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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 805
Monday October 20, 2008, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0844, 0845, 0846, 0847


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 
Click Here

 
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STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 08-44 / 1613th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/03/2008 through
Sunday 11/09/2008

"The Exquisite Double Star Cluster
Beloved By Ancient Emperors"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Although I usually talk about very bright, easy to find, obvious objects in the night sky every once in a while I like to entice you to look for less bright and less obvious objects which have hidden beauty. And such is the case this week because I am going to show you two tiny clouds which have been seen and admired by hundreds of generations and which were written about as far back as the times of Tsung-K'ang, the fourth reigning monarch of the Hsai dynasty of ancient China over 4,000 years ago in the early third millennium b.c. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in November between 8 and 10 p.m. facing north where you will see five bright stars which if connected by lines trace out a slightly squashed out capital letter 'm'. This is the constellation named for the ancient queen of Ethiopia Cassiopeia. And just off to her right is a rather free form shape of stars which if connected by lines would look something like this and which were named for the ancient hero of Greek mythology, Perseus.

Now off to the right of Perseus is perhaps the most famous cluster of stars known and which I speak about frequently. It's easily seen if there is no bright moonlight and is called The Pleiades, although most people refer to it as the Seven Sisters. But there are two dimmer clusters of stars, which most people pay little attention to because they're not as bright. And I suggest you look for them when there is no bright Moon out. Simply look between Cassiopeia and Perseus and they'll look like two tiny faint clouds. And the farther you are away from city lights the brighter they will appear.

If you look at them through a pair of binoculars or a small telescope you will see that there are dozens of stars in each cluster looking very much like the Seven Sisters. In fact they are the same kind of cluster as the Seven Sisters. The only reason they look different to the naked eye is because they are almost 20 times farther away, about 7,500 light years away compared to the 400 light years distance of The Pleiades. This group is simply called the Double Cluster in Perseus. And there are at least 300 to 400 stars in each cluster many of which are great blazing supergiants of almost unimaginable brilliance, thousands of times larger than our own Sun.

Astronomy writer Stephen J. O'Meara penned one of the best descriptions I've ever read. "This pair of stellar islands spans about one and a half Moon diameters and a small telescope will reveal suns piled like rubies and diamonds on black velvet and strings of stars stretch between the couplet like arms entwining them in an eternal embrace". How poetic. With an estimated age of only a few million years this is one of the youngest open clusters known. And it is racing toward us at the incredible speed of 26 miles per second.

So some night this November go outside between the hours of 8 and 10 p.m. face north look first for Cassiopeia then for Perseus and right between them a wonderful double cluster of stars whose light left them over 7,500 years ago, which means that we see them not as they exist now but as they existed almost 8 millennia ago. Keep looking up!

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-44 M

11/03/2008 thru 11/09/2008

"The Exquisite Double Star Cluster
Beloved By Ancient Emperors"

Horkheimer: In ancient China in the early third millennium b.c. Chinese court astronomers wrote about two tiny cosmic clouds which you can see this month. Between 8 and 10 p.m. face north and you'll see the five bright stars of queen Cassiopeia and to her right a free form group of stars called Perseus. But if you look carefully between them you'll see these two ancient clouds which through binoculars or a small telescope show themselves to be twin islands of dozens of stars, many of them blazing supergiants thousands of times larger than our Sun. About 7,500 light years away, we see them not as they exist now but as they existed almost 8 millennia ago. We call them the Perseus Double star Cluster and they are best seen on a moonless night. Keep looking up!

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

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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


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

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






STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. 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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 805
Monday October 20, 2008, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0844, 0845, 0846, 0847


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #08-45 /1614th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 11/10/2008 through Sunday 11/16/2008

"Watch The Two Brightest Planets Race
Toward Each Other For A Super Close Meeting!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And boy oh boy if you've been looking into the west just after sunset recently, you've been seeing two bright objects which are going to give us a super duper sky show at the end of the month. In fact they are the two brightest planets in our solar system, super bright Venus and second brightest Jupiter. And you can watch them come closer every single night from now until November 30th and December 1st when they will be super close to each other and will be joined by an exquisite crescent Moon which means that for two nights in a row there will be a meeting of the three brightest objects in the night sky which is really going to be a knockout show.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday this week November 10th one hour after sunset facing southwest where you'll see super bright 8,000 mile wide Venus and up to its left not quite as bright, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, so huge we could line eleven Venuses up across its middle. Astronomers say they're 20 degrees apart from each other which is a little easier to understand if you think of it this way. A full Moon is one half a degree wide. So on Monday the 10th Jupiter and Venus were 20 degrees or 40 full Moons lined-up-end-to-end apart from each other. But they're really moving fast each night and in fact by next Monday the 17th they will be only 13 degrees or 26 full Moons apart. And the going really gets good during Thanksgiving week because by Monday the 24th, Thanksgiving week, they'll be only 6 1/2 degrees or `13 full Moons apart. On Tuesday 12 full Moons would fit between them, Wednesday ten full Moons and ta da! on Thanksgiving night go out just after dinner just after sunset and they will be so close only 8 full Moons could fit between them. On Friday 6 full Moons, Saturday 5 full Moons and finally on Sunday the last day of this month November 30th they'll be at their closest when we could fit only 4 full Moons between them. Wow!

