STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 10/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode # 04-44 / 1404th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/1/2004 through
Sunday 11/07/2004

"Star Gazer Turns 28 And The Moon Visits Three Planets And A Lovely Star In Predawn Skies"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Yes indeed this week Thursday November 4th Star Gazer celebrates its 28th year on the air. Plus the two brightest planets have a super close meeting. And next week the Moon will visit them and the returning not so bright Mars and the lovely giant star Spica. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Thursday and Friday November 4th and 5th one hour before sunrise, facing east, where the two brightest planets, 8,000 mile wide Venus and 88,000 mile wide Jupiter will be side by side in a super close meeting which we will not see again until the year 2008. And I think it's absolutely wonderful that the cosmos arranged to stage this super sight to celebrate Star Gazer's 28th birthday. At any rate, if you miss them on the 4th and 5th you'll be able to watch them slowly pull apart from each other day by day. And next Tuesday Nov. 9th see them joined by an exquisite 26 day old crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a black full Moon nestled within the bright crescent.

But if you miss it on the 9th you'll see an even skinnier crescent Moon complete with earthshine the following day, Wednesday the 10th when the Moon will have jumped from above Jupiter and Venus to just below it and almost half way between Venus and the brightest star of the constellation Virgo the Virgin, 7 million mile wide Spica. You will also see something very dim just below and off to its left, a faint pale reddish orange object almost on a line with the Moon, Venus and Jupiter our old friend, 4,000 mile wide Mars which had its brightest appearance in 60,000 years in August 2003, but which is now 70 times dimmer. But it's still making news because two rovers from Earth are still sending signals back home.

And if you really want to test your eyesight then go out the following day on Thursday the 11th and extremely close to the horizon you'll see an extremely slender sliver of a 28 day old crescent Moon about as slender a sliver as you'll ever see, if you can see it. Once again, Tuesday the 9th, Wednesday the 10th and Thursday the 11th. But once again remember that even though these cosmic objects will look relatively close to each other nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact if we use the speed of light, which travels 186,000 miles per second, as a measuring stick, next week light from the Moon will reach us in about 1 1/4 seconds while the light from Venus will reach us in 10 minutes, and almost twice as far away, light from Mars will take 20 minutes to reach us while Jupiter over two and a half times as far away as Mars will need 50 minutes for its light to reach us. But Spica is way out there. In fact while light from Mars, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon all take less than one hour to reach us it takes 275 years for light to travel from Virgo's brightest star, which means that when you look at Spica next week, you'll be seeing the light that left it 275 years ago, in the year 1729! Something to think about as you 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 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-44 M

11/01/2004 thru 11/07/2004

"Star Gazer Turns 28 And The Moon Visits Three Planets
And A Lovely Star In Predawn Skies"

Horkheimer: This week Star Gazer celebrates its 28th birthday and the planets are putting on a show for us. This week before sunrise the two brightest planets Venus and Jupiter are in a super close meeting you'll not see again until 2008. And next Tuesday they'll be joined by an exquisite 26 day old moon which on Wednesday will be half way between Venus and the giant 7 million mile wide star Spica below which you'll see tiny 4,000 mile wide Mars. Think of this, light from the Moon reaches us in 1 1/4 seconds, light from Venus in 10 minutes, light from Mars 20 minutes, light from Jupiter 50 minutes, but it takes 275 years light to reach us from Spica! 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


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


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

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







STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 10/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode #04-45 /1405th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/08/2004 through Sunday 11/14/2004

"Leo The Lion's Meteor Shower Will Definitely
Not Roar This Year But You may Find it A-meew-zing"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every November we are treated to a meteor shower that appears to originate from Leo the Lion thus we call this event the Leonid meteor shower. And for the past few years it was absolutely wonderful because the comet responsible for the Leonid meteors was relatively close to Earth. But it's much farther away now so we won't see nearly as many meteors as we have in the past. Even so it should be better for us than last year because last year's Leonids were wiped out by bright moonlight and this year there'll be no moonlight whatsoever to interfere with seeing the fainter meteors. Let me show you what you can expect to see if you follow a few rules.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for next Wednesday morning November 17th, 3 a.m. facing east where half way up from the horizon you'll see our old friend Leo the Lion. The front part of Leo is marked by stars which trace out a sickle shape or a backwards question mark. And Leo's rear is marked by three stars which form a triangle. And every November on the night of the Leonid meteor shower bright streaks of light which we call meteors flash across the sky and appear to come from a spot within Leo's sickle. But it's really an optical illusion because the meteors are millions of times closer.

