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
Tuesday 2/20/07 1030 to 1100
Includes episodes 0710, 0711, 0712, 0713


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 5 MINUTE

Episode # 07-10 / 1526th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 3/05/2007 through
Sunday 3/11/2007

"Three Of My Favorite Stars With Really Nifty Names"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers. Every two or three years I like to tell you about three of my favorite stars because they're so easy to find in winter's skies. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for all this month March in early evening. And if you face south I want you to look carefully for three stars that appear to be equally spaced and lined up in a row. They're easy to find because they're the only three such equally spaced stars in a row visible to the naked eye. Now for thousands of years in many cultures these three stars have been seen either as the waist or belt of a great sky giant, usually male but sometimes, female. Two bright stars above these three mark the giant's shoulders and the two bright stars below mark the giant's knees. And although this cosmic giant has been called many names throughout history, the name we use today is "Orion" who was a giant warrior hunter in ancient Greek and Roman mythology.

His three belt stars have fascinated me since I was a young man for two reasons: one, because they are the only equally spaced stars in a row you can see with the naked eye and two, for some reason I just love the sound of their names. Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Now according to some sources Alnilam comes from the Arabic which means "string of pearls" which also refers to all three stars. Alnitak means "girdle" and Mintaka means "belt". But no matter what they mean I just love to pronounce their names because they sound so poetic don't you think? In fact, the 19th century poet Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote " those three stars of the airy giant's zone that glitter burnished by the frosty dark." But in addition to their poetic beauty their science is equally wonderful and compared to our Sun they'll take your breath away. While our Sun is about a million miles in diameter, Mintaka is 20 times our Sun's diameter and Alnitak is even larger, 25 times as wide as our Sun. While sandwiched between them, Alnilam blows both of them away at a whopping 30 times the width of our own Sun. Wow!

But if even that's not enough to impress you then think about how far away these three are. We measure distance to the stars in terms of the speed of light because they are so far away the term miles is almost useless. Light travels 186,000 miles per second. So we say that our Sun is 8 1/3 light minutes away because it takes 8 1/3 minutes for light to reach us from our Sun. So we actually see our Sun as it existed 8 1/3 minutes ago. The belt stars of Orion however are incredibly much farther away, 1200 light years from Earth, which means that it takes 1200 years for their light to reach us. So when we look at Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka we are seeing them not as they exist now but as they existed 1200 years ago around the year 800 a.d. wow! Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka, three good reasons to keep looking up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-10 M

3/05/2007 thru 3/11/2007

"Three Of My Favorite Stars With Really Nifty Names"

Horkheimer: I'd like to show you how to find winter's most famous constellation, Orion the Hunter by using three of my favorite stars. Every March in early evening face south and you'll see three equally spaced stars in a row. They mark the belt of Orion. And I just love the sound of their names; Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka. All three make our Sun look puny by comparison. Even the smallest Mintaka is 20 times the diameter of our own million mile wide Sun; Alnitak is 25 times as wide and Alnilam 30 times as wide. And at a distance of 1200 light years away we see them not as they exist now but as they existed 1200 years ago. Wow! Keep looking up!

 

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

 

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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
Tuesday 2/20/07 1030 to 1100
Includes episodes 0710, 0711, 0712, 0713
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 #07-11 /1527th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 3/12/2007 through Sunday 3/18/2007

"The Moon And Venus Make An Exquisite Showing
On The First Night Of Spring Plus
A Super Close Pairing Of The Moon And Saturn"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. As if by some super kind of cosmic magic on the very first night, in fact on the very first moment of spring this year, the Moon and Venus will form an exquisite picture of the kind that will not only take your breath away but which has stirred the emotions of humankind since our species first began to look up at the heavens. Plus on the second night of spring the Moon and Venus will make yet another breathtaking sight almost as if to say that this spring is going to be absolutely beautiful. Then only one week later the Moon will come so close to Saturn it will make you want to grab your binoculars or a small telescope. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Tuesday March 20th the first night of spring, one hour after sunset facing due west where you will see an absolutely spectacular pairing of an exquisite crescent Moon and the most brilliant planet of them all, 8,000 mile wide Earth-sized Venus which is only 406 miles smaller in diameter than our own planet. But what will make this pairing so exquisite is the fact that this slender crescent Moon will look as if a dark grey-black full Moon is nestled within it. We call this phenomenon Earthshine because whereas the bright crescent is sunlight directly reflecting off of the Moon, Earthshine is sunlight that reflects off of our Earth onto the Moon and then bounces back to Earth again. So in effect the dark ghostly full Moon is really sunlight bouncing off our Earth's brilliant clouds and oceans onto the Moon's unlighted surface thus the name "Earthshine."

