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!

10/20/2000 9:30 - 10:00 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 / 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 # 00-45 /1196th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/6/2000 through Sunday 11/12/2000

"The Leonid Meteor Shower and

The Full Moon Visits Two Planets and A Star"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and in case you think you've been seeing a UFO in the southwest just after sunset, let me simply remind you that what you're really seeing is the return of the planet Venus as our holiday star for 2000 which is always mistaken for a UFO when it first pops its brilliant disk above the horizon. Now for those of you who have been keeping track of the Leonid Meteor Shower every November let me show you what you may see on the two nights when the Leonid Meteor Shower may be at its best. And that word "may" is very important.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 3 a.m. Friday morning the 17th and Saturday morning the 18th facing east where you will see several stars which make up a sickle or backwards question mark and 3 stars which make up a triangle. These two patterns form the head and rear of Leo the Lion for whom the Leonid Meteor Shower is named. And if it's absolutely clear out and you're far away from any city lights you may see a few bright Leonid meteors if you stay up from 3 a.m. to sunrise. The reason I say you may see is because a near last quarter moon will be in the sky and its light will wipe out all but the brightest meteors. So this year is definitely not the best year but may still offer a handful of bright meteors streaking across the sky.

And now for something you absolutely will see with no trouble whatsoever if your skies are clear out. Simply go out this Saturday, November 11th around 9 p.m., face due east and there you'll see an exquisite full moon only 10 degrees to the right of Saturn which in only two weeks' time will be brighter than it's been since 1975. Down below you'll see brilliant Jupiter which will be at its brightest for the entire year in two weeks and below it, the gigantic red star which marks the eye of Taurus the Bull, Aldebaran. Now the next night will be even better because on Sunday the 12th at 9 p.m. the moon will form an exquisite triangle with Jupiter and Aldebaran. And although they'll look very close together on Sunday night nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact our 2,000 mile wide moon will be only 223 thousand miles away while 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter will be only 380 million miles away. But good old 30 million mile wide Aldebaran will be 65 light years beyond! And think of this: While we could fit 70 thousand moons inside Jupiter, it would take 36 million Jupiters to fill up Aldebaran. Pretty impressive to say the least. So mark this weekend, Saturday and Sunday as the time to look for the moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Aldebaran. And if you'd like to take a 'maybe' shot at the Leonid Meteor Shower, go out the following weekend the 17th and 18th from 3 a.m. 'til dawn. But whatever you do, don't be fooled in to thinking that Venus is a UFO. Its just a planet getting ready to put on a dazzling appearance for the holiday season of 2,000. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-45 M

11/6/2000 thru 11/12/2000

"The Full Moon Visits Two Planets and A Star"

 

Horkheimer: If you go out Saturday night at 9 p.m., face east and the full moon will be just to the right of the ringed planet Saturn. Then on Sunday the full moon will form an exquisite triangle with brilliant Jupiter and Aldebaran the red star marking the eye of Taurus the Bull. And as you gaze at them think of this: Jupiter is so much larger than our moon we could fit 70 thousand of our moons inside Jupiter. Aldebaran however is so much larger than Jupiter we could fit 36 million Jupiters inside Aldebaran. Pretty impressive to say the least! 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!

10/20/2000 9:30 - 10:00 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 / 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 #00-46 /1197th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/13/2000 through Sunday 11/19/2000

"A Turkey Isn't The Only Bird

You'll Have For Thanksgiving"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and you know, this is that time of year when everyone in North America has a bird of some kind or other, on the Thanksgiving table. But if you play your cards right you'll enjoy several kinds of birds this and every Thanksgiving because just coincidentally the night sky every Thanksgiving night is loaded with birds. Let me show you: O.K..we've got our skies set up for any clear night Thanksgiving week just after sunset and if you look toward the west you'll see 3 bright stars which if connected by lines, make up what is officially called the Summer Triangle, but which at this time of year I unofficially call the Thanksgiving Poultry Triangle.

You see,historically, these stars have always been associated with cosmic birds. The star farthest east is Deneb, the bright tail star in Cygnus the Swan. So in addition to our Thanksgiving turkey we have a heavenly swan to be thankful for. The star farthest to the west, Altair, is the brightest star in Aquila, a cosmic eagle. And the bright star closest to the northwest horizon is Vega, which is the brightest star of the constellation Lyra the Harp which is, actually and strangely more birdlike than the other two put together.

