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

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE

 

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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 99-23

1122nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/7/99 through Sunday 6/13/99

"Mars and Spica Closest This Week,

Mercury Puts In An Appearance

and A Venus / Moon Super Goody"


Greetings! Greetings fellow star gazers and for all of those of you who have been watching Mars slowly and steadily close in on the star Spica over the past three months, this week is grand finale week because this week Mars and Spica will be at their absolute closest to each other and will be only 1.7 degrees apart. Let me show you: O.K., if you go outside any night this week about an hour or so after sunset and look to the south you will see bright 4 thousand mile wide Mars hovering just above the much dimmer but much bigger, 2 million mile wide star Spica. And although we've spent the last 3 months watching Mars slowly approaching Spica week after week in anticipation of this week's close meeting, after this week Mars will appear to almost retrace its steps and head back in the direction from which it came. In fact, while this week we could fit only 3 full Moons between Mars and Spica, by the end of June they will have drifted so far apart that 10 full Moons could fit between them. So this is the week to see Mars and Spica paired up in the evening sky in a brief but lovely close visual encounter. Just go outside any night this week, face south and sneak a peek.

But now for an even more spectacular meeting of two cosmic beauties, mark Wednesday the 16th as the night you absolutely won't want to miss because if you go outside an hour after sunset and face west you will see a spectacularly brilliant 8 thousand mile wide Venus hovering like a cosmic diamond just above a 3 day old crescent Moon, complete with exotic pale Earthshine. Venus, goddess of love, and the Old Moon with New Moon in her arms. Please don't miss this because Venus is at its highest for the year.

And if you go out at dusk just before it gets dark out and have a clear flat horizon you may also be able to see tiny 3 thousand mile wide Mercury as it gets ready to put in one of its best appearances of the entire year. In fact Mercury will rise higher and higher and be at its best for viewing during the last two weeks of this month. Now since Mercury never gets very high above the horizon you absolutely have to have a clear unobstructed horizon and you should start looking for it before it gets completely dark out because it will be gone within an hour after sunset. And if you go out Tuesday night, June 15th at dusk you will see a 2 day old crescent Moon not quite half way between Mercury and Venus which will make it a bit easier to find Mercury.

But if I had to pick one night out of all of June to go star gazing Wednesday the 16th is it, because Venus and the Moon will be beautiful almost beyond description. So there you have it... tiny Mars and giant Spica less than 2 degrees apart all week long and Venus, the Moon and Mercury dazzling the night sky just after sunset. For sheer cosmic beauty it doesn't get much better than this if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-23 M

6/7/99 thru 6/13/99

"Two Close Encounters"

 

Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". You know over the past few months we've been watching the red planet Mars move steadily closer to Virgo's brightest star Spica and this week Ta Da! they'll be at their absolute closest, only 3 Moon widths apart. Look south after sunset, but make sure you look this week because they'll rapidly separate and by the end of the month will be a good 10 Moon widths apart. My pick of the month however is Wednesday night the 16th after sunset because on that night you'll see spectacularly brilliant Venus highest for the year, blazing like a cosmic diamond above a 3 day old crescent Moon...a cosmic picture you'll never forget if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here


* 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

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE





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


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #99-24


1123rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/14/99 through Sunday 6/20/99

"What The Night Sky Looks Like

On The First Night Of Summer"


Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers. Next Monday, June 21st, Summer officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere at 3:49 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time which means that at that precise moment our star the Sun will reach its highest point above the celestial equator and for most people of the Northern Hemisphere daylight will be at its longest and night time will be at its shortest. But even though night time is at its briefest, the stars that appear on the first night of summer are appropriate indeed because they perfectly mirror the end of one season and the start of another.

Let me show you: O.K. we've got our skies set up for this Monday night just after it gets dark out, facing west where this year the brightest thing you'll see in the sky is the planet Venus. But Venus is a planet that comes and goes and appears over time in and out of each season. What I want to show you is the stars which you will be able to see the first night of summer for as long as you live. So if you look just up and to Venus' left you will see a star which usually looks quite bright, but which does not right now because Venus is so brilliant by contrast.