Now since spring begins at precisely 8:07 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time or your local equivalent Tuesday night this means that if you're on the east coast when you look at the Moon and Venus you'll be seeing them just before spring begins, but if you're on the west coast just after it begins. And in case you're clouded out Tuesday you'll have a second chance to see an equally exquisite pairing of these two 24 hours later on Wednesday the 21st, the second evening of spring when the Moon will be the same distance above Venus as it was below it the night before. Don't miss this please because I can't think of a more sensational cosmic way to welcome in the beginning of the new season. Then as night after night goes by the Moon will slowly grow larger. And on Wednesday the 28th around midnight you'll see an exquisite gibbous Moon, half way between first quarter and full, parked less than one degree away from 75,000 mile wide ringed Saturn. And if you have access to a small telescope this would be the time to use it. Because they will both fit within the same field of view and will absolutely blow you away! So there you have it the Moon and Venus announce the glorious beginning of spring plus the Moon pays a visit to the lord of the rings. Keep looking up!

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

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-11 M

3/12/2007 thru 3/18/2007

"The Moon And Venus Make An Exquisite Showing
On The First Night Of Spring"

Horkheimer: Next Tuesday on the first night of spring the Moon and Venus will form an exquisite picture that will take your breath away. This year spring begins Tuesday night March 20th at 8:07 p.m. Eastern Time and if you look west just after sunset you will see an absolutely spectacular pairing of a crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a dark grey full Moon nestled within it with the brightest planet of them all, 8,000 mile wide, Earth sized Venus. And 24 hours later on the second night of spring the Moon will be the same distance above Venus as it was below it the night before. What a great way to begin spring two nights in a row! Keep looking up!


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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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
Tuesday 2/20/07 1030 to 1100
Includes episodes 0710, 0711, 0712, 0713

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 # 07-12 / 1528th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 3/19/2007 through Sunday 3/25/2007

"Happy Spring Of The Leaf! And
Happy Spring Of The Year!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and happy spring of the leaf and happy spring of the year! Because this Tuesday March 20th is official spring of the leaf day and this Sunday March 25th is the old official spring of the year day. Know what I'm talking about? Well, they're both related to the vernal equinox which occurs this week Tuesday March 20th at 8:07 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time or your local equivalent which is more commonly known as the very first moment of spring. But have you ever wondered why we call spring, spring? Well, that word spring is simply short for the phrases spring of the leaf and spring of the year. Now spring of the leaf is pretty obvious because at this time of the year leaves literally do spring up out of branches and grass springs up out of the ground and that's why we call spring, spring. But what does spring of the year mean? Well, believe it or not, before 1752 in England and America the new year officially began when spring began on March 25th. Or to put it quite simply the new year sprang up at the same time the leaves and grass did. In fact, when George Washington and Ben Franklin were young fellows, they and all the other American colonists wished each other happy new year and happy spring on the same day on March 25th until English parliament declared that beginning in 1752 the new year would no longer begin in March but would be celebrated on January 1st, a tradition begun by the Romans in 153 b.c..

But lest we forget, the first day of spring is strictly speaking an astronomical event, which celebrates one of the two days when our sun is smack dab on the celestial equator, the other day being the first day of autumn. When this happens in September we call it the autumnal equinox and when it happens in March we call it the vernal equinox. And these are the only two days of the year when the sun rises exactly due east and sets due west.

Now although most people today don't keep track of the Sun and its movements throughout the seasons like our ancestors did, nevertheless it's a lot of fun to watch the Sun change its place on the horizon every day from equinox to equinox. In fact, starting this week, if you make note of where the Sun rises and sets on the horizon each day using landmarks like trees or buildings for guides you will notice that the Sun will rise just a little bit farther north of east each successive day and will set a little bit farther north of west each successive day and that it will continue moving northward week after week until June 21st the first day of summer, the day of the summer solstice when it will rise its farthest north of east and set its farthest north of west after which it will start to move southward week after week until once again it will rise due east and set due west on the autumnal equinox, the first day of autumn in September. So happy spring of the leaf and happy old fashioned New Year! Keep looking up!


