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!

2/24/2000 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:

 

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 # 00-10

1161st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 3/6/2000 through

Sunday 3/12/2000

"The Strange and Marvelous Reality of

The Brightest Star We See The Most Often"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and before you all shout "Sirius is the brightest star we see most often", let me just say guess again because while Sirius is the brightest star we can see with the naked eye from planet Earth, there is another star, not quite as bright, in fact it is the 6th brightest star in the sky, but it is the brightest star we see most often from the northern hemisphere. And that's because it is the brightest star closest to the North Star, which makes it visible more nights of the year from the northern hemisphere than Sirius or any other bright star. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up facing north any March evening between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m. and to find this star we see more often than any other bright star simply locate the Big Dipper right in front of you, then shoot an imaginary arrow through the stars that mark the rim of the cup in the direction opposite the handle and you'll land smack dab on the bright golden-yellow giant star called Capella which is the brightest star of the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. Now Capella is not the eye or shoulder of Auriga, or even a star in his chariot. Strangely enough, Capella means "The Goat Star".

You see, hundreds of years ago Auriga was depicted not only as a charioteer but also as a goat herder. In fact, if you imagine that Capella is a nanny goat you can see her 3 kid goats very close by. Indeed, many modern star maps still call these 3 dim stars "The Kids". Now although Capella looks like a single bright golden-yellow star to both the naked eye and through a telescope, nothing could be farther from the truth. you see exactly 100 years ago in 1899 an instrument called the spectroscope revealed that Capella is 2 giant stars, each of then several times larger than our Sun, but separated by only 70 million miles. That's 23 million miles closer than our Earth is to our Sun.

And things got even stranger a few years later when 2 more stars were discovered as part of the the Capella system, 2 tiny red dwarf stars a trillion miles away from Capella. So when we look at golden-yellow Capella we are actually seeing 2 giant yellow stars orbiting each other plus 2 red dwarf stars orbiting each other. And if you'd like to make a scale model, astronomer Robert Burnham, Jr. says that the 2 giant yellow stars would be balls 13 and 7 inches in diameter 10 feet apart but that the 2 red dwarfs would be only 3/4 of an inch in diameter 420 feet apart from each other but 21 miles away from the yellow giants. Wow!

So go outside any March night between the hours of 8 and 10, shoot an arrow through the rim stars of the Big Dipper's cup and you'll land right on the strange and marvelous quadruple star system which we see as a single star, golden-yellow Capella, the Goat Star. which once again proves that when it comes to star gazing, what you see isn't necessarily what you get. Until next time, Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (Click) Here

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-10 M

3/6/2000 thru 3/12/2000

"Strange and Marvelous Capella"

 

Horkheimer: Look north any March evening between 8 and 10 pm, find the Big Dipper and shoot an imaginary arrow through the 2 stars that mark the rim of the cup and you'll land on one of the strangest stars in the heavens, yellow-gold Capella, the brightest star of Auriga the Charioteer and the 6th brightest star we can see. Through earth's best telescopes it looks like a single bright star but 100 years ago an instrument called a spectroscope revealed that Capella is actually 4 stars... 2 giant stars many times larger than our sun separated by 70 million miles, that's closer than our earth is to the sun, and 2 tiny red dwarf stars a trillion miles away. That's 1/5 of a light year. Wow! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (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. 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!

2/24/2000 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:

 

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 #00-11


1162nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 3/13/2000 through Sunday 3/19/2000

"Why Is Spring Called Spring and

Other Tantalizing Tidbits About The Seasons"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and Happy Vernal Equinox which is what astronomers call the first day of spring and which begins next week, Monday March 20th at 2:35 a.m. eastern standard time or your local equivalent. Now although we all know what spring is, have you ever wondered why we call spring 'Spring'? well , the word spring is simply short for the phrases 'spring of the leaf', 'spring of the year'. Spring of the leaf is pretty obvious because at this time of the year leaves do literally spring up out of the branches and grass springs up out of the ground. But what does spring of the year mean?

Well, believe it or not until the beginning of the year 1752, the beginning of the year in America and England was celebrated on March 25th. In other words, the new year began, that is sprang up, at the same time as the leaves and the grass. In fact, when George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and America's founding fathers were young men they all wished each other Happy New Year on March 25th until Parliament declared that henceforth the new year would be celebrated on January 1st beginning in 1752. At any rate, I personally think it's much more logical to have the new year begin with the beginning of spring when all of nature seems to begin again.