You see meteors are nothing more than tiny bits of comet debris that slam into our Earth's atmosphere so fast that they incinerate and cause gasses in our Earth's atmosphere to briefly light up, kind of like the gasses in a neon tube. The comet that causes the Leonids is comet Tempel-Tuttle which pays our Sun a visit every 33 years. But every time it visit's the Sun it sheds some of its debris all along its orbit, its trail, so after hundreds of years Tempel-Tuttle's orbit has become filled with tiny specks of comet debris. And every November when our Earth plows into this river of comet debris some specks slam into our Earth's atmosphere, leaving trails of light, which we call the Leonid meteors.

Now most of the specks are very tiny and leave very faint trails but there are always a few bigger specks and they can leave brilliant trails, which will make you absolutely gasp with delight. So because we have no bright moonlight to interfere this year you may expect to see 15 to 20 meteors per hour, if you're patient. Here's what I advise for optimum viewing. Start watching about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning and make sure you're far away from city lights, lay back in a sleeping bag or blankets on a lawn chair with your feet pointing east. Then slowly scan the sky back and forth for at least an hour and you should see a few bright ones. You have a better chance to see more bright ones about an hour before sunrise because that's when Leo will be almost overhead. Happy meteor hunting and remember that although Leo will not roar as he has in recent years his meew-ing may still be quite awesome. 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

 

"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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-45 M

11/08/2004 thru 11/14/2004

"Leo The Lion's Meteor Shower Will Definitely
Not Roar This Year But You may Find it A-meew-zing
"

Horkheimer: on Wednesday the 17th from 3 a.m. to dawn we'll be treated to the Leonid meteor shower named for Leo the Lion. And although he won't roar as he did the past few years, his meewing may still be quite awesome because there'll be no bright moonlight to hide his fainter meteors. Every November our Earth plows into a river of comet debris and when some of these specks of debris slam into our Earth's atmosphere they leave trails of light, which we call the Leonid meteors because they appear to come from Leo. Watch from 3 a.m. to dawn far from city lights and you may see 15 to 20 per hour. No binoculars or telescopes needed, just lay back on a lawn chair and slowly scan the sky. But whatever you do bundle up as you 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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




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

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


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






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 10/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode # 04-46 / 1406th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/15/2004 through Sunday 11/21/2004

"The Lord Of The Rings
And The Gemini Twins"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Most of you already know that in July our Cassini space craft went into orbit around the planet affectionately called the Lord of the Rings, the 6th planet out from the Sun, Saturn. And although it has not been visible to the naked eye in evening skies from Earth for the past 5 months, it has now returned for viewing and is in fact the only planet visible in evening skies before midnight. Plus it is on a straight line with two of my favorite stars, Castor and Pollux the Gemini Twins. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night next week, Thanksgiving week, from 9 to 10 p.m. your local time facing just slightly north of east where just above the horizon you will see 3 bright objects lined up in a row. The brightest and closest to the horizon is the lord of the rings, 75,000 mile wide, Saturn. And if you've never thought about getting a small telescope before now would be a good time because Saturn will be available for viewing for the next few months and is almost everyone's favorite through even the smallest scope. Plus it will be up even earlier for the Christmas and New year holidays.

