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!

Friday 10/18/02 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 # 02-45 / 1300th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/04/2002 through
Sunday 11/10/2002

"Get Ready For What May be The Last Great
Leonid Meteor Storm For 100 Years!"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. Two weeks from now on Tuesday morning November 19th, from midnight to dawn North America may experience the last Leonid Meteor shower storm for 100 years to come. But there is a major string attached. You see the Moon will be full and in the sky all night long and thus will wipe out thousands of faint meteors from view. And as all of you regular "Star Gazer" viewers know whenever there is a full Moon on the night of a meteor shower I always tell you not to even bother. But this case is different because meteor shower prognosticators have discovered something that leads them to believe that there will be many more bright meteors than usual, bright enough to see even with full Moon light. Let me explain:

O.K., if you're far from city lights on any clear moonless night you can see a few meteors if you stay out long enough and keep looking up. Meteors have long been called "shooting stars" because that's what they look like. But nothing could be farther from the truth . In fact when you see a meteor you are seeing a tiny speck of space debris, anywhere from the size of a grain of sand to pebble sized, fly through our Earth's atmosphere at such high speeds that great friction is created. And the resulting friction causes the gasses in our Earth's atmosphere to glow kind of like the way neon lights do. So when you see a "shooting star" you are actually seeing the gas atoms in our Earth's atmosphere glow all along the path that the space debris, the meteor , has traveled. And like neon lights, meteors will appear in different colors. So any clear, dark, moonless night you can always see a handful of meteors if you have a lot of patience.

But every once in a while we experience what we call a meteor shower. And every November we have the Leonid Meteor Shower so named because its meteors appear to come from the constellation Leo the Lion. Meteor showers are a bit different however than the meteors you see every night. The meteors in a meteor shower are made up of comet debris. You see every time a comet passes through our solar system it sheds much of its tail along its orbit and each time a comet comes around, its orbit is slightly different so each comet has several trails of debris; some very thick and dense, some not so dense. And every November we plow directly into some of the debris trails of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, a comet which visits us every 33 years. And in the years just preceding or following Tempel-Tuttle's passage we pass through denser debris trails and we experience meteor showers with greater than usual intensity which we call meteor storms. And this year we should tell you to forget about it because of the full Moon but because astronomers have now discovered that we are going to plow right into a dense trail of debris that was shed when Tempel-Tuttle visited us in 1866 this year could also be good! The best prediction for North America is to go out from 2 a.m. through dawn Tuesday the 19th. Face east where you'll see Leo and maybe you'll see a few really bright ones with long trails! And one more thing, the Leonids are the fastest of all meteors and enter our Earth's atmosphere traveling at speeds over 158,000 miles per hour! Happy meteor storm, maybe! And Keep Looking Up!

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"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

#02-45M

11/04/2002 thru 11/10/2002

"The Last Great Leonid Meteor Shower For 100 years"



Horkheimer: Next week North America may experience the last great Leonid Meteor Shower for 100 years, even though there will be a full Moon which will wipe out most of the fainter meteors. Go out from 2 a.m. 'til dawn Tuesday the 19th. Face east where you'll see Leo for whom the Leonids are named and you may see several really bright meteors. Every November our Earth plows directly into the debris trails of Comet Tempel-Tuttle which produces the Leonids. And astronomers have predicted that this year we may plow into a much thicker than usual trail of debris which was left by Tempel-Tuttle when it visited in 1866. Will this comet debris produce the last great Leonid shower of the century? No one knows. But 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 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!

Friday 10/18/02 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 #02-46 /1301st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/11/2002 through Sunday 11/17/2002

"Planets Aplenty For Both Night Owls and Early Birds"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And right now and for many weeks to come you will not only have 2 planets visible for viewing after sunset and late evening, but you'll also have 2 planets for viewing just before sunrise. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for all you early birds about an hour before sunrise facing east where you will see that the brightest planet of them all, our so-called sister planet, 8,000 mile wide Venus has returned and is alive and well and dazzling in morning skies and in fact in the next 3 weeks will reach its greatest brilliancy for this go-round. And just above it and much dimmer, the planet that will make all the news next August when it comes closer than it has in almost 60,000 years, planet number 4, good old 4,000 mile wide Mars.