Plus they will be joined by an exquisite 3 day old crescent Moon complete with earthshine which will look like a grayish-black full Moon nestled within the crescent. But it gets even better. On Monday the first day of December a slightly fatter crescent Moon complete with earthshine will have moved just up past Venus and Jupiter and will be even closer to them forming a trio of the three brightest objects we can ever see in the night time sky.

Once again on Sunday November 30th a magnificent trio, the two brightest planets in our solar system and the crescent Moon and Monday December first an even more impressive trio when the crescent Moon will be even closer to Jupiter the king and Venus the queen. Don't miss this please. Start your Venus and Jupiter getting-closer-to-each-other-every-night watch now! And Thanksgiving night pop out during one of the commercials during the football games for a super cosmic planet game!. Keep looking up!

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-45 M

11/10/2008 thru 11/16/2008


"Watch The Two Brightest Planets Race
Toward Each Other For A Super Close Meeting!"

Horkheimer: The two brightest planets are racing toward a super close meeting on December first and you can watch them get closer every single night. On Monday the 10th an hour after sunset facing southwest the brightest planet, 8,000 mile wide Venus and second brightest, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, were 40 full Moons apart from each other. But by next Monday they'll be only 26 full Moons apart and on thanksgiving only 8 full Moons. On November 30th they'll be at their closest and joined by a lovely crescent moon but on Monday December 1st an even more exquisite Moon will make a super close triangle with Venus and Jupiter in a sight that will blow you away. So start your Venus / Jupiter - getting ­ closer ­ to ­each ­ other ­every ­ night- watch now. And on December first be thrilled by a terrific extraterrestrial trio. Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)


For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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




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

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


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




 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. 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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 805
Monday October 20, 2008, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0844, 0845, 0846, 0847


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-46 / 1615th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/17/2008 through Sunday 11/23/2008

"The Return Of Three Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving
And the Two Brightest Planets Meet"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Cosmically speaking this year Thanksgiving week will be very special because in addition to the usual turkey bird for Thanksgiving dinner we have our annual return of three cosmic birds which you can see right after Thanksgiving dinner or any night Thanksgiving week. Plus the two brightest planets are preparing for a super close meeting and you can watch them come closer every night!

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night this Thanksgiving week about one hour after sunset facing southwest where just above the horizon you will see the two brightest planets in our solar system, super bright, 8,000 mile wide Venus and second brightest, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, eleven Venuses wide. And if you watch night after night they will move closer and closer to each other and on November 30th and December 1st will be super close and actually spectacular! So start your Venus / Jupiter getting closer to each other each night watch now.

Next if you look high above the horizon you'll see three bright stars which if we connect with lines make up what is officially called the Summer Triangle but which every November I unofficially call the "Thanksgiving is for the birds" triangle because 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 three stars and closest to the northwest horizon is Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp which, strange as it may sound, has had more feathery incarnations than the other two birds put together.

You see, Lyra was not always a harp. In fact long before it became a lyre it was a cosmic turtle but before it was 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 bird of storms, Urakhga. In ancient Arabia people depicted Lyra's stars, depending on what tribe they belonged to as either a desert eagle or would you believe, a cosmic goose. And Lyra was also seen as a great osprey and 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 of ancient Greece. In fact as recently as the American Revolution these stars were still depicted as a bird, a great American eagle, but with a lyre in its beak. So perhaps we should play lyre music after Thanksgiving dinner? At any rate, step outside just after dinner any night this week and look for some birds of a different feather and be truly thankful you won't have them served up as Thanksgiving leftovers for several nights in a row, although you will be able to see them many, many nights in a row. Yes indeed, Thanksgiving is really for the birds but in a really nice way. Keep looking up!