But lest we forget, the first day of spring is actually an astronomical event and marks one of the 2 days of the year when our sun is smack dab on the celestial equator, the other being the first day of autumn, and these 2 days are called the equinoxes, 'equi' meaning equal and 'nox' meaning night because on these 2 days the hours of daylight equal the hours of night. When this happens in September we call it the 'Autumnal Equinox' and when it happens in March we call it 'The Vernal Equinox', vernal meaning green. Which is appropriate because in mid-northern latitudes the landscape is really springing up green. Now although most people today don't keep track of the sun and its movements throughout the seasons like our ancestors once did, nevertheless we can observe the effect the sun has on us every first day of spring and fall in a very modern way.

You see, the sun rises due east and sets due west on only 2 days of the year... the equinoxes. So if you are driving to work at sunrise, going east on a due east/west highway you will actually be able to see the sun rise directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road. And conversely, if you're driving west on an east/west highway at sunset you will see the sun set directly over the yellow line in the road. In fact I would venture to say that there'll be more sun visors down on the first day of spring and the first day of autumn than on any other day of the year. So Happy Vernal Equinox, Happy First Day of Spring and for those of you who are really old fashioned, Happy New Year. And remember if you're driving due east at sunrise or due west at sunset next Monday, keep those sun visors down so you can save your eyes to Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (Click) Here

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-11 M

3/13/2000 thru 3/19/2000

"Driving To and From Work

On The Vernal Equinox"

 

Horkheimer: Next week on Monday March 20th at 2:35 a.m., eastern standard time, our sun will be smack dab on the celestial equator which marks the first moment of spring, the Vernal Equinox; 'vernal' meaning green and 'equinox' meaning equal night meaning that this is one of the two days of the year when the hours of daylight are equal, 'equi', to night,'nox'. And on these two days only the sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. You can see for yourself because if you drive to work on a due east highway at sunrise, the sun will rise directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road and if you drive due west at sunset the sun will set directly over the yellow line. So "Happy Vernal Equinox" and put those sun visors down! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (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. 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!

2/24/2000 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:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 # 00-12


1163rd Show


To Be Aired : Monday 3/20/2000 through Sunday 3/26/2000

"Low Lyin' Orion and The High Flyin' Lion"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and it's that time of year again when the skies almost yell out at you, spring is here. Indeed, if you go out any clear night in early evening at the end of March and beginning of April you will see a celestial announcement of spring in an arrangement of stars which I like to call Low Lyin' Orion and the High Flyin' Lion. Let me show you:

Now I'm sure you will agree that the star pattern Orion the Hunter is about the surest sky sign of winter of them all. In fact, if you go out in early evening in November, Orion will be climbing up the southeastern sky announcing the imminent arrival of winter. Then in January and February when winter is coldest Orion reaches Orion reaches his highest point in the heavens due south, almost bragging to the world that he is the master of the season. But then as winter slowly turns to spring Orion leaves center stage, creeping a little father west ward every single night so that by the end of March and beginning of April Orion is tipped over on his side and sliding down in the southwest almost hanging on for dear life, reminding us that there may be a few cold days left as long as he's around.

It is this placement of Orion in the southwest heavens in early evening that always tells me spring is here. And although I'm always sad to see Orion's bright stars go, nevertheless a less bright, but much bigger constellation takes his place, almost overhead announcing that spring is here, the constellation Leo the Lion. Indeed, if you go out any night for the next few weeks in early evening you will see that Orion is indeed sinking in the southwest while Leo the Lion is crouched at the very roof of heaven roaring that his season, spring, is here: the front part of Leo marked by a backward question mark or sickle, the bright star Regulus marking his heart and a triangle of stars to the east marking his rear.

So why do I call this the time of Low Lyin' Orion and the High Flyin' Lion? Well it almost speaks for itself because Leo the Lion is indeed flyin' high above overhead and Orion is not only lyin' low in the sky but also has a reputation for being one of the biggest cosmic liars in ancient mythology. So get thee out under these exquisite early evening spring heavens to see these tow fabulous constellations which pronounce the end of one season and the beginning of another. It's fun if you just Keep Looking Up!

