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!

Wednesday 2/20/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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

STAR GAZER

Episode # 02-10 / 1265th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 3/4/2002 through Sunday 3/10/2002

"Venus Returns For St. Patrick's Day
and Getting Ready For
The Great Planetary Lineup"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and starting this month, in addition to the three planets already visible in early evening, we're adding a 4th in anticipation of adding yet a 5th for the great planetary line up in late April and early May. Let me show you. O.K., we've got our skies set up for next week, Friday the 15th, two days before St. Patrick's day, about 45 minutes after sunset facing west where if you have clear skies and a relatively flat horizon you will see the return of the brightest planet in the heavens, our nearest neighbor, good old 8,000 mile wide Venus which is almost exactly the same size as our planet earth.

And just slightly up to its left an exquisite slender sliver of a two day old moon complete with earthshine which looks like an almost black full moon nestled inside the bright crescent. The reason we call the black portion "earthshine" is because that's exactly what it is. You see the part of the moon that's brilliantly lit up is really sunlight reflecting off the moon and back to earth. So what we call moonshine is really reflected sunshine. When, however we see an almost black full moon nestled inside a bright crescent moon what we're seeing is sunshine bouncing off our earth onto the dark part of the moon and then reflecting back to us. So the dark portion of the moon is really reflected earthshine. I like to think of it, as many people have for hundreds of years, as "the old moon in the new moon's arms". Quite poetic don't you think?

At any rate, on Saturday the 16th the moon will be slightly fatter and you'll also see the "old moon in the new moon's arms". And then on Sunday the 17th on St. Patrick's Day night a slightly bigger crescent complete with earthshine will huddle right along side Mars, which you may recall was super bright on the first night of summer last year because it was only 42 million miles away and which is now 33 times dimmer because it is now 191 million miles away.

On Monday the 18th the moon will be slightly fatter and well beyond Mars. And on the 19th it will make a lovely foursome with The Pleiades and the bright red star Aldebaran which marks the eye of Taurus the Bull and Taurus' temporary second eye, 75,000 mile wide Saturn which is still at its best for viewing in over 2 decades. On Wednesday the 20th, which is the first night of spring, the moon will have moved past Saturn and will be on a bee-line for Jupiter and on Thursday the 21st it will be parked right underneath 88,000 mile wide Jupiter in a sight you will not soon forget. So now instead of the moon visiting just 3 planets it will visit 4, and soon to visit 5. And as you watch this replay you will notice that both the moon and the planets all appear to travel on a straight although narrow pathway across the sky. Indeed the planets are like markers along a celestial road and the moon as it grows bigger each night, travels past them one by one. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


Star Gazer Minute

#02-10 M

3/04/2002 thru 3/10/2002

"And Venus Makes 4!"

Horkheimer: In addition to the 3 planets already visible in early evening we've just added a 4th in anticipation of the great planetary line up next month. On the 15th, 45 minutes after sunset face west and you'll see that 8,000 mile wide Venus, the brightest planet of them all, has returned. Up to its left you'll see an exquisite 2 day old crescent moon complete with earthshine. And you can watch the moon as it grows bigger each night. Saturday the 16th, Sunday St. Patrick's Day night the moon meets Mars, the 18th, on the 19th it approaches Saturn, and on the 20th just past it. And on the 21st the moon meets Jupiter. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


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

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







STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 2/20/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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



 

STAR GAZER

Episode #02-11 /1266th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 3/11/2002 through Sunday 3/17/2002

"Why Is Spring Called Spring?
And What Does Spring Have To Do
With The Yellow Line
In The Middle Of The Road?"

 

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, Wednesday March 20th at 2:16 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. Now although we all know what spring is do you know why we call spring, spring? Well the word spring is simply short for the phrases "Spring of the leaf and Spring of the year". Spring of the leaf is pretty obvious because at this time of year some leaves literally spring up out of branches, and grass springs up out of the ground. But what does spring of the year mean?