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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
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Star Gazer Minute

#08-46 M

11/17/2008 thru 11/23/2008

"The Return Of Three Cosmic Birds For Thanksgiving
And the Two Brightest Planets Meet"

Horkheimer: If the turkey on the table is not enough bird for you on Thanksgiving look west just after sunset and you'll see three cosmic birds depicted by the three constellations marked by the three bright stars of the Summer Triangle. Which every Thanksgiving I call the Poultry Triangle because these three constellations have historically been associated with birds: Cygnus the swan, Aquila the eagle and Lyra the harp. Lyra !? Well Lyra has had many feathery incarnations including a vulture and a goose. So if you're tired of turkey look west after Thanksgiving dinner for birds of a different feather. Plus just above the horizon you'll see the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter which will move closer to each other every night and will be super close December 1st. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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




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

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


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




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION


STAR GAZER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. There is a five minute and a one minute version available each week. If it is not currently on your PBS station we suggest you contact your local PBS programming director and let them know it is available free to all PBS stations. 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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 805
Monday October 20, 2008, 1000-1030
Includes episodes 0844, 0845, 0846, 0847


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-47 / 1616th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/24/2008 through Sunday 11/30/2008

"The Three Brightest Night Time Objects Meet
In A Terrific Extraterrestrial Trio!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And if you want to start December right on Monday night December 1st the three brightest objects in the night time sky will meet and make a terrific trio that i guarantee will knock your socks off. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Monday this week November 24th at dusk facing southwest where just above the horizon you will see the brightest planet of them all Earth sized 8,000 mile wide Venus, aptly named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty. And just up to Venus' left the second brightest planet appropriately named for the king of the Roman gods because coincidentally this happens to be the largest and king of the planets, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, so huge we could line up eleven Venuses or Earths across its middle.

Now as astronomers say, they are, on the 24th, only 6 1/2 degrees apart. Which you can visualize more easily by remembering that one full Moon equals one half a degree. So if Venus and Jupiter are 6 1/2 degrees apart that means we could line up 13 full Moons between them on Monday. But they are moving rapidly toward each other and only 24 hours later on Tuesday the 25th they will be 6 degrees or 12 full Moons apart, on Wednesday the 26th, 5 degrees or 10 full Moons apart, on Thursday the 27th, 4 degrees or 8 full Moons apart, on Friday only 3 degrees or 6 full Moons apart. But then ta da! It really gets good because on Saturday November 29th, they'll be only 2 1/2 degrees apart, which means that only 5 full Moons could fit between them. And if you have a really clear flat horizon you just may be able to see an extremely thin 2 day old crescent Moon. Binoculars will help.

But the next two nights are the best because on November 30th the last day of this month an exquisite crescent Moon complete with earthshine, which will look like a grayish black full Moon nestled within the crescent, will be down to the right of Jupiter and Venus and they will be at their closest for this go round only 2 degrees apart which means only 4 full Moons could fit between them. But it gets even better as we open up the first day of the last month of 2008 because ta da! on Monday December 1st an even more beautiful crescent Moon complete with earthshine will be just beyond Jupiter and Venus which will still be at their closest and the three of them will form one of the most striking trios you will ever see in the night sky. I mean just think of it the three brightest objects we can see in the night sky, all together making a perfect triangle. It just doesn't get much better than this.

But although they look like they're close together it's only our perspective from our planet, which makes it so. In reality they are at vast distances from each other. Indeed on December 1st our 2,000 mile wide Moon will be only 250,000 miles away, whereas Venus will be 93 million miles beyond. Jupiter however will be a whopping 540 million miles! And believe me if you've got binoculars or a small telescope this will be the night to use them. Venus will look like a gibbous Moon plus you'll see four of Jupiter's Moons. So get thee out starting Monday of this week, watch every single night and on December 1st bask in the beauty of a terrific extraterrestrial trio. Keep looking up!


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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-47 M

11/24/2008 thru 11/30/2008

"The Three Brightest Night Time Objects Meet
In A Terrific Extraterrestrial Trio!"

Horkheimer: On December first the three brightest objects in the night sky will meet in a terrific extraterrestrial trio! On Monday the 24th face southwest and you'll see the brightest planet 8,000 mile wide Venus and the second brightest 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And each night you can watch them move closer and closer to each other. On Thanksgiving they'll be only eight full Moons apart and on Saturday only five full Moons apart. But on Sunday they'll be at their closest, only four full Moons apart, and joined by an exquisite crescent Moon. Monday December first however is the best when an even bigger crescent Moon will form a fabulous triangle with the king and queen of the planets. The three brightest objects in the night sky all meet in a terrific extraterrestrial trio. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


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




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

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


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


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