You see Lyra was not always a harp. In fact long before it became a lyre it was a cosmic turtle. But before it became a cosmic turtle it was, you guessed it, a bird. In fact ancient record tell us that Lyra's association with a bird goes back over 2,000 years. In ancient India Lyra was seen as a heavenly vulture. And when the great Babylonian kings and their queens strolled through the Hanging Gardens of Babylon at this time of year they looked up and identified our constellation Lyra with their great mythical storm bird Urakhga. Much later as desert caravans wandered across Arabia people looked up and referred to Lyra as the Swooping Eagle of the Desert. But it is also said that some early Arabs identified Lyra, not with an eagle but an Arabian Goose which in my estimation is a bit more tasty for anyone's Thanksgiving banquet.

Lyra has also seen other feathery incarnations. Indeed it was once known as a great osprey, and at another time as a wood falcon. Anyone care for a wood falcon or an osprey drumstick? At any rate, only in the past couple hundred years or so have we in the west seen Lyra exclusively as a lyre. In fact at the time of the American revolution these stars were depicted as as an eagle with a lyre in its beak. At any rate, this Thanksgiving week after you've had turkey up to here, why not go outside for some birds of a different feather and thank heaven you'll never get them on your leftovers. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Happy Thanksgiving and Keep looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-46 M

11/13/2000 thru 11/19/2000

"A Sky Full Of Birds For Thanksgiving"

 

Horkheimer: If you're tired of turkey on Thanksgiving look west after sunset and you'll see the 3 bright stars of the Summer Triangle which every Thanksgiving I call the Poultry Triangle because these 3 stars have historically been associated with birds. There's Cygnus the Swan, Aquila the Eagle and Lyra the Harp. But Lyra has had many feathery incarnations. In ancient India it was a heavenly vulture, in ancient Babylon, the great storm bird Urakhga, and in ancient Arabia it was the swooping desert eagle. Others have called it an osprey, a wood falcon, even a goose but never a turkey! 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!

10/20/2000 9:30 - 10:00 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 / 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 # 00-47 / 1198th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/20/2000 through Sunday 11/26/2000

"Three Outrageously Wonderful Planets for

The Holiday Season, 2000"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and have we ever got a triple whammy planet special for you this holiday season of 2000 because from Thanksgiving week through the New Year you will be able to see 3 wonderfully bright planets all at the same time right after sunset. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for Thanksgiving week facing southwest and if you go outside you will see an incredibly bright object shining like a celestial diamond. It's the 8 thousand mile wide, closest planet to earth, Venus, named for the goddess of love, and lovely to look at it is. It's only 96 million miles away right now and is often mistaken for a UFO, in fact I've had several UFO reports concerning Venus the past few weeks.

So after Thanksgiving dinner go outside and there you'll see what some will call the Holiday Star of 2000, which isn't a star at all, but a planet. And if you go out next week, Tuesday the 28th you'll see an exquisite 3 day old moon 250 thousand miles away just under Venus. But the next night will be the best because then a 4 day old moon, complete with earthshine will be only 2 degrees away from Venus and will present a sight that will just about knock your socks off. And just coincidentally something wonderful also happens to another planet on the same night.

Because if you turn and look east you will see 88 thousand mile wide Jupiter coming up over the horizon. And it will be at its brightest and closest to the planet earth for the entire year because on Tuesday the 28th Jupiter will be officially at opposition which means that it will be directly opposite the sun as seen from earth. And whenever a planet is at opposition it always means that it rises in the east as the sun sets in the west and is visible in the night sky all night long. In fact this week and next are the best weeks of the entire year to view Jupiter. Plus at midnight Jupiter will be higher in the sky than it's at its brightest in 25 years. Indeed, the last time Saturn was this bright was in 1975!