Well, before 1752, the new year in England and America began on March 25th. In other words, the new year sprang up at the same time leaves and grass sprang up. Which to many people still seems the logical time to begin a new year rather than January 1st in the dead of winter. In fact, when George Washington and Ben Franklin were kids they all wished each other happy new year on March 25th. It was an act of Parliament that pushed the new year back to January 1st beginning in 1752. And if you think about it, it really was a good move, because most of Europe had been celebrating New Years on January 1st for hundreds of years. At any rate, now you know why spring is called spring.

But lest we forget, spring is actually an astronomical event. In fact it is one of the two days of the year when our sun is smack dab on the celestial equator. The other day being the first day of autumn. These two days are called the equinoxes, equi meaning equal and nox meaning night because on these two days the hours of daylight are theoretically equal to the hours of night. In September when the sun crosses the equator we celebrate the first day of autumn, the autumnal equinox. And when the sun crosses the equator in March we call it the vernal equinox, vernal meaning green, which is rather poetic because at mid northern latitudes things really are springing up green. But even if the weather hasn't turned balmy where you live when spring arrives next Wednesday, nevertheless you can observe the effect the sun has on us every first day of spring and fall in a very interesting way.

You see on the equinoxes the sun always rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. So if you're driving to work at sunrise and traveling east on a due east highway you will actually see the sun rise directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road. And conversely if you're driving west on a due west highway at sunset you will see the sun set directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road. In fact I would venture to say that there will be more sun visors down on the first day of spring and the first day of autumn than on any other days of the year. So happy First Day of Spring or Vernal Equinox! And to those of you who were born before 1752, Happy New Year! And put those sun visors down if you're driving east at sunrise or west at sunset next Wednesday. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!



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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 

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



Star Gazer Minute

#02-11 M

3/11/2002 thru 3/17/2002

"The First Day Of Spring
And The Yellow Line
In The Middle Of the Road"

 

Horkheimer: The vernal equinox which marks the moment spring begins is next Wednesday at 2:16 P.M. And you can observe one very interesting effect of this event as you drive to and from work. You see on the first day of spring the sun always rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. So if you're driving to work at sunrise traveling east on a due east highway you will actually see the sun rise directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road. And conversely if you're driving west on a due west highway at sunset you'll see the sun set directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road. So put those sun visors down. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




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

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


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






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 2/20/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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



STAR GAZER

Episode # 02-12 / 1267th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 3/18/2002 through Sunday 3/24/2002

"The Second Biggest Full Moon of 2002
Glides Across The Sky With
The Brightest Star Of Virgo"

 

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and as I mentioned last month while most years have only one extremely close full moon, 2002 is gracing us with two. So if you missed the super big, super bright full moon on February 27th, fear not as next week's full moon on the 28th will look just as big and bright plus it will be accompanied across the sky all night long by the brightest star of Virgo.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Thursday March 28th just after sunset facing east where you will see a much bigger and brighter than usual full moon just above the horizon. Now whenever a full moon is close to the horizon it always looks much bigger than it does when it's overhead. And that's because when a full moon is close to the horizon we see it in relation to known foreground objects like trees and buildings. So all full moons when they rise and are close to the horizon look much bigger than when they are at their highest at midnight. And likewise whenever a full moon sets it also looks bigger because of its relationship to foreground objects.

But next week's full moon like February's is extremely close which will make it look much bigger and brighter than usual and tremendously bigger than the farthest full moon of the year. Plus it will be followed across the sky all night long by the brightest star of the constellation Virgo, the star Spica which you will be able to see above the eastern horizon starting about 9 P.M. Now if we compare last month's full moon and next week's we see that last month's was the closest of the year when it was only 221, 883 miles away. But next week's full moon will be only 75 miles farther away so it will look just as big and just as bright. In fact if you compare next Thursday's full moon to the farthest full moon of the year which will occur on October 21st, next week's full moon will be 30,288 miles closer because October's full moon will be 252,246 miles away. In fact next week's full moon will appear 14% bigger and 32% brighter!

