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
Friday 4/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0818, 0819, 0820, 0821


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

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STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 08-18 / 1587th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 5/05/2008 through
Sunday 5/11/2008

"Don't Miss Mercury At Its Best This Week And Next"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Once again I'd like to encourage you to catch planet #1 from the Sun Mercury this week and next because it will be at its best for evening viewing for this entire year. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next 30 to 45 minutes after sunset facing west northwest and if you have a clear relatively flat horizon you will see a steadily glowing bright pinkish light which is, since Pluto's demotion, now the smallest major planet in the solar system, Mercury. Only 3,000 miles wide, it is only a thousand miles wider than our 2,000 mile wide Moon and a thousand miles smaller than 4,000 mile wide Mars. The next biggest planet is Venus followed by our slightly larger Earth. So if anybody asks you where the smallest major planets reside in our solar system they are the ones closest to the Sun. Mercury being number one, Venus number two, Earth number three and Mars number four.

Now if you start looking at Mercury this week and continue to look at it every night for the next couple of weeks through a small telescope you will notice that it rapidly changes its appearance, getting steadily larger in apparent size but shrinking like the full Moon as it goes from full Moon to last quarter to new. In fact on may 2nd almost 70% of Mercury's disc appeared to be lit up but by Thursday May 8th its disc appears only half lit and it will steadily shrink night after night as it comes closer and closer to Earth. In fact by Sunday night the 18th it will be only 25% lit. Wow!

It's called the pink iron planet because there is more iron in Mercury's core than in our entire Earth. And it's pink only because we always view it through our Earth's dusty atmosphere, which makes it appear pink for the same reason our Sun always looks so colorful when it's close to the horizon. From space Mercury would appear to glow a steady white color and until 1974 no human being had any idea what the surface of Mercury looked like. Then in 1974 our spacecraft Mariner 10 visited it and took the first close up pictures but we were only able to photograph 50% of the planet. What did the rest of it look like?

Well in January of this year our new Messenger spacecraft, the first to visit Mercury in 33 years, flew over previously unseen parts of Mercury and revealed some fabulous and puzzling features including mysterious chains of enormously high cliffs, some two miles high and hundreds of miles long. And although at first glance Mercury resembles Earth's Moon, upon close examination it is much, much different. But the best is yet to come because our Messenger spacecraft will pass close to Mercury again in October of this year and September 2009. And in March 2011 it will go into stationary orbit around the planet and a whole new age of Mercury exploration will begin. So explore Mercury visually for yourself this week and next because the Mercury adventure is just beginning. 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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-18 M

5/05/2008 thru 5/11/2008

"Don't Miss Mercury At Its Best This Week And Next"

Horkheimer: Catch Mercury at its best this week and next. 45 minutes after sunset face west northwest and you'll see bright 3,000 mile wide pinkish Mercury which since Pluto's demotion is now the smallest major planet, one thousand miles wider than our Moon and one thousand miles smaller than Mars. Watch it through a small telescope every night and you'll see it change its shape, shrinking like a tiny almost full Moon to only 25% lit. In January our Messenger spacecraft visited Mercury for the first time in 33 years and revealed puzzling features including chains of giant cliffs two miles high and hundreds of miles long. Explore it yourself this week and next. Keep looking up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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
Friday 4/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0818, 0819, 0820, 0821


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode #08-19 /1588th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 5/12/2008 through Sunday 5/18/2008

"Mars And The Manger And The Beehive"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. On the evenings of Thursday May 22nd and Friday May 23rd the red planet Mars will pay a visit to an exquisite cluster of stars known as both the Manger and the Beehive. So if you've never seen the Manger or the Beehive before now is your chance to find it using Mars as the finder. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Thursday evening May 22nd about 10 p.m. facing due west where directly above the horizon you'll see a steadily glowing rouge gold light which is our old friend planet #4, 4,000 mile wide Mars. And if you're far, far away from city lights and if you have very good eyesight you'll also be able to see a handful of dim stars clustered together in what some fancifully imagine to be the shape of a beehive or a manger. But to really see it well you'll need a pair of binoculars, which will bring it crisply into focus. And I guess it does look something like the shape of a beehive. But since most people don't know what a manger looks like your guess is good as mine as to why it is also called the Manger.