 

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#00-12 M

3/20/2000 thru 3/26/2000

"Low Flyin' Orion and The High Flyin' Lion"

 

Horkheimer: Did you know that you can tell that spring is here just by looking up? Go out any night the next couple of weeks in early evening, look southwest and you'll see winter's most famous star pattern, Orion the Hunter leaning over, getting ready for his exit, taking winter with him, but still reminding us that he may have a few cold days left for us. And almost overhead, though not as bright, a much bigger constellation, Leo the Lion, almost roaring that spring is here. Indeed, whenever you see Orion leaning toward the southwest and Leo the Lion almost overhead in early evening you'll know that spring has arrived! it's the time of Low Lyin' Orion and the High Flyin' Lion. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (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. 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!

2/24/2000 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:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

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 #00-13


1164th Show



To Be Aired : Monday 3/27/2000 through Sunday 4/2/2000

"The Incredible Journey of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and as you regular viewers know, since January 1st we've been regularly following an incredible journey of the 3 outer planets across the night sky as they slowly move toward each other. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for New Years night, January 1st, 2000, 7 p.m. your local time facing west and closest to the horizon was 4 thousand mile wide planet number 4, Mars and high above it, 57 degrees away the brilliant king of the planets, planet number 5, 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter. And if you recall 1 degree is the width of 2 full moons places side by side., so Mars and Jupiter were 114 moon widths apart. And up to Jupiter's left only 15 degrees, or 30 full moon widths away was planet number 6, the ringed beauty, 75 thousand mile wide Saturn.

Now if you went out only once a week you would have indeed noticed that the planets were slowly moving toward each other, Mars moving the fastest because the closer a planet is to the sun the faster it moves, which also means that Jupiter moved faster than Saturn. In fact, on February 1st you would have noticed that Mars had moved from 57 degrees to only 36 degrees away from Jupiter and Jupiter had moved from 15 degrees to only 12 1/2 degrees away from Saturn. And a month later on March 1st, Mars was only 18 degrees away from Jupiter and Jupiter only 10 degrees away from Saturn. But this week and next the real fun begins because if you go out this Saturday, April Fools Day, April 1st, Mars will be only 2 degrees away from Jupiter and Jupiter only 6 degrees away from Saturn. The next night, Sunday the 2nd, even closer still, Tuesday the the 4th, and on Wednesday the 5th Mars will be only 1 scant degree away from Jupiter.

But tada! on Thursday night, April 6th an exquisite crescent moon, complete with reflected earthshine will join them hovering only 3 degrees away from Saturn while Mars and Jupiter remain in a tight embrace. And through a pair of binoculars you'll be able to see all 4 of these objects in one spectacular view. Don't miss this! Because Mars will rapidly move on. Indeed by the 7th Mars will be 1 1/2 degrees away from Jupiter, on the 8th, 1 3/4 degrees, on the 9th, 2 degrees, on the 10th, 2 1/2 degrees and on the 11th Mars will be midway between Jupiter and Saturn and will form an exquisite triangle with them. and yes, you guessed it, soon thereafter Mars will pay a close visit to Saturn and eventually Saturn and Jupiter will visit each other which I'll tell you about in an upcoming show.

But right now watch Mars close in on Jupiter this week and next and especially Thursday April 6th, watch these three outer planets make an outrageous foursome with the crescent moon. And just a reminder, if you want to see these planets really close up through a telescope, Saturday April 8th is National Astronomy Day when practically every planetarium, science museum and astronomy club will be celebrating with all kinds of events. In the meantime however, Keep Looking Up!

 

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-13 M

3/27/2000 thru 4/02/2000

"The Incredible Journey of

Mars, Jupiter and Saturn"

 

Horkheimer: On New Year's night if you looked west you would have seen Mars, Jupiter and Saturn lined up in a row far apart from each other. But the planets are always moving and although that movement is almost imperceptible from one night to the next, over many month's time it is quite dramatic. On February 1st they were this far apart, on March 1st, this far apart. And by April 1st Mars will be closing in on Jupiter. In fact, Thursday night April 6th you'll see Mars and Jupiter huddled next to each other and an exquisite crescent moon huddled next to Saturn. And if you want to see them up close through a telescope visit your local planetarium, astronomy club or science museum on National Astronomy Day, Saturday April 8th. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!



For graphics for this script (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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