Now if you draw a straight line from Saturn just slightly up and to its left it will run through the two brightest stars of the constellation Gemini, first Pollux and then Castor. And I always like to compare these two stars whenever they're close to any planet. You see the brighter star Pollux is a lot larger than Saturn or any planet to say the least. In fact it is about 11 times the diameter of our own million mile wide Sun, which means we could fit about 2 million Saturns inside it. But don't let appearances fool you because even though Pollux is brighter than its twin brother Castor, Castor hides a magnificent secret because if we look at it with large telescopes and special instruments, Castor shows us that it is not just one star. In fact, it is not even a double star or a triple star or a quadruple star or a quintuple star. In reality it is actually six stars, three pairs all moving about each other in an outrageously intricate cosmic ballet.

So why is comparatively dinky Saturn so much brighter? Simple answer, it is so incredibly much closer. In fact the light from Saturn will take only 70 minutes to reach us next week. Whereas Pollux is so incredibly far away it takes its light 35 years to reach us. And Castor's light takes 45 years! So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, start your Gemini and Lord of the Rings watch now. Just look for the three any night next week on a straight line. And if you're one of those who still needs help finding cosmic objects well, on Monday night after Thanksgiving, November 29th an exquisite waning gibbous Moon will be parked just to the side of Castor and Pollux and above Saturn. And on Tuesday the 30th an even prettier gibbous Moon will be parked almost between Saturn and Pollux. So if you can't find them next week without help, wait until the 29th and 30th and the Moon will find them for you. 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

 

"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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-46M

11/15/2004 thru 11/21/2004

"The Lord Of The Rings
And The Gemini Twins"

Horkheimer: The Lord of the Rings Saturn has returned for evening viewing plus next week it is on a straight line with Castor and Pollux the twin stars of Gemini. Thanksgiving week from 9 to midnight look east and you'll see them lined up in a row, the brightest 75,000 mile wide Saturn almost begs you to get out your telescope now. Above it Gemini's Pollux, 11 times as wide as our million mile wide Sun is so huge we could fit 2 million Saturns inside it. But even more awesome is Castor, which through special instruments shows itself to be not just one star, but six stars, three pairs all moving about each other in an outrageous cosmic ballet. And on the 29th and 30th you'll be able to use the Moon to find them. 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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




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

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


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




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 10/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode #04-47 / 1407th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/22/2004 through Sunday 11/28/2004

"A Full Beaver Moon And Three Cosmic Birds
For Thanksgiving Weekend"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. Cosmically speaking we're in for a lovely Thanksgiving holiday weekend because in addition to the usual Thanksgiving turkey on the table we'll have our annual three cosmic birds in the sky, which you can see after Thanksgiving dinner. Plus this year an exquisite full Moon called the Beaver Moon will light up our weekend. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night this Thanksgiving week about 7 p.m. your local time facing west and if you look high above the horizon you will see the 3 bright stars which if we connect by lines make up what is officially called the summer triangle but which every November I unofficially call the Thanksgiving poultry triangle. You see, historically these stars have been associated with cosmic birds. The highest star 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 bright star farthest to the left, Altair, is the brightest star in Aquila the 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 two 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 was a cosmic turtle it was a bird of one sort or other. 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 bird of storms Urakhga. And later 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. It was also once known as a great osprey and at another time as a wood falcon anyone for a wood falcon or 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, a small harp. In fact at the time of the American revolution these stars were still seen as a bird, an eagle, but with a lyre in its beak. So perhaps we should play lyre music after Thanksgiving dinner?

At any rate, this weekend after you've had turkey up to here why not step outside just after dinner and look for some birds of a different feather. And thank the heavens above you'll never get them in your leftovers. But if you've had it with birds altogether then simply turn east just after sunset and you'll see the exquisite full Moon of November, also called the Beaver Moon, which will light up your entire Thanksgiving weekend. 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

 

"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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-47 M

11/22/2004 thru 11/28/2004

"A Full Beaver Moon And Three Cosmic Birds
For Thanksgiving Weekend"

