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!

Thursday 10/20/05 - 1030-1100 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 5 MINUTE

Episode # 05-45 / 1457th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/07/2005 through
Sunday 11/13/2005

"Mars, Still At Its Brightest, Is Joined By The Moon"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Early this week on November 7th Mars was officially at opposition and is still almost at its brightest until 2018 and will be joined by an almost full Moon all night long on the 14th. O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next just after Sunset facing east where you'll see incredibly bright rouge red gold Mars hovering above the horizon. It is currently the third brightest thing in the night sky after the Moon and Venus and is so beautiful that any attempt to describe its subtle coloration is almost futile. It's simply one of those things, which you have to see for yourself.

Some people see red orange, some see brassy yellow, and others see rouge gold. But what you'll see depends upon how you interpret color. So please sometime during the next couple weeks go outside after Sunset look east and see for yourself. It was officially at opposition this week on Monday the 7th although for all practical purposes it's almost at opposition for the next couple weeks. Opposition simply means that it is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth so when the Sun sets in the west Mars rises in the east, travels across the sky all night long, reaches its highest point around midnight and sets in the west just as the Sun rises in the east, so you've got all night long to watch it. Plus next Monday the 14th a nearly full Moon rides across the sky with it all night long.

Now this super close opposition of Mars is a lot better than many because it rides very high up above the horizon during the night which makes for very good telescopic seeing because the higher a planet is above the horizon the less interfering layers of Earth's atmosphere blur the image. Now just to review: 4,000 mile wide Mars is just a little over half the size of our 8,000 mile wide Earth, yet strangely it has more land area to explore than our Earth because our planet is over 70% covered by water. Like Earth Mars has ice caps but they're different because they appear and disappear according to the season. Mars has super huge features that dwarf similar features on Earth. For instance, it has a grand canyon almost 3,000 miles long, so huge it would fit between New York and Los Angeles compared to Earth's Grand Canyon which is only 277 miles long.

It has three wonderful extinct volcanoes lined up in a row, which remind me of the three equally spaced stars in Orion the Hunter's belt. I call them the Three Sisters and close by there's a humongous volcano which I call Big Brother, Olympus Mons which is so huge it could cover the entire state of Georgia. It is 16 miles high, over two times higher than a 747 flies. And if you plopped it down where Atlanta is you could see the top of it from Miami. And please if you want to see super close ups just Google to 'Mars Pictures' and you'll have a choice of many wonderful websites. So be dazzled by Mars and watch it ride across the sky with a super Moon. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


Star Gazer Minute

#05-45 M

11/07/2005 thru 11/13/2005

"Mars, Still At Its Brightest, Is Joined By The Moon"

Horkheimer: Mars is still almost at its brightest and will ride across the sky with the full Moon on the 14th. Face east after sunset and rouge gold Mars will knock your socks off. Only the Moon and Venus are brighter. It's at opposition this week, which means it glides across the sky all night long from sunset to sunrise. Plus on Monday the 14th it will be accompanied by a nearly full Moon. Half the size of Earth it actually has more land area because our Earth is over 70% covered by water. It has a grand canyon 3000 miles long whereas Earth's Grand Canyon is only 277 miles long. Plus its biggest volcano could cover the entire state of Georgia. Watch it ride the sky all night long. Keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


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


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

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






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

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

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Thursday 10/20/05 - 1030-1100 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 #05-46 /1458th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/14/2005 through Sunday 11/20/2005

"Queen Cassiopeia : A Case of Vanity And Its Cosmic Reward"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. One of the things I like about autumn skies is a constellation named for an ancient queen of exceptional beauty, Queen Cassiopeia of Ethiopia. Let me show you. Go out any night in November between 9 and 10 p.m. your local time. Look due north for the North Star and directly above it you will see five bright stars which if we connect with imaginary lines trace out the letter M. This is the constellation Cassiopeia and you may well ask, "How could anyone stretch their imagination enough to see a queen in this M shaped pattern of stars?" The answer is, if you add a dim little star here just below the crux of the M you can actually draw a very nice stick figure of a chair, the throne of Queen Cassiopeia. But as you can see the throne in this position would require Cassiopeia to wear a seat belt because she'd be hanging face downward over the North Star. And that's part of the reason this group of stars was named for Cassiopeia.

