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!

9/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (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

Episode # 00-40 /1191st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/2/2000 through Sunday 10/8/2000

"The Milky Way At Its Very Best

In Early Evening October Skies"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know every October the Milky Way is at its very best for viewing and right after sunset. So let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for any clear night in October just after it gets dark out and if there's no moon out and you're far from city lights simply look due north where you'll see the North Star which is the end star of the Little Dipper and to its right you'll see 5 stars which, if connected by lines, will form an "M" or "W" on its side, the constellation Cassiopeia. And if it's really clear out and you're far from city lights you will also see the Milky Way which looks like a faint ribbon of light in which Cassiopeia appears to be embedded. Then if you look above Cassiopeia you will see that the Milky Way continues on its way and near the zenith you will see that Deneb and Altair , 2 of the 3 stars of the Summer Triangle are likewise embedded in it. Then it extends past the zenith and downward toward the southern horizon where the teapot portion of Sagittarius and the rear half of Scorpius, which includes his tail and stinger, are likewise embedded in it.

Now years ago the Milky Way could easily be seen from almost anywhere, but today because there's so much city lighting it is usually wiped out from view. In fact there is so much artificial lighting in the world today astronomers refer to it as light pollution because so much of the night sky is wiped out from view for most people. In fact, most people today have never even seen the Milky Way. So take the opportunity this October to get out far from city lights on some clear moonless night just after dark and see the Milky Way yourself, stretched across the sky from the northern to the southern horizon. And keep in mind that the Milky Way is not a cosmic cloud but is in fact the combined light of billions of stars so far away that all their light fuzzes together in a blur. In fact if you look anywhere along the Milky Way through a pair of binoculars or a telescope you will see what looks like millions of pinpoints of light, each pinpoint being a star like our sun.

You see our sun is only one of 200 billion suns which make up the giant spiral pin wheel of stars we call our galaxy, and when we look at the Milky Way we are actually looking at the plane of our galaxy, edge on from the inside because we are located about 2/3 of the way out from the center. So, once again, to see our spectacular 'from the inside' view, look north for Cassiopeia then follow the Milky Way up through the Summer Triangle, past Deneb and Altair and down southward through the teapot of Sagittarius and the tail of the Scorpion. And keep in mind that when you look between the the Scorpion's tail and the spout of the Teapot you are looking directly toward the center of our galaxy. Indeed, here the Milky Way is at its widest, brightest and most wonderful. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-40 M

10/2/2000 thru 10/8/2000

"The Milky Way In October"

 

Horkheimer: Our sun is just one of 200 billion suns gathered together in a group in the shape of a giant spiral pinwheel which we call our Milky Way Galaxy and we are located 2/3 of the way out from the center. Now although we'll never ever be able to see our galaxy from the outside, we can see it from the inside and at its best any clear moonless October night just after it gets dark if you're far from city lights. It stretches upward from the northern horizon through Cassiopeia and the Summer Triangle, then past the zenith down to the southern horizon through the teapot of Sagittarius and the tail of the Scorpion. See it now, it's the best insider view in the cosmos. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

9/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (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

Episode #00-41 /1192nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/9/2000 through Sunday 10/15/2000

"The Planets Brighten

and Triskaidekaphobia Day!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and in case you haven't noticed, most of the planets are coming closer to the earth right now and thus getting steadily brighter and you can watch them brighten all month long. First of all go outside any night after sunset, look west southwest and you'll be able to watch Venus get steadily brighter and brighter night after night. Then if you look east-northeast about 4 hours after sunset you will see that Saturn and Jupiter are also growing brighter and brighter. And if you've got a small telescope this would be a wonder ful time to start looking. Now if you need a little help making sure you've found the planets, go out Sunday night the 15th and the just-past-full moon will be side by side with Saturn and on Monday the 16th will be directly underneath Jupiter. Who could ask for an easier way to find the two biggest planets of our solar system?