And as you look at them you might want to think of this: if Mars is 4,000 miles wide and Venus is 8,000 miles wide, we could line 2 Mars' up across Venus' middle. Picture that as you do your Venus and Mars gazing this week and next. And off to their side, the brightest star of Virgo, bluish-white Spica which is really 2 huge stars, larger than our Sun, 275 light years away. Now I'd like you to pay particular attention to these 3 for several days because they will daily readjust their positions relative to one another and on Wednesday the 20th will form a lovely tight grouping. And pay particular attention to Venus as it steadily brightens and rises higher each day.

Now for those of you who don't like to get up with the chickens and have a hard time finding the planets, we're gonna use our old moon trick. Simply look east once again on Thursday November 21st about 8 p.m. And you'll see a 17 day old gibbous Moon and right below it 75,000 mile wide Saturn which is at its best viewing in over 2 decades. But in case its cloudy on Thursday night you can still use the Moon as a finder on Friday night when an 18 day old Moon will have moved past Saturn and will be down and to its left. Thursday the 21st, Friday the 22nd. And for those of you who stay up a little later, look east around 11 p.m. On Monday the 25th for an exquisite 21 day old Moon only 4 1/2 degrees away from the king of the planets, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter.

So for those of you who can't find a planet without using the Moon as a finder remember, use the Moon to find Saturn on Thursday and Friday and use it once again on Monday to find Jupiter. Believe me, Jupiter and the Moon will present an absolutely exquisite picture. And just as you early birders were able to line up 2 Mars' across Venus in your imagination, so too could we line up 2 Jupiters side by side across the ring system of Saturn because although Jupiter is the bigger planet, it's only because we don't count Saturn's rings. So there you have it, planets in the morning, planets in the evening. I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 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

#02-46 M

11/11/2002 thru 11/17/2002

"Two Evening Planets
And Two Morning Planets"

Horkheimer: For the next several weeks you will have two planets for evening viewing and two for viewing before sunrise. Look east for 8,000 mile wide Venus which in 3 weeks will reach its greatest brilliancy this go-round. Above it 4,000 mile wide Mars which means we could line 2 Mars' up across Venus' middle. Off to their side, Spica, which is really two huge stars each larger than our Sun. Watch them change position each day and on the 20th they'll form a lovely tight group. On the 21st you'll see the Moon just above 75,000 mile wide Saturn and on Friday just below it. And on the 25th the Moon will hover just above the planet king, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter which is exactly half as wide as Saturn's ring system. 2 evening planets, 2 morning planets. 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 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!

Friday 10/18/02 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 # 02-47 / 1302nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/18/2002 through Sunday 11/24/2002

"Our Star Gazer Annual
"3 Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving" Show

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know, over the years people have asked me to point out things they can see with the naked eye in the night sky for each major holiday because that's when the kids are home from school on vacation and can stay up a little bit later than usual to do some star gazing. So I've picked out a few things you can see in the night sky for each holiday of the year. And everyone seems to love the Thanksgiving show because in addition to your Thanksgiving turkey, just coincidentally, the night sky every Thanksgiving week is loaded with other birds. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night Thanksgiving week just after dark and if you look towards the west you will see 3 bright stars which if connected by lines make up what is called The Summer Triangle but which every November I unofficially call the Thanksgiving Poultry Triangle. You see, historically these stars have always been associated with cosmic birds. The highest star is Deneb, the bright tail star in Cygnus the Swan. So in addition to your Thanksgiving turkey you have a heavenly swan to be thankful for. The star farthest to your left, Altair is the brightest star in Aquila, a cosmic eagle. And the brightest of the 3 stars and closest to the northwest horizon is Vega, the brightest star of Lyra the Harp which, strange as it may sound, has had more feathery incarnations than the other 2 put together.

You see, Lyra was not always a harp. In fact long ago before it became a lyre it was a cosmic turtle but before it became a cosmic turtle it was a bird of one sort or another. Ancient records tell us that Lyra's association with birds goes back over 2,000 years. In ancient India Lyra was seen as a heavenly vulture. But when Babylonian kings and their queens strolled through the Hanging Gardens of Babylon they looked up and identified Lyra as their great mythological storm bird Urakhga. And as desert caravans wandered across ancient Arabia people looked up and referred to Lyra as either the swooping desert eagle or would you believe, a cosmic goose which in my estimation is a bit more tasty for anyone's Thanksgiving dinner.