This star is Regulus, the brightest star of the most famous constellation of spring, Leo the Lion. In fact, if we could magically remove Venus it would be easier to see all the stars of Leo, a hook of stars marks the front of Leo and a triangle marks his rear. Now as you regular star gazers may recall, on the first night of spring, Leo was on the opposite side of the heavens just rising in the east. So now on the first night of summer it is quite appropriate that Leo is exactly opposite where he was on the first night of spring and is now getting ready to set in the west. And if we follow this train of thought a little farther, then whatever bright stars are rising in the east on the first night of summer should be the stars which will stay with us all summer long and should appropriately be called summer stars and such is the case.

Let me show you. O.K., we've simply turned ourselves 180 degrees around and are now looking opposite Leo toward the east and Ta Da! without any trouble we can easily see 3 extremely bright stars which if we draw lines between them, would form a gigantic cosmic triangle, a triangle which not coincidentally, is called the Summer Triangle, and appropriately on the first night of every summer of your life if you go out just after dark and look east this Summer Triangle will always be in the same place, rising in the East and brightly announcing that it will travel across the heavens every single summer night for all the summers of your life. How poetic! Summer's Triangle rising in the east and spring's Leo the Lion setting in the west. A farewell to one season and a welcome to another. And easy to see if you just remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-24 M

6/14/99 thru 6/20/99

"The Stars On The First Night Of Summer"

 

Horkheimer:Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". You know even though next Monday night, the 21st, is the first night of Summer and the briefest night of the year, it's still a wonderful time for star gazing because on the first night of summer the stars perfectly echo the change of the seasons. Simply go outside just after it gets dark out, look west and you'll see see spring's most famous constellation Leo the Lion setting in the west. Then if you look exactly opposite Leo you will see the 3 bright stars of the Summer Triangle rising in the East. How poetic, a cosmic farewell to one season and a welcome to another which you'll see every first night of summer all the summers of your life if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here




 
* 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

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE




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



STAR GAZER

Episode # 99-25


1124th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 6/21/99 through Sunday 6/27/99

"The Most Difficult To Find

Of All The Naked Eye Planets,

and How To Find It."
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers. You know, if you ask any amateur astronomer, "What is the most elusive and difficult to find of all the naked eye planets?", the vast majority would say, "The first planet out from the Sun, tiny 3 thousand mile wide Mercury." Because all the naked eye planets except Mercury usually remain visible for several months at a time whenever they make an appearance whereas Mercury is visible for only a couple of weeks at a time whenever it appears, plus it never gets very high above the horizon and is usually visible for only about an hour after sunset or an hour before sunrise. Let me explain: O.K., if we could look down on our solar system at the first 3 planets out from the Sun, planet #1 is Mercury, #2 is Venus, and #3 is good old Earth. Now each planet is travels in a slightly squashed out circle around the Sun which we call a planet's orbit. Earth's orbit is 186 million miles wide, Venus' orbit is 134 million miles wide and Mercury's 72 million miles wide.

Now since Venus is much farther away from the Sun than Mercury, whenever Venus makes its appearance it is usually visible for up to 3 hours after the Sun or before the Sun rises. But since Mercury is so incredibly close to the Sun, whenever it makes its appearance it is visible for only about an hour after sunset or about an hour before sunrise. Also because it's so close to the Sun it never gets very far away from it as seen from Earth so it's always very close to the horizon after sunset or before sunrise. That's why Mercury has historically been called the most difficult of all the naked eye planets to find. But guess what? For the next two weeks Mercury will put in one of its best appearances for the entire year. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night the next couple of weeks and if you go outside and look west, after sunset at dusk, while it's still somewhat light out you'll see dazzling brilliant 8,000 mile wide Venus, visible for 3 hours after sunset. Then if you look up and to Venus' left you'll see Regulus, the brightest star of Leo the Lion. And to find Mercury all you have to do is make sure you have an absolutely clear flat, unobstructed horizon, then draw a line from Regulus through Venus down toward the horizon and that line will land smack dab on tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury.

