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!

Reel # 610 30-minute feed
Friday 10/20/06 1030 to 1100/512
Includes episodes 0645, 0646, 0647, 0648

 


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 # 06-45 / 1509th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/06/2006 through
Sunday 11/12/2006

"The Moon, A Planet And A Star Line Up In A Row
This Sunday Morning"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And what a beautiful sight we have for you this Sunday morning an hour or so before sunrise. Because you'll see three very different kinds of celestial objects lined up in a row; our Moon, the ringed planet Saturn and the brightest star of Leo the Lion. Don't miss this please.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday morning one to two hours before sunrise facing south where the brightest thing you'll see will be an exquisite 21 day old Moon which is more popularly called a last quarter Moon and just below it the only planet easily visible this month, planet #6 my favorite, ringed Saturn. And just below it the bright bluish star which marks the heart of Leo the Lion, Regulus. Now you'll notice that all three of these are lined up in a row. Besides which, if you've never been able to find Regulus or Saturn before, this is the morning to use the Moon to find them.

Now the reason I want you to see them is because this is a perfect opportunity to compare three different kinds of cosmic objects with incredibly different sizes and at incredibly different distances. The closest of course is our nearest neighbor in space the Moon. 2,000 miles wide it will be only 244,000 miles away this Sunday morning. And if we compare it in size to Saturn, Saturn really blows it away because it is 75,000 miles wide, which means we could line up almost 38 Moons across its middle. Or think of it this way Saturn is so huge we could fit almost 10,000 Moons inside it. And believe me it's much farther away than our Moon. Indeed, this weekend it's a whopping 855 million miles from earth. But as big as Saturn is it pales in size and distance when compared with Regulus because Regulus is a 1.4 million mile wide star even bigger than our own 865,000 mile wide Sun, so we could fit over 15 million Moons inside it. Wow!

But to understand just how far away it really is let's not talk in miles but in the speed of light. You see our Moon is so close it takes only i 1/3 seconds for its light to reach us. Saturn however is so much farther away that it takes 76 minutes for its light to reach us. But Regulus is so incredibly far away it takes 77 years for its light to reach us. Wow! So go out this Sunday about an hour before sunrise, and look for our Moon, a planet and a star lined up in a row. And in case you're rained out on Sunday go out on Monday and you'll see a 22 day old Moon almost on top of Regulus which shows you just how far our Moon moves from one night to the next. Sunday and Monday. Sunday and Monday. Keep looking up!

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


Star Gazer Minute

#06-45 M

11/06/2006 thru 11/12/2006

"The Moon, A Planet And A Star Line Up In A Row
This Sunday Morning"

Horkheimer: This Sunday before sunrise the Moon, a planet and a star all line up in a row. An hour or so before sunrise face south and you'll see a 2,000 mile wide last quarter Moon, the 75,000 mile wide ringed planet Saturn and the 1 1/2 million mile wide star Regulus which marks the heart of Leo the Lion. Saturn is so big, almost 10,000 Moons could fit inside it. But Regulus is so humongous 15 million Moons could fit inside it. Wow! The Moon, a planet and a star all lined up in a row. But if you miss it on Sunday, on Monday the Moon will be almost on top of Regulus, which shows you just how far our Moon moves from one night to the next. Sunday and Monday. 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
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!

Reel # 610 30-minute feed
Friday 10/20/06 1030 to 1100/512
Includes episodes 0645, 0646, 0647, 0648


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 #06-46 /1510th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/13/2006 through Sunday 11/19/2006

"Get Ready For This Weekend's
Leonid Meteor Shower!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Every November we are treated to a meteor shower, which appears to originate from Leo the Lion. So we call this event the Leonid Meteor Shower. Last year it was a real dud because bright moonlight wiped out all but the very brightest of the meteors. But this year ta da! there'll be no moonlight to interfere. So if you get far enough away from city lights and it's clear out you should be able to catch quite a few. Let me explain.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for very early this Sunday morning November 19th, 3 a.m. facing east where half way up from the horizon you'll see the bright stars which make up the constellation Leo the Lion. The front part of Leo is marked by stars, which trace out a sickle shape or backwards question mark and Leo's rear is marked by three stars, which form a triangle. And this year you'll see a bright light next to Leo which usually isn't there, planet #6 ringed Saturn.