You see because Cassiopeia, like the Big Dipper, is fairly close to the North Star we see it change its position in the heavens dramatically each night. In fact if we move time about six hours ahead we see that the throne is west of the North Star but it is now more nearly upright so the queen would not have to be hanging on for dear life. But as the hours pass all the stars endlessly circle the North Star and it is quite apparent that for much of the time Cassiopeia has to hang on to her throne quite tightly to keep from slipping off, especially in early evening in November. So why would anyone put a great queen on such a precarious throne?

Well it involves a little story of Cassiopeia's great beauty. It seems that she made the fatal mistake of bragging that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, the sea nymphs who were considered to be the hottest beauties of their time. It also seems they complained to their father Poseidon the god of the seas. And after much ado with sea monsters and Queen Cassiopeia's daughter Andromeda chained to a rock and rescued by Perseus, that Cassiopeia was finally punished for her vanity by being made to ride in the heavens around the North Star for all eternity, some times in a queenly upright position and at others in a less than dignified manner.

Today of course vanity is seldom punished but rewarded and we might think that the story of Cassiopeia quaint. But long ago she served our ancient ancestors well as a value lesson, passed down from generation to generation. And 433 years ago this month, November 1572 astronomers all around the world saw something wonderful happen here because a new star appeared in Cassiopeia that grew in brightness and for about two weeks outshone every star in the sky and could even be seen in broad daylight and was visible for almost 16 months. We now know it to have been a giant exploding star called a supernova, of which our great telescopes can now see the shattered remnants. So look for an ancient super star beauty queen who once had a super star visitor long ago. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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


Star Gazer Minute

#05-46 M

11/14/2005 thru 11/20/2005

"Queen Cassiopeia : A Case of Vanity And Its Cosmic Reward"

Horkheimer: Every November the constellation queen Cassiopeia rides high. Any November night between 9 and 10 p.m. Look north and directly above the North Star you will see 5 bright stars, which trace out the letter M. Add another star and we can imagine a chair or queen Cassiopeia's throne here. She rides endlessly around the North Star as a punishment for her vanity. And 433 years ago this month she had a visitor. In 1572 a brilliant new star appeared in Cassiopeia, which outshone every star in the sky and could even be seen in broad daylight. We now know it was a giant exploding star and today's telescopes can see its shattered remnants, a super star visitor for a super queen. Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


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




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

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


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




 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Thursday 10/20/05 - 1030-1100 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 # 05-47 / 1459th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/21/2005 through Sunday 11/27/2005

"Super Bright Mars And Venus Share The Sky
With Three Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving Week"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Cosmically speaking Thanksgiving week is super because in addition to the usual Thanksgiving turkey on the table we have our annual appearance of three cosmic birds in the sky, which you can see right after dinner all week long plus this year they are joined by the two currently brightest planets Venus and Mars.

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 where close to the horizon you'll see the brightest planet of them all super bright Earth-sized Venus. Then if you look higher above the horizon you will see the three bright stars which mark the points of 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 of 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 of another bird, Aquila the Eagle. But the brightest of the three 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 turtle it was a bird of one sort or other.

Ancient records tell us that Lyra's association with birds goes back over two thousand years. In ancient India Lyra was seen as a heavenly vulture. And in Babylon as a great mythological storm bird named Urakkhga. Some desert peoples of ancient Arabia saw it as two birds, the desert eagle and would you believe a cosmic goose? Lyra was also once known as an osprey and 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. In fact at the time of the American revolution these stars were still seen as a bird, an eagle but holding a lyre in its beak. But since then the eagle has flown away and only the lyre remains. So perhaps we should play lyre music after Thanksgiving dinner?