Now Mercury is a planet of extremes. Its year is the shortest of all the planets, only 88 Earth days. So one Earth year equals four Mercury years. But there's only 1 1/2 days in each Mercury year. Plus, Mercury has the most extreme temperature range of all the planets. Indeed, daytime temperatures can go from over 800 degrees Fahrenheit to nighttime lows of 292 degrees below zero. That's a temperature swing of over 1,000 degrees. So get thee outside to find the most elusive and extreme planet of them all, which is easy if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#99-25 M

6/21/99 thru 6/27/99

"Planet of Extremes"

 

Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". Over the next two weeks you will be able to see the most extreme and difficult to find of all the naked eye planets. Simply look west after sunset, while it's still a little light out and shoot a line through Regulus and Venus toward the horizon and you'll land smack dab on tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury. But make sure you have a clear, flat, unobstructed horizon because it never gets very high in the sky. This extreme world moves so fast that one Earth year equals 4 Mercury years but there are only 1 1/2 days in each Mercury year. And temperatures vary from day to night by over 1,000 degrees. Now's the time to find this most elusive and extreme planet. Just Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here


* 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

5/27/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (4 shows)

6/25/99 10:30 - 11:00 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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE



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


 

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #99-26


1125th Show



To Be Aired : Monday 6/28/99 through Sunday 7/4/99

"What To See In The Sky On The 4th Of July!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and have we ever got some nice things for you to see in the sky before and after the fireworks. Indeed, just after it gets dark out, Sunday the 4th, if you look to the west you will see the brilliant planet Venus and just up and to its left the brightest star of Leo the Lion, Regulus. And if you watch them every night you'll see them closing in on each other until they reach their very closest a week later on Sunday, July 11th. Now if you look down and to the right of Venus, very close to the horizon you may even spot tiny, pinkish Mercury. Then if you draw a line from Mercury through Venus and Regulus and extend it up over to the southwest you will land smack dab on the red planet Mars. What a wonderful way to start the evening before the fireworks. Pinkish Mercury hugging the horizon, dazzling Venus at its brightest for the year, Leo's Regulus getting ready to visit Venus and reddish Mars.

But wait, there's more because after the fireworks you will be able to see the two most famous of all summer constellations at their highest above the southern horizon. The one to the right will look like a giant fish hook or capital letter "J" and looks pretty much like its name, Scorpius the Scorpion. To its left the brightest stars of Sagittarius which when connected with lines looks like an old fashioned tea pot, complete with lid spout and handle. And every 4th of July as long as you live, just about the time the fireworks are over, these two constellations will be at their highest smack dab above the southern horizon.

And I think Scorpius will become one of your favorite 4th of July attractions because if you look to where the heart of the Scorpion should be you'll see a brilliant red star named Antares which means "The Rival of Mars" because if you compare Mars and Antares you will notice that Antares does indeed rival Mars in color, but in color only. Indeed Antares is much different that tiny 4 thousand mile wide Mars because it pulsates and changes its size and brightness. In fact, when it is at its largest we could line up up 150,000 Mars side by side across its middle. In fact, this so-called rival of Mars is 700 times the diameter of our own Sun. Indeed, if we could place one edge of Antares where our Sun is, its opposite edge would extend beyond the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars even past the planet Jupiter. And try to imagine this! Antares is so huge we could fit over 200 million of our Suns inside it wow! It's clear that when our ancestors named this star the rival of Mars they had no idea what it really was.

SO there you have it: Mercury, Venus, Regulus and Mars before the fireworks and after they're over Scorpius the Scorpion with a monster star for its heart, pulsating red through the summer night and waiting for you to grasp its magnificence if you just Keep Looking Up!

 

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-26 M

6/28/99 thru 7/4/99

"A Super Sky For The 4th Of July!"

 

Greetings, I'm Jack Horkheimer with this week's "Star Gazer Minute". There are cosmic goodies in the sky before and after the fireworks this 4th of July. In early evening look west and you'll see brilliant 8,000 mile wide Venus, and much dimmer but much bigger the 1 1/2 million mile wide star Regulus. Shoot a line through them and close to the horizon you'll see tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury. Then send that line past Regulus and you'll land smack dab on 4,000 mile wide Mars. After the fireworks look south for Scorpius the Scorpion which looks like a giant fish hook of stars, its heart marked by a red super giant star, so huge we could fit over 200 million of our Suns inside it. A super sky for the 4th of July... So Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or Click Here


* 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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