Now every November on the nights 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 all an optical illusion because the meteors are million of times closer than the stars of Leo. 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 visits our Sun it sheds some of its tail and leaves a trail of debris all along its orbit. So after hundreds of years and dozens of passages Tempel ­ Tuttle's orbit has become filled with tiny specks of comet debris. And every November when our Earth plows through this river of comet debris many specks slam into our Earth's atmosphere leaving the trails of light which we call the Leonid meteors.

Now most of these 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 gasp with delight. So because we have no bright moonlight to interfere this year you can expect to see 15 to 20 meteors per hour if you follow the rules for optimum viewing. Start watching about 3 a.m. this Sunday morning and make sure you are far away from city lights. Lie back in a sleeping bag or 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'll have a better chance to see more bright ones about an hour before sunrise because that's when Leo will be almost overhead. Patience is required. And remember not to use a telescope or binoculars. This is strictly a naked eye event, which is my favorite kind. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#06-46 M

11/13/2006 thru 11/19/2006

"Get Ready For This Weekend's Leonid Meteor
Shower!"

Horkheimer: Very early this Sunday morning the 19th from 3 a.m. to dawn we'll be treated to the Leonid Meteor Shower. Every November our Earth plows through a river of comet debris and when some of these specks of debris slam into our Earth's atmosphere going 160,000 miles per hour they heat up the gasses in our Earth's atmosphere and leave trails of light which we call the Leonid meteors because they appear to come from Leo the Lion. Get far away from city lights and watch from 3 a.m. to dawn and you may see 15 to 20 per hour. Just lie back on a lawn chair, slowly scan the sky and have plenty of patience. No telescopes allowed. It's a naked eye event only! 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!

Reel # 610 30-minute feed
Friday 10/20/06 1030 to 1100/512
Includes episodes 0645, 0646, 0647, 0648

 


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 # 06-47 / 1511th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/20/2006 through Sunday 11/26/2006

"Mercury Begins A Super Show This Weekend
And Three Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving"

Horkheimer : Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers. Every Thanksgiving week I like to point out that in addition to the bird on the Thanksgiving table there are three cosmic birds in the heavens. Plus this year Mercury begins a super show this Thanksgiving weekend. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night this 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 we have a heavenly swan to be thankful for. The star farthest to the west, Altair, is the brightest star in Aquila the Eagle. But the brightest of the 3 stars and closest to the northwest horizon is Vega, the premier 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 and strange as it may seem the association between a turtle and a lyre is not far fetched because some musicologists believe that the first lyres were made out of turtle shells with strings stretched across them. But even before Lyra was seen as 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 cosmic vulture. But when Babylonian kings and queens strolled through the hanging gardens of Babylon at night they looked up and saw Lyra as Urakhga, a mythological bird who brought storms. And in ancient Arabia people often depicted the stars of Lyra, depending upon what tribe they belonged to, as one of two birds, either a desert eagle or would you believe, a cosmic goose. Lyra's stars were also once known as a great osprey and even as a wood falcon. Anyone care for a wood falcon or osprey drumstick?

In fact as recently as the American Revolution the stars of Lyra were depicted as a great American eagle. But would you believe with a lyre in his beak? Today however all that remains of this proud eagle is the musical instrument of long, long ago, the lyre/harp of ancient Greece. So 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. Plus, ta da! this Thanksgiving weekend 2006, we have a special added attraction. Look southeast about 45 minutes before sunrise and you'll see a bright pink light which is planet #1 out from the Sun, 3,000 mile wide Mercury, which is now officially the smallest planet since Pluto got the boot. Please start your Mercury watch now because it is getting ready to put on a super show with two other planets at the beginning of December! Happy Thanksgiving and 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.

