STAR HUSTLER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for October 1996 is as follows: The feed will be October 28 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER. Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR HUSTLER Episode #380-I


987th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 11/4/96 through Sunday 11/10/96

"Three Outer Planets, Two Comets and One Moon"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and right off the bat let me remind you to mark Sunday morning, November 17th from the hours of midnight to sunrise on your calendar, as the night for what may be a much better-than-usual Leonid meteor shower. That's Sunday morning November 17th. I'll give you the nitty-gritty in next week's episode. and speaking of next week, I'd also like you to mark down the evenings of the 12th through the 15th for some exquisite Moon, planet and comet catching. Let me show you. Okay, we've got our skies set up for Tuesday, November 12th about one hour after sunset your local time. Now we're situated so that we're facing west-southwest and we'll start with the obvious. The brightest object of them all and close to the horizon, planet number five, good old Jupiter shining just above the handle of the teapot-shaped portion of Sagittarius. Now if you go out two or three hours after sunset you will be disappointed because both Sagittarius and Jupiter will have set. So catch them now while you can. And while you are out there if you've got a really clear flat horizon you'll see a tiny crescent, two day old Moon. And if you look about 2 fists wide above it and have a pair of binoculars you'll see Comet Hale-Bopp, which is rapidly speeding towards us for its April Fool's Day, 1997 rendezvous. Then if you look through binoculars just slightly north of due west you'll also spot Comet Tabur nestled just to the side of the constellation Bootes. It's on its way out but astronomers all across the country have captured it in fabulous photographs. In binoculars though, it will look like a fuzzy star. Then if you go out the next night, Wednesday November 13th an hour after sunset you'll notice that the Moon has gotten slightly fatter and is approaching the king of the planets. Indeed, the next night, Thursday November 14th, it will be only 11 full moon widths away. That's close; and will provide an absolutely spectacular November evening sky picture. Then if you've still got binoculars handy go out the next evening, Friday November 15th an hour after sunset, and just slightly below a now five day old crescent Moon, indeed, only seven full moon widths away, you'll see a tiny bluish-green light. It is the eighth planet in our sun's family, planet Neptune. and just above Neptune only thirteen full moon widths away, the seventh planet Uranus, also looking like a pinpoint of blue-green light in your binoculars. Once again, all times one hour after your local sunset: Tuesday evening, November 12th - Wednesday evening, November 13th - Thursday evening, November 14th and Friday the fifteenth. And while you're out there, you might want to remind yourself that while Comet Hale-Bopp is a whopping 300 million miles away next week, Jupiter will be 500 million miles beyond. And Uranus, four times farther away at two billion miles distance. But you ain't seen nothin' yet because Neptune will be three billion miles beyond. No wonder they look like dinky blue green pinpoints of light in binoculars, but they're there for you just waiting to be gazed at from afar if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!


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

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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.

Satellite feed for October 1996 is as follows: The feed will be October 28 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


Notice : These are rough drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER. Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR HUSTLER Episode #381-I

988th Show


To Be Aired : Monday11/11/96 through Sunday 11/17/96

"This Weekend's Leonid Meteor Shower : A Roaring Lion Or A Pussycat?"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and how many of you remember where you were in the early AM hours Thursday, November 17th 1966? I do. Very well. You see, I had spent the first couple of hours of November 17, 1966 hunting for meteors of the annual Leonid meteor shower. And after I had spotted a few decided to turn in. What a mistake! Because if I'd stayed up just a couple more hours I would have seen hundreds of meteors a minute because the Leonid meteor shower of 1966 was one of the best of the century, official reports stating that 140,000 meteors streaked across the sky in one hour. And although we have a Leonid meteor shower every single year we rarely ever have one that spectacular. You see, a meteor shower occurs whenever we ride into a stream of comet debris. And whenever the parent comet responsible for any meteor shower returns to the Earth-Sun vicinity and our Earth comes close to the denser parts of the comet debris/meteor stream we will be treated to a much better than usual meteor shower. And Comet Temple-Tuttle, the parent of the Leonid meteor shower, is expected back in 1998. Which means that the Leonids of '98 and '99 may be real doozies. However, this weekend's Leonid meteor shower could be much better than usual because we're approaching denser parts of the meteor stream. In fact, the Leonids have been getting better and better for the past couple of years. And this year, observing conditions are excellent especially for the United States. Here's what you do to observe. Simply go outside Sunday morning, November 17th after midnight your local time. Get as far away from any artificial lighting as possible. Bundle up in a lawn chair and simply prepare to scan the entire sky for the next few hours, through dawn if you can last that long. The closer to dawn the better your possibility of seeing the most meteors. You don't need binoculars, you don't need telescopes, you just need ten tons of patience. And think of this while you're waiting for a brilliant meteor to streak across the sky. The Leonid meteors are the fastest of any meteor shower. Indeed when they slam into the Earth's atmosphere they're zipping along at a brisk 162,000 miles per hour. That's 45 miles per second. And why are they called the Leonids? Well, if you could take each meteor and trace it back to the point in the sky where it seemed to originate, each meteor would appear to have originated from the vicinity of Leo the Lion. Thus the name, the Leonids, although this is simply an illusion of perspective. And if you're out all night you'll be able to watch Leo slowly ascend hour after hour, with an extra added attraction this year because Leo is currently playing host to the red planet Mars. So, will Leo be roaring this Saturday night and Sunday morning, or will he be a pussy cat? Best guesstimates are that under ideal conditions you may catch 50 to 100 meteors per hour, if you're far away from city lights and have the patience of Job. Oh, and by the way, make sure you take along plenty of hot cocoa, or whatever warms the cockles of your heart as you lay back and remember to Keep Looking Up!
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.