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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


Star Gazer Minute

#07-12 M

3/19/2007 thru 3/25/2007

"Happy Spring Of The Leaf! And
Happy Spring Of The Year!"

Horkheimer: This Tuesday spring officially began. But do you know why we call spring, spring? Well spring is simply short for the phrases, "spring of the leaf" and "spring of the year." Spring of the leaf is obvious because leaves do literally spring up out of branches at this time. But what does spring of the year mean? Well before 1752 in England and America the New Year began on the first day of spring. In other words the New Year sprang up at the same time the leaves sprang up. In fact when George Washington and Ben Franklin were young men they all wished each other "Happy New Year" on the first day of spring until English Parliament declared that after 1752 the New Year would be celebrated on January 1st. So happy spring and Happy 'old' New Year! 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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
Tuesday 2/20/07 1030 to 1100
Includes episodes 0710, 0711, 0712, 0713

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 # 07-13 / 1529th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 3/26/2007 through Sunday 4/01/2007

"The King Of The Planets And An Emperor Star
Plus The Farthest Full Moon Of The Year"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And if you're an early bird we have a wonderful sight for you just before sunrise all month long because you can compare the king of the planets with an emperor star. Plus I'd like to tell you about next week's full Moon which will be the farthest full Moon of the year. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first two weeks of April an hour before sunrise facing due south where the brightest thing you'll see will be the king of the planets 88,000 mile wide Jupiter which is always fun to look at because it's the second brightest planet we can see from Earth and with just a pair of binoculars you can watch its four biggest Moons as they zip around it in orbit. Jupiter really is quite huge and using just simple math you can see just how huge.

Question. If our Earth is 8,000 miles wide how many Earths could we line up side by side across Jupiter's middle? Simple math, answer: we could line up 11 Earths side by side across Jupiter's middle. But if I asked you how many Earths could we fit inside Jupiter well that might take a little bit longer to figure out because most people forget how to do volumes after they've been out of school a few years. The simple answer is: we could fit 1331 Earths inside Jupiter! So it is indeed huge.

But even though we think of it as the king of the planets it's puny compared to any star, and most especially a star which you can see just down to its right, the star which marks the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion, Antares. Because Antares is not a king of stars it is an emperor. Indeed it is so humongous we could line up 6,818 Jupiter's across its middle. But it could hold 317 billion of our king of the planets! So why does Antares look so dim compared to brilliant Jupiter? Simple answer, it's much, much farther away. But to understand just how far lets' talk in terms of light.

Light is the fastest known thing in the universe and travels 186,000 miles a second, which means that when we look at Jupiter, which is 446 million miles right now, we see the light that left it 40 minutes ago. Antares on the other hand is so outrageously far away that we see the light that left it 600 years ago! No wonder it looks dimmer than Jupiter. So make sure that sometime during April you look for the king of the planets and an emperor star.

And now if you want to be underwhelmed by a full Moon, well the full Moon on Tuesday night next week will be the farthest and thus the smallest and least bright full Moon of the entire year. In fact it will be 252,481 miles away from Earth at 5 a.m. which is over 30,000 miles farther away than the closest full Moon of the year on October 26th. Even so it will still be pretty bright. Finally, please note that on Easter Sunday morning April 8th, people attending sunrise services will see a beautiful gibbous Moon forming a wonderful triangle with Jupiter and Antares. Keep looking up!


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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#07-13 M

3/26/2007 thru 4/01/2007

"The King Of The Planets And
An Emperor Star"

Horkheimer: Throughout all of April you can compare the king of the planets with an emperor star. Abour an hour after sunrise face south and you'll see super bright 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, a planet so big we could ine up 11 earths across its middle and fit over 1000 Eaths inside. But just down to its right is the scorpion's heart star Antares, which is so huge almost 7 thousand Jupiters could be lined up across its middle and it could hold 317 billion of our king of the planets, whichmakes it an emperor of sorts in the realm of the stars. Compare the two every morning this month.It's easy and fun. Just keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


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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