And Lyra has been identified with other birds by various cultures. It was once known as a great osprey and another time as a wood falcon. Anyone care for as wood falcon or osprey drumstick? At any rate, only in the past couple of hundred years or so have we in the west seen Lyra exclusively as a lyre, a small harp. In fact only 200 plus years ago, at the time of the American revolution these stars were still seen as a bird, an American eagle, but with a lyre in its beak. So perhaps we should play lyre music after Thanksgiving dinner? At any rate, this Thanksgiving week after you've had turkey up to here why not step outside just after dark and look west for some birds of a different feather. And thank heavens above you'll never get them in your leftovers. I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 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

#02-47 M

11/18/2002 thru 11/24/2002

"Our Annual "3 Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving" Show

Horkheimer: If turkey's not enough for you 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 Arabia it was the swooping desert eagle. Others have called it an osprey, a wood falcon, even a goose. So if you're tired of turkey look west after Thanksgiving dinner. I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 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!

Friday 10/18/02 - 0930-1000 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour 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 #02-48 / 1303rd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/25/2002 through Sunday 12/01/2002

"Begin Your December With
A Super Celestial Triangle"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And if you want to begin December a very special way then mark December 1st as the day you absolutely must go outside before sunrise to see an exquisite cosmic triangle performed courtesy of the three closest celestial bodies. Let me show you. O.K., if we could go out into space and take a closer look at our three closest cosmic neighbors, do you know what they'd be? Well I'm sure all of you have guessed the first one. Our closest neighbor is the Moon. Which on average is about 250,000 miles away. And although it's the smallest of our closest neighbors, only 2,000 miles wide, it looks bigger because it's the closest. Our next closest neighbor Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky and on December 1st it will be 35 million miles away. And with a diameter of 8,000 miles it is 4 times as wide as the Moon and is almost the same size as our planet Earth which has earned it the title "twin sister" planet, although there the similarity ends. The farthest and least bright of our 3 closest neighbors is twice the size of our Moon but only 1/2 as wide as Venus, 4,000 mile wide Mars which on December 1st will be 212 million miles away. And although rather dim at the present it will become one of the brightest objects in the sky next August when it will be as close to us as Venus is now. And just coincidentally these three will form an exquisite visual triangle which the Old Farmer's Almanac describes as "awesome", this Sunday morning just before sunrise. Let's get a preview!

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Friday just before dawn facing east where you will see an exquisite 24 day old crescent Moon hovering above Mars and Venus and the brightest star of Virgo, Spica. But if you go out Saturday at exactly the same time, that same Moon will be 25 days old and even skinnier and even closer visually to our other two cosmic neighbors. But the big event is, ta da!, Sunday December 1st when just before dawn you will see a 26 day old absolutely exquisite crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a dark full Moon nestled inside the Moon's bright crescent, parked right alongside Venus and Mars in a near perfect triangle only 2 degrees on each side.

Now in order to give you some idea of the relative distances of these objects on December 1st remember that light travels 186,000 miles per second, which means that when you look at the Moon which will be 225,000 miles away on December 1st you will see it not as it exists right now but as it existed 1 1/4 seconds ago. When you look at Venus, which will be 35 1/2 million miles away on December 1st you will be seeing it not as it exists now but as it existed 3 minutes, and Mars which this Sunday will be 212 million miles away you will see as it exists not right now but as it existed 19 minutes ago. Wow! Think of it, an exquisite cosmic triangle of our 3 closest cosmic neighbors, all apparently in a tight triangle, but all at such incredible distances both from us and each other that we see each one as it existed some time ago in the recent past. Wow! I can hardly wait. Happy December 1st and Keep Looking Up!

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"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

#02-48 M

11/25/2002 thru 12/01/2002

"A Super Celestial Triangle On December 1st"

Horkheimer: On December 1st the 3 closest celestial bodies will form an exquisite cosmic triangle. Our closest neighbor the Moon, is 250,000 miles away and 2,000 miles wide. Second closest Venus is 35 million miles away and 8,000 miles wide or 4 times our Moon's width. Third closest and twice the size of our moon and half as wide as Venus, 4,000 mile wide Mars is the dimmest because it is 212 million miles away. And on Sunday the 1st just before dawn all 3 will form a near perfect triangle to the naked eye even though in reality each object is separated from each other by millions and millions of miles. Don't miss this awesome gathering of our 3 closest neighbors. 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

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"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



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