At any rate this Thanksgiving weekend after you've had turkey up to here just step outside 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 three cosmic birds and super bright Venus aren't enough for you then simply face east and high above the horizon you'll see the planet which is now number 2 in brightness because it is so incredibly close to Earth super bright rouge gold Mars which will make this Thanksgiving week extra special. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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

 


Star Gazer Minute

#05-47 M

11/21/2005 thru 11/27/2005

"Super Bright Mars And Venus Share The Sky
With Three Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving Week"

Horkheimer: In addition to the usual turkey every Thanksgiving we have three cosmic birds plus two brilliant planets Venus and Mars. At 7 p.m. face west and you'll see dazzling earth-sized Venus and above it 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. Plus this Thanksgiving look east and still super bright Mars will dazzle you. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


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




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

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


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




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

You may take STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

GE 3 - PBS Transponder 512 - Digital Only!

Thursday 10/20/05 - 1030-1100 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 # 05-48 / 1460th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/28/2005 through Sunday 12/04/2005

"Venus Becomes Queen Of December's Skies
And Catch Mars As It Speeds Away"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. The brightest planet Venus will become the undoubted queen of December's skies and pair up with the Moon this Sunday December 4th in a sky picture that will take your breath away. Plus a week from Sunday on December 11th the Moon will team up once again with Mars as it rapidly races away from Earth after its super close encounter at the beginning of November. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Saturday night December 3rd after sunset around 6 p.m. facing southwest where the brightest thing you'll see will be dazzling 8,000 mile wide Earth-sized Venus. It's been getting steadily brighter for several months and will reach its greatest brilliancy next week Friday December 9th. And through a small telescope will look like a slightly fat crescent Moon. It's really impossible to miss it if you have clear skies and it will so bedazzle us all throughout December that many people will mistake for the Christmas Star. And I encourage you please make sure you look at Venus this Sunday December 4th just after dark around 6 p.m. when an exquisite 4 day old crescent Moon will be parked only 4 degrees to the left of Venus and in fact will look about the same to the naked eye that Venus does through a telescope. Don't miss this pairing please because it is next to impossible to photograph its true beauty. You really have to see this with the naked eye.

And now for those of you who are into the non naked eye planets, as a bonus on Wednesday December 7th just after sunset the first quarter Moon will be only 4 degrees to the left of the 7th planet Uranus. And even though it is a huge 32,000 miles wide it is so far away almost 2 billion miles, that you'll need binoculars or a small telescope to see it. It will look like a tiny green dot of light, not very exciting but at least you can say you saw it.

And while you're out there Uranus and Venus watching in the southwest if you simply turn around and face east you'll see dazzling rouge gold Mars still dominating the eastern early evening skies. Only 4,000 miles wide, half the size of planet Earth it is still so close it is brighter than the brightest star Sirius at the beginning of November but by December's end it will be significantly dimmer. In fact when Mars was closest on October 29th it was only 43 million miles away from us but by December 1st it is 8 million miles farther away, 51 million miles beyond and by December 31st will be a whopping 71 million miles away. So it's really zooming away from us at a good clip.

And mark a week from Sunday December 11th as the night an almost full Moon pays Mars a visit. In fact if you go out every hour you'll be able to watch it move closer and closer to Mars so that by midnight eastern time they will be only 1 and 3/10ths of a degree apart which is super close. So there you have it Mars in early evening and coupled with the Moon on Sunday the 11th; Venus, December's queen and with the Moon on Sunday the 4th. Wow! What a way to begin the month. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


Star Gazer Minute

#05-48-M

11/28/2005 thru 12/04/2005

"Mars is At Its Biggest, Brightest And Closest
This Halloween Weekend"

Horkheimer: The Moon teams up with Venus queen of December's skies and with Mars as it races away from Earth. Venus dazzles all throughout December and is at greatest brilliancy on the 9th. This Sunday just after dark an exquisite Moon parks next to it in a sight you'll not forget and through a small telescope Venus will look almost the same shape as the crescent Moon. The following Sunday, the 11th, the Moon parks right next to Mars. And although Mars is still brighter than the brightest star it is 8 million miles farther away than it was at the beginning of November and will be 20 million miles farther away on December 31st. So catch it now because it will fade rapidly by the end of the month. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

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


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




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

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


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


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