 


Star Gazer Minute

#06-47 M

11/20/2006 thru 11/26/2006

"Mercury Begins A Super Show This Weekend
And Three Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving"

Horkheimer: In addition to the traditional turkey we have three cosmic birds every Thanksgiving. Look west just after dark and you'll see the three bright stars of the Summer Triangle which every Thanksgiving I call the Poultry Triangle but historically these three stars have been associated with birds: Cygnus the Swan, Aquila the Eagle and Lyra the Harp. But Lyra the Harp has had many feathery incarnations. In ancient India it was a cosmic vulture, in ancient Babylon, a great storm bird and in Arabia a desert eagle. Others have called it an osprey, a wood falcon even a goose. So if you've had turkey up to here on Thanksgiving look west after sunset for birds of a different feather. 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!

Reel # 610 30-minute feed
Friday 10/20/06 1030 to 1100/512
Includes episodes 0645, 0646, 0647, 0648


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 # 06-48 / 1512th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/27/2006 through Sunday 12/03/2006

"Mark The Second Week Of December As
Super Planet Meeting of 2006!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And believe me when I say that if you don't go out and planet gaze during the second week of this December, from the 7th through the 14th, you will miss the best planet meeting of the entire year. Indeed three planets, Mars, Mercury and Mercury will have a one-week meeting that will blow you away. They will easily be seen with just the naked eye. But if you have a pair of binoculars you can watch a seven day show you'll never forget. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for day number one of this week long event, Thursday December 7th, close to dawn around 40 minutes before sunrise facing between east and southeast. And even though there'll be a little bit of twilight you'll see three objects quite close together just above the horizon so make sure you've got a clear unobstructed horizon. The closest to the horizon and the brightest will be the king of the planets, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. Just above it will be the rouge gold planet, much dimmer 4,000 mile wide Mars. And directly above and brighter than Mars is 3,000 mile wide Mercury. And if you have a pair of binoculars please use them.

You see for one week starting on the 7th these three planets will be super close but will constantly change their position from day to day. For the entire week they will all fit within the field of view of a pair of binoculars. Or as we say they will all fit within a five degree circle, which is a circle only ten full Moons wide. But on two of these days these three planets will be so close they'll knock your socks off. On Friday the 8th they're even closer and on Saturday, Sunday and Monday the 9th, 10th and 11th they will fit inside a circle only 1 1/2 degrees wide. So close together, a circle only 3 full Moon widths wide could contain them. But the closest morning of all will be Sunday morning, December 10th, when they'll fit within a circle little more than one degree or two full Moon widths wide. Wow!

On the 11th they're still extremely close and then they'll start to pull apart on Tuesday the 12th, a little less close on Wednesday the 13th, and Thursday the 14th is the last really good day to see this triple pairing. But if you're going to choose two days only I recommend Sunday morning December 10th when they'll be at their absolute closest and Monday morning the day of their second closest meeting. Use binoculars for an even better show! And remember that even though these planets will all appear very close from the 7th through the 14th, it's really all an optical illusion. Indeed they are each at incredibly different distances from our Earth. The closest, Mercury will be approximately 120 million miles away, Mars will be 230 million miles away and Jupiter a whopping 600 million miles from Earth! So mark the second week of December 2006 as the most planet fun week of the entire year and get thee outside as many mornings as you can. Let the planet show begin. 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
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Committed to expanding the universe of transdermal drug delivery for the benefit of patients and partners.


Star Gazer Minute

#06-48 M

11/27/2006 thru 12/03/2006

"Mark The Second Week Of December As
Super Planet Meeting of 2006!"

Horkheimer: Mark the second week of December as a seven day planet show you'll never forget because from the 7th to the 14th, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter will be super close. Start watching on the 7th just before sunrise facing east and for seven days these three planets will fit within a circle only 10 full Moon widths wide: 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, 4,000 mile wide Mars and 3,000 mile wide Mercury. And although they'll be super close for one week, they'll be at their absolute closest Sunday and Monday the 10th and 11th. And if you have binoculars, now is the time to use them because this is an event you will never forget. Three super planets, super close for seven super days! 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


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