are now? On older star charts (approximately 2000 years ago), the scorpion's claws extended upward to the stars Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgenubi. In Arabic, Zubeneschamali means northern claw, and Zubenelgenubi means southern claw. These two stars now are part of the constellation Libra the scales; the only constellation in the zodiac that is not a living creature. And if you're familiar with your Latin, zodiac means "circle of animals". So why is Libra part of the zodiac? Here, let me show you!

As we travel around the Sun during the course of the year, the Sun appears to move against the background stars, slowly drifting eastward along the constellations of the zodiac. 3000 years ago, the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere occurred when the Sun was among the stars Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgenubi. It is believed that ancient astronomers made a correlation between the appearance of the Sun in this part of the sky with the equinox; which means "equal night", because near the equinox, day and night appear to be equally long (12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness). Libra, being the constellation of the scales, represented balance and equality, so it only seemed fitting to take the stars in this region and associate them with a constellation that reflects such balance. Sadly, in creating this new constellation, our old friend the dreaded scorpion got his claws clipped. The neat thing though is that they kept the names of the stars the same, so that we'd always know that the scorpion once had a more menacing manus. Alrighty, well out under the stars with you and remember my friends, whatever you do, 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

#11-26 M

6/27/2011 thru 7/3/2011

"A Lunar Liaison With Leo The Lion And
The Curious Caper Of The Clipped Claws"


James: This Independence Day, you'll get to see the Moon have a close encounter with the bright star Regulus, the heart of Leo the lion! Wondering what I'm talking about? Here, let me show you! Alrighty! I've set our sky to just after sunset facing west. If you look close to the horizon you'll see a thin, barely 5 day old crescent Moon. Now, take a look just to the upper right of the Moon and you'll see the bright star, Regulus, just a mere 5 degrees away from the Moon, or 10 full Moon widths. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo the lion and in Latin, the name Regulus means "prince" or "little king". Regulus marks the bottom of what appears to be a backwards question mark in the sky; this marks the mighty mane of the celestial "king of the beasts". And you can find it quite easily if you 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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