At any rate on Thursday night the 22nd as seen through a pair of binoculars Mars will stand out brilliantly against this cluster of dim stars. And on Friday night the 23rd Mars will have moved just a little bit farther along. So go out Thursday night and look for Mars' position in front of the Beehive Cluster and then go out 24 hours later and note how it has moved in relationship to it. Now this cluster has been noted for thousands of years. In fact in ancient China it was called Tseih She Ke, which translated means "an exhalation of piled up corpses" and believe me I have no idea what that's all about.

But in modern times we refer to this cluster as M-44 which is object #44 in a list of objects put together by a gentleman named Messier, objects which do not change their position among the stars and thus should not be mistaken for comets even though they sometimes resemble them. At any rate back in the early 1600's Galileo, who was the first person to look at this cluster with a telescope, said that he saw more than 40 small stars here. Although in modern telescopes we can see about 200 stars in this group. And all told this group of stars is an incredible 11 light years in diameter and 515 light years away. Plus we now know these stars are very, very young compared to our own Sun which is about 5 billion years old. In fact these stars are estimated to have been born only 400 million years ago, the same time as dinosaurs ruled our planet.

So on Thursday the 22nd and Friday the 23rd go outside at 10 p.m. look west and train your binoculars on Mars as it passes in front of a star cluster born less than half a billion years ago. And see how many stars you can count. Can you count 40 like Galileo or even more? You just may surprise yourself. Happy Mars, Beehive, and Manger hunting, and keep looking up!

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


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-19 M

5/12/2008 thru 5/18/2008

"Mars And The Manger And The Beehive"

 

Horkheimer: On Thursday and Friday may 22nd and 23rd Mars will pay a visit to a lovely star cluster. On the 22nd at 10 p.m. face west and you'll see rouge gold 4,000 mile wide Mars. And if you use binoculars directly behind it you'll see a cluster of dim stars called the Beehive or Manger. 24 hours later on Friday the 23rd Mars will have changed its position. Ancient Chinese called this cluster an exhalation of piled up corpses. Yeccch! But we call it M-44 and Galileo counted more than 40 stars here. How many can you count? They are all very young stars only half a billion years old, which means they were born the same time as dinosaurs ruled our Earth. Happy Mars and Beehive/Manger hunting. Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (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
Friday 4/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0818, 0819, 0820, 0821


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-20 / 1589th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 5/19/2008 through Sunday 5/25/2008

"The Ringed Planet And Two Great Stars For
Memorial Day Weekend"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every holiday I like to pick out something special in the night sky that's easy for you to find because usually everyone stays up a little bit later than usual. So this Memorial Day weekend I've selected three objects which are super easy to find just after it gets dark out; two bright stars and one fabulous planet. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this weekend just after it gets dark out facing north where you'll easily be able to see the seven bright stars we call the Big Dipper. Four stars mark its cup and three stars mark its handle. To find the brightest of our three objects we simply use the handle of the Big Dipper and an old trick most of you regular viewers know. Simply draw a line through the handle of the Big Dipper, extend that line in the same curve or arc and you'll arc to one of the brightest stars of late spring and summer Arcturus. Remember? Arc to Arcturus. To find the other two objects use the two stars which mark the side of the Dipper's cup closest to the handle; shoot an arrow through them and you'll land on my favorite planet Saturn and the heart star of Leo the Lion Regulus. And if you're not sure which is which Saturn will be brighter. So now that you've found these three celestial beauties let's find out how different they are from each other.

Saturn is a planet and does not make its own light like stars do. In fact it reflects light from the closest star which is our Sun and belongs in our Sun's family and is thus a part of our solar system. Now although it's nine and a half times wider than our planet Earth it is still a small object cosmically speaking, only 75,000 miles wide. Regulus on the other hand is a star, which like our Sun makes its own light. But it puts our Sun to shame size-wise. Indeed while our Sun is almost a million miles wide Regulus is five times larger! Arcturus however outdoes both Regulus and our Sun and is a whopping five times larger than Regulus, which means that it is 25 times larger than our Sun. Wow!

It's even more amazing however when we compare the distances of these three objects. Saturn for instance will be only 865 million miles away Memorial Day weekend which means that it will take its light only 78 minutes to reach us. By contrast Regulus is so incredibly much farther away that it takes its light 78 years to reach us. Arcturus, however, is about twice as close as Regulus and it takes its light only 37 years to reach us, which is still pretty impressive. So if you happen to be 37 years old, when you look at Arcturus this weekend you'll be seeing the light that left it the year you were born, 1971. And if you're 78 years old you'll be seeing the light that left Regulus the year you were born, 1930. But you'd have to have been born only one hour and 18 minutes ago to see the light that left Saturn at the moment of your birth. So this Memorial Day weekend find the Big Dipper, arc to Arcturus then zero in on Saturn and Regulus. Keep looking up!