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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.


Satellite feed for October 1996 is as follows: The feed will be October 28 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


Notice : These are rough drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER. Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR HUSTLER Episode #382-I

989th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 11/18/96 through Sunday 11/24/96

"A Skyful of Birds For Thanksgiving"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and you know I won't feel the least bit badly if you say this episode is really for the birds, or at least, about the birds, because this is that time of year when almost everyone in America has a bird of some kind or other on the Thanksgiving table. Traditionally that bird in America is the turkey. But star gazers have a much larger choice of Thanksgiving birds, because if you go outside any clear night Thanksgiving week just after sunset and look to the northwest you'll see three bright stars, which if connected by lines, make up what is officially called the Summer Triangle, which at this time of year, I unofficially call the Thanksgiving Poultry Triangle. You see, historically these stars have long been associated with heavenly birds. Now the star farthest East is Deneb, the bright tail star in Cygnus the Swan. So, in addition to our Thanksgiving turkey we have a cosmic swan to be thankful for. The star farthest to the west, Altair, is the brightest star in a heavenly eagle. And the bright star closest to the northwest horizon is Vega, the brightest star in Lyra the Harp which is, strangely, more bird-like than the other two put together. You see, Lyra was not always a harp. In fact, before it was a lyre it was a turtle but before it was a turtle, you guessed it, Lyra was a bird. And ancient records state that Lyra's association with a bird originated perhaps with a sky figure popular for thousands of years in ancient India, the figure of a great cosmic vulture. Also long, long ago as the great Babylonian kings and their queens walked under the night sky through the great Hanging Gardens of Babylon, they looked overhead and identified Lyra with their great mythical storm bird, Urakhga. And, throughout the great Arabian desert, caravans referred to Lyra as the wonderful Swooping Stone Eagle of the desert. Although it is said that some early Arabs preferred to see Lyra not as an eagle but as a cosmic goose, which in my estimation is a bit more tasty and politically correct for anyone's Thanksgiving banquet. But Lyra has seen even other feathery incarnations. It was once known as a great osprey and a wood falcon. Anyone care for an osprey or wood falcon drumstick? At any rate, it's only in the past couple hundred years or so that we see Lyra exclusively as a harp. Indeed, as short a time ago as the American revolution these stars were depicted as an Eagle with a Lyre in its beak, perhaps as a musical accompaniment to a Thanksgiving feast? At any rate, this Thanksgiving week after you've had turkey up to here, simply go outside for some birds of a different feather and thank heaven you'll never get them in your leftovers, unless it's left over stars with a history as rich as any feast . . . a feast for the eyes if you Keep Looking Up!

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

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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.



Satellite feed for October 1996 is as follows: The feed will be October 28 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


Notice : These are rough drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER. Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR HUSTLER Episode #383-I

990th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 11/25/96 through Sunday 12/1/96

"The Surest Sign of Winter and Why The Shortest Day of the Year Doesn't Feel Like The Shortest Day of the Year"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and in case you haven't noticed, Winter is coming. Now for people who live at northerly latitudes the temperature change itself is notice enough that Winter is on its way. But for people who live at southerly latitudes, like myself in South Florida and folks in Hawaii, the temperature change is not notice enough of Winter's arrival. Indeed, Winter at southerly latitudes demands a cosmic change. One that is visible all over the Northern Hemisphere at this time of the year. Because if you go outside any clear night in early December at 8 pm you'll notice the surest sign of Winter no matter what the temperature. Let me show you. Okay, we're facing East any night this week at 8 pm. Just above the horizon you will see three evenly spaced stars in a row, flanked by four brighter stars. And these mark respectively, the belt, shoulders and knees of Orion the Hunter. And for the rest of your life, whenever you see Orion just above the horizon at 8 pm you will know that the official beginning of Winter, the Winter Solstice, is only three short weeks away. Indeed, being a transplanted northerner myself, it took me several years of living in South Florida to get used to the fact that Orion was rising while I was still out swimming in my backyard. You see, it just didn't feel right to see Orion rising while it was still warm out. And there are other things astronomical that just don't feel right to a lot of people. And one of these is how the days feel at the beginning of Winter. Now, we all know that the shortest day of the year, that is the day when there's the least time from sunrise to sunset in the Northern Hemisphere is the day of the Winter Solstice, December 21st. But you know, when I was raised in Wisconsin it always felt that the days were actually getting a little bit longer then. I mean they actually seemed to lengthen as they approached the Solstice. Why? Well believe it or not, astronomically speaking, this "feeling" can be explained. You see more people experience sunsets than sunrises. And although the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year at mid-northern latitudes, nevertheless December 7th feels like the shortest day of the year because it is the day of the earliest sunset at mid-northern latitudes. So the days do "seem" to lengthen after December 7th because sunset occurs a little bit later each day. After the solstice, the 21st, until about January 5th they seem to lengthen more rapidly than they are actually doing and that is because by January 5th we experience the day of the latest sunrise. Astronomer Guy Ottewell puts it very nicely if you remember this sequence : 1. Earliest Sunset, December 7th. 2. Shortest Day, December 21st. 3. Latest Sunrise, January 5th. So, now you know why the days seem so short at the beginning of December. After all, most of us psychologically judge the length of the day by the time the sun sets. So, what you've been feeling all these years is a correct feeling, even though the reality of the situation is different. Fascinating isn't it? How we perceive the universe around us? And our pursuit of the knowledge of it is reason enough to always Keep Looking Up!
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

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


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