Horkheimer: In addition to the usual Thanksgiving turkey this year we'll have three cosmic birds plus November's full Moon, which is called the Beaver Moon. Around 7 p.m. face west and you'll see the three bright stars of the Summer Triangle which every Thanksgiving I call the poultry triangle because these three stars have historically been associated with birds. Cygnus the Swan, Aquila the Eagle and Lyra the Harp. Long ago Lyra had many feathery incarnations. In India it was a cosmic vulture, in Babylon a great storm bird, in Arabia, a desert eagle. Others have called it an osprey, a wood falcon even a goose. But if you're up to here with turkey and birds look east and the full Beaver Moon will light up your 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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


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


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



STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Wednesday 10/20/04 - 1730-1830 Eastern Time 5 Shows

One Hour Feed - 5 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode #04-48 / 1408th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/29/2004 through Sunday 12/05/2004

"Venus Has A Super Close Meeting With Mars
And The Moon Plays 'Hide The Biggest Planet'"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next week Venus and Mars will have a super close meeting plus the Moon will actually hide Jupiter for about an hour and you can watch it all!

O.K, we've got our skies set up for this Sunday morning December 5th one hour before Sunrise facing south east where you'll see three planets, the brightest of which is our nearest neighbor, 8,000 mile wide Venus. Huddled right next to it less than two full Moon widths away, which is super close, you'll see much dimmer 4,000 mile wide Mars, and directly above it the king of the planets 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And please notice that Jupiter, Venus and Mars will all appear to be pretty much on an invisible line, a line we call the ecliptic which is the path along which all the planets, the Sun and the Moon appear to travel. Now if you go out 24 hours later on Monday the 6th Venus and Mars will still be almost as close to each other but you'll notice that Venus is a little bit lower and that's because Venus is getting ready to move downward toward the horizon while Mars is getting ready to move up. In other words they are in the process of passing each other.

But you'll also notice that on that path of the planets, the ecliptic, Jupiter has been joined by a beautiful waning crescent Moon. And this is where the fun is going to start because between midnight and dawn Tuesday December 7th the Moon will actually pass over Jupiter and hide it for a half hour or so. Or as astronomers say the Moon will occult Jupiter. And if you have a small telescope it's absolutely fascinating to watch the entire process from the Moon starting to cover Jupiter to Jupiter coming out from behind it. I suggest you start watching around 2 a.m. your local time Tuesday morning December 7th. And sometime between 2 a.m. and dawn the hide the planet process will occur but the times will be different wherever you happen to be. Most people east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. will see it. But those of you west of the Rockies are out of luck.

For exact occultation, that is hiding, times go to our website. Now you may recall that in July 2003 the Moon occulted Mars in a similar fashion and the photographs amateurs took all over the world were absolutely spectacular. But I predict this will be even more beautiful because Jupiter is so incredibly huge as seen through even the cheapest department store telescope plus you'll be able to watch its moons disappear and reappear one by one. Now on Wednesday the 8th the Moon will be half way between Jupiter, Venus and Mars and you will see that Mars and Venus have pulled even farther apart. And on Thursday an exquisite 27 day old Moon will be on a perfect line with Venus and Mars. On Friday if you can still find the Moon it will be below them. Wow! What a difference 6 days make because this is what Venus and Mars look like on the 5th, and this is what they'll look like on the 10th. As you can see the planets are always moving and next week you'll have a front row seat! 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 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-48 M

11/29/2004 thru 12/05/2004

"Venus Has A Super Close Meeting With Mars
And The Moon Plays 'Hide the Biggest Planet'""

Horkheimer: Next week Venus and Mars will have a super close meeting plus the Moon will actually hide Jupiter for about an hour. Just before sunrise Sunday morning you'll see 8,000 mile wide Venus and less than two full Moon widths away 4,000 mile wide Mars and directly above them 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. On Monday Venus and Mars will still be very close and on Tuesday pulling away from each other. But between 2 a.m. and dawn on Tuesday you'll be able to watch the Moon pass over Jupiter and its bright moons and hide it for a half hour or so. Astronomers call this an occultation and for exact times go to our website. Get out those small telescopes now 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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


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


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


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