So now is the perfect time to look at Saturn and Jupiter through a small telescope. And right now they're both situated in the same constellation, Taurus the Bull, close to both the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, and the giant red star which marks the eye of Taurus, Aldebaran. And remember because they're both at opposition you'll be able to see them both rise in the east and slowly ascend the sky until at midnight they'll be at their absolute highest after which you'll be able to watch them slowly descend to the western horizon where they will both set as the sun rises in the east. Wow! What a fabulous holiday season. Not one but three incredibly bright planets to close out the year 2000 and ring in 2001. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-47 M

11/20/2000 thru 11/26/2000

"Three Brilliant Planets

For The Holiday Season"

 

Horkheimer: We have not one, not two, but three brilliant planets for the holiday season. Look southwest after sunset and you'll see the planet frequently mistaken for a UFO, 8 thousand mile wide Venus which will be joined by an exquisite crescent moon Wednesday the 29th. Look east and you'll see Jupiter and Saturn which right now are at their closest and brightest for the entire year. Because they're opposite the sun this week you can watch them all night long as they travel from east to west. In fact at midnight Jupiter will be higher than it's been in 11 years and Saturn is brighter than it's been since 1975, a quarter century ago. 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!

10/20/2000 9:30 - 10:00 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 / 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 #00-48 /1199th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/27/2000 through Sunday 12/3/2000

"The Surest Sign of Winter,

and Why The Shortest Day of the Year

Doesn't Feel Like

The Shortest Day of the Year"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and in case you haven't noticed winter is coming. Now for people who live at northerly latitudes the temperature change itself is notice enough that winter is on its way but for people who live in southerly latitudes like myself in south Florida and folks in Hawaii, the temperature change is not notice enough of winter's arrival. Indeed, winter in southerly latitudes demands a cosmic notification.

And there is one which is visible all over the northern hemisphere at this time of year. Indeed, go outside any clear night in early December at 8 p.m. and you'll notice the surest sign of winter no matter what the temperature from Minneapolis to Miami. Let me show you: O.K., we're facing east any night this week at 8 p.m. where just above the horizon you will see 3 evenly spaced stars in a row flanked by 4 brighter stars and these mark respectively the belt, shoulders and knees of Orion the Hunter. And for the rest of your life whenever you see Orion just above the horizon at 8 p.m. you will know that the official beginning of winter, the Winter Solstice, is only 3 short weeks away.

In fact, being a transplanted Midwesterner myself it took me several years of living in south Florida to get used to the fact that Orion was rising while I was still out swimming in my back yard. You see, it just didn't feel right to a Midwesterner to see Orion rising while it was still warm out. And there are other things astronomical that just don't feel right to a lot of people. One of these is how the days feel at the beginning of winter.

Now we all know that the shortest day of the year, that is the day when there's the least time from sunrise to sunset is the day of the Winter Solstice, December 21st, but you know where I was raised in Wisconsin it always felt like the days were actually shorter at the beginning of December and were getting a little bit longer as we approached the solstice. Why? Well astronomically speaking this feeling is real and can be explained.You see today most people experience more sunsets than sunrises and although the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in mid northern latitudes, nevertheless December 7th feels like the shortest day of the year because it is the day of the earliest sunset at mid northern latitudes. So because sunset occurs a little bit later each day after December 7th, the days DO feel like they're a littler bit longer at the solstice. Now after the solstice, the 21st, until about January 5th the days actually seem to lengthen more rapidly than they do because by January 5th we experience the day of the latest sunrise. Astronomer Guy Ottewell puts it very nicely in a short simple sequence: #1: December 7th - Earliest Sunset, #2: December 21st - The Shortest Day, #3: January 5th - Latest Sunrise.

So now you know why the days feel shorter at the beginning of December than on the Winter Solstice. After all most of us unconsciously judge the length of a day by the time on the clock when the sun sets. Isn't it fascinating how we perceive the universe around us? I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-48 M

11/27/2000 thru 12/3/2000

"Why The Shortest Day of the Year

Doesn't Feel Like

The Shortest Day of the Year"

 

Horkheimer: All our lives we've been told that December 21st, The Winter Solstice, is the shortest day of the year, but for many people the days at the beginning of December actually feel shorter. Why? Well, today more people experience sunsets than sunrises and at mid northern latitudes December 7th feels like the shortest day of the year because it is the day of the earliest sunset. And because sunset occurs a little bit later each day after December 7th the days DO feel like they're getting longer as we approach the solstice. Of course, if you get up with the chickens January 5th will feel like the shortest day because that's the day of the latest sunrise. 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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