Now although the moon will be so bright it will wipe out the light of most of the stars near it you will be able to see Spica as it follows the moon across the heavens. And as you look up at the two, you may want to do some mental comparisons. Our moon is a mere 2,000 miles wide and is never much more than a quarter million miles away. Spica on the other hand is 8 times the diameter of our almost million mile wide sun, which means we could fit 7.8 billion of our moons inside Spica. The only reason it looks so much dimmer than our moon is because it is so incredibly much farther away, about 250 light years from earth, which means that while it takes one second for light to reach us from the moon, it takes 250 years for light to travel from Spica. And I don't think we'd want to have it as close to us as our sun is because it is 2,000 times brighter.

So get thee out next Thursday night for the second biggest and brightest full moon of the year which coincidentally occurs on the first day of Jewish Passover which this year is also Holy Thursday to the Christian world. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!



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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


Star Gazer Minute

#02-12 M

3/18/2002 thru 3/24/2002

"The Second Closest Full Moon Of The Year"

Horkheimer: If you missed last month's closest, biggest and brightest full moon of the year, next week the second closest will look just as big and bright. Next Thursday just after sunset face east and you will see a much bigger and brighter than usual full moon just above the horizon. It will be only 221,938 miles away which is 30,288 miles closer than the farthest full moon of the year in October, which will make this moon appear 14% bigger and ta da! 32% brighter. And it will be followed across the sky all night long by Spica the brightest star of Virgo which is so huge we could fit 7.8 billion of our moon's inside it. Talk about a big moon and a big star! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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

 


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




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

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


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





STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 2/20/02 - 0930 - 1000 Eastern Time

30 minute feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #02-13 /1268th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 3/25/2002 through Sunday 3/31/2002

"Two Sure Signs Of Spring:
Low Lyin' Orion and
A High Flyin" Lion"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers and it is that time of year again when the night skies almost yell out , "Spring is here!" Because when Orion is low lyin' and the Lion is high flyin', winter is on its way out. Let me show you. Now most of you know that the star pattern Orion the Hunter is about the surest sky sign of winter of them all.

In fact, if you go outside in early evening in December Orion will be climbing up the southeastern sky as a celestial announcement of the imminent arrival of winter. And in January and February when winter is coldest Orion reaches his highest point in the heavens due south in early evening almost bragging to the world that he is master of the season. But then Orion slowly leaves center stage in early evening and by the beginning of April is tipped over on his side in the southwest almost hanging on to the sky for dear life. And it is this placement of Orion in the southwest heavens in early evening that always tells us winter is soon coming to an end.

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 over head in early evening announcing that spring is here, the constellation Leo the Lion. Indeed if you go out any night in April in early evening you will see that Orion is slowly sinking in the south west while Leo is crouched at the very roof of heaven roaring that his season, spring, is here. Leo's easy to find. He's reclining in kind of a sphinx position. His head and forequarters marked by a backward question mark or sickle with the bright star Regulus marking his heart. The triangle of stars to the east marks his rear.

In ancient times lions were often associated with royalty and Leo's brightest star Regulus means the little king although you will sometimes still hear Regulus called Cor Leonis which means the lion's heart. Now because Regulus is only about 1/2 a degree away from the ecliptic you will often see the moon pass quite close to it. In fact, occasionally, the moon will briefly occult it, hide it from view. And bright planets occasionally move very close to Regulus. In fact on July 7th 1959 an extremely rare event occurred when Regulus was actually occulted by Venus as Venus passed in front of it, an event which will not happen again for several centuries.

Regulus is about 85 light years away which means that we see it not as it exists now but as it existed 85 years ago. So if you're 85 years old when you look at Regulus you actually see the light that left it the year you were born. And thank heavens it's that far away because it is 5 times the diameter of our sun and 160 times brighter which means that if it were as close as our sun we'd all be crispy critters. So get thee out in early evening for low lyin' Orion and the high flyin' Lion , two sure signs that winter's goin' and spring is here. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


Star Gazer Minute

#02-13 M

3/25/2002 thru 3/31/2002

"Low Lyin' 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 in April in early evening, look south west and you'll see winter's most famous star pattern, Orion the Hunter leaning over, getting ready to 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 over in the south west and Leo the Lion almost overhead in early evening you'll know that spring has sprung! Low lyin' Orion and the high flyin' Lion. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of


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


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

 



[SmilinJack]Return to the [STAR GAZER Main Page]