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

 


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-20 M

5/19/2008 thru 5/25/2008

"The Ringed Planet And Two Great Stars For
Memorial Day Weekend"

Horkheimer: This Memorial Day weekend you can find two fabulous stars and a marvelous planet easy as pie. Just after dark face north to find the Big Dipper. A line through the handle will lead to Arcturus. Shoot an arrow through the two cup stars closest to the handle and you'll land on ringed Saturn and the brightest star of Leo, Regulus. But the fun begins when you compare the three. Saturn is only 75,000 miles wide whereas Regulus is 5 times larger than our million mile wide Sun. Arcturus however outdoes them both and is a whopping 5 times larger than Regulus and 25 times larger than our Sun. So find these three fabulous objects just after dark this Memorial Day weekend. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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
Friday 4/18/08 1100 to 1130
Includes episodes 0818, 0819, 0820, 0821


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-21 / 1590th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 5/26/2008 through Sunday 6/01/2008

"An Exquisite Moon Visits Two Evening Planets
And A Great Star!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. If you're new to star and planet gazing then like most people you have difficulty finding planets because they constantly change their position in relation to the stars. But every once in a while the Moon passes very close visually to a planet or a star at which time you can use the Moon to make absolutely sure you've found a particular planet or star. And such is the case the first weekend of June. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Friday night June 6th just after it gets dark out which is about 10 p.m. For most people across the U.S. facing west where just above the horizon you will see an exquisite four day old crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a dark full Moon nestled within the crescent. And if you mentally draw a line up to its left that line will pass first through the red planet Mars then Regulus the brightest star of leo the lion and very close by the wonderful ringed planet Saturn. But it's much more fun using the Moon to identify these objects, which means all you have to do is wait until 24 hours later on Saturday June 7th when a five day old Moon will be less than two fingers at arm's length away from Mars. And 24 hours later on Sunday the 8th a six day old Moon will be only four fingers at arm's length away from the heart star of the lion king. At which time the Moon and Regulus and Saturn above them will form a lovely triangle.

Once again, this Friday the crescent Moon will be only about one and a half fists, held out at arm's length, away from Mars. On Saturday the Moon will be less than two fingers away from Mars and ta da! On Sunday the Moon, Regulus and Saturn will form an exquisite tight triangle. But remember even though these objects will look close together visually nothing could be farther from the truth. On Saturday our 2,000 mile wide Moon will be only 231,000 miles away from us but 4,000 mile wide Mars will be 181 million miles away. And on Sunday when the Moon makes a lovely triangle with Regulus and Saturn the Moon will be only 235,000 miles away while Saturn will be 866 million miles beyond, almost 5 times farther than Mars. But hold onto your hats because Regulus, which is a star five times wider than our million mile wide Sun, will be a whopping 459 trillion miles away. Or to put it in a better light it is so far away that it takes its light 78 years to reach us. Wow!

And now would be a good time to get out a small telescope because on all three nights, Friday, Saturday and Sunday you'll be able to watch the Moon's shadow slowly shrink plus you'll be able to see Mars' reddish globe and Saturn's rings, I guarantee, will knock your socks off. Regulus, however will not look any bigger through any telescope, it will only look brighter. And that's because it is so incredibly far, far away. Have a great first weekend of June and keep looking up!

How did you like this episode?


Please give us your comments. (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.


"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime as well as RealPlayer streaming video.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

 Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-21 M

5/26/2008 thru 6/01/2008

"An Exquisite Moon Visits Two Evening Planets
And A Great Star!"

Horkheimer: Next week you can use the Moon to find two planets and a great star. On Friday June 6th about 10 p.m. face west and you'll see a lovely crescent Moon. If you draw a line up to its left it will pass through the planet Mars and Regulus the brightest star of Leo and ringed Saturn. 24 hours later the Moon will be parked only two fingers away from Mars and on Sunday only four fingers away from Regulus and above it Saturn. For fun compare their distances. Our Moon will be 235,000 miles away while Saturn will be 866 million miles away. But Regulus will be a whopping 459 trillion miles away. Watch the Moon get bigger each night as it visits three cosmic friends. Keep looking up!


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


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