And now for something completely non-cosmic, let me remind you that this Friday is Triskaidekaphobia Day, which is a fancy way of saying this is Friday the 13th, about which a lot of people have a phobia. In fact this is the only Friday the 13th of the year 2000. But where, you might ask, did all this stuff about Friday the 13th come from anyway? Well there are many theories. One is that there were 13 people at the Last Supper, and that the Crucifixion took place on a Friday. Another theory says that there were 12 Norse gods having dinner in Valhalla on a Friday when a 13th god crashed the dinner party and caused the death of Baldur the Beautiful.

Whatever, some people are still so fearful of Friday the 13th and the numer 13, that not long ago ocean liners which were scheduled to sail on Friday the 13th frequently delayed their departure until after midnight. And until only recently it was not uncommon for buildings and elevators to have no official 13th floor. And talk about weird, in the last century a decree was issued in French Lick Springs, Indiana, that on Friday the 13th all local cats had to wear bells.

But my favorite piece of folklore states that if you break a mirror on Friday the 13th you can only break the curse that will befall you by going to the top of the highest mountain or building near you and burn all your socks with holes in them! But not everyone thinks the number 13 is unlucky. In fact in England it is considered lucky to eat Christmas pudding in 13 different houses before New Year's Day and according to the Old Farmer's Almanac the USA is full of Lucky 13's. George Washington laid the cornerstone of the White House on the 13th and the cornerstone of the Supreme Court was also laid on the 13th. There were after all 13 original colonies and the Great Seal of the United States contains 13 stars, 13 bars, and an eagle holding 13 arrows and an olive branch with 13 leaves. And "E Pluribus Unum" also has 13 letters. Unlucky? I don't think so.

So get thee outside this Sunday and Mondat, use the moon to find Saturn and Jupiter and believe me, it won't change your luck if you look for them on Friday the 13th either. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-41 M

10/09/2000 thru 10/15/2000

"The Moon and Two Giant Planets"

 

Horkheimer: Next month 75,000 mile mile wide Saturn and 88,000 mile wide Jupiter will be closer and brighter than they've been in over 10 years, and you can watch them get steadily closer and brighter from now on. Simply look east about 4 hours after sunset. To make sure you've spotted them, on Sunday night the 25th, the just-past-full moon will be side by side with with Saturn and on Monday the 16th will be directly underneath Jupiter. Who could ask for an easier way to find the two biggest planets of our solar system? And now would be a great time to find a friend with a small telescope because they're so close you'll get a really good view. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

9/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (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

Episode # 00-42 / 1193rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/16/2000 through Sunday 10/22/2000

"The Witching Hour and The Pleiades Hour

and The End Of The World On Hallowe'en!"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And in less than 2 weeks it will be Hallowe'en again and although we in the western world associate a full Harvest Moon or Hunter's Moon with Hallowe'en because it rises looking so pumpkin orange with its markings reminiscent of a Jack O'Lantern, many other cultures which have celebrated the 'Day of the Dead' at this time of year have associated not the moon, but the exquisite group of star we call The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, with their memorial ceremonies. And although we still speak of midnight on Hallowe'en as "The Witching Hour" some other cultures viewed midnight at the end of October and beginning of November as "The Pleiades Hour". Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for midnight any night the last week of October and first week of November. And if you look up almost overhead you will see The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters; and to many peoples past and present, this indicated that this was the time of the year to honor the dead. Now astronomically speaking whenever the Seven Sisters reach their highest point in the heavens we call this their culmination and whenever The Pleiades culminated at midnight ancient cultures as far apart as ancient America and ancient Persia held great ceremonies.The 19th century astronomer W.T. Olcott suggested these universal memorial services commemorated a great cataclysm that occurred in ancient times which caused a great loss of life. And that this ancient cataclysm occurred when The Pleiades culminated at midnight. People have speculated for centuries that this great catastrophe might have been anything from the great Biblical Flood to the 10 Plagues of Egypt or even the sinking of Atlantis. In fact, Chaucer and Milton called the Pleiades the Seven Atlantic Sisters.

And the idea that a great cataclysm occurred when The Pleiades culminated was so widespread that the ancient Aztec and Maya conducted spectacular ceremonies every year when The Pleiades culminated at midnight. And every 52 years when their two great calendars coincided they had a very special Pleiades culmination sacrificial ceremony because they believed that the world would actually come to an end on one of these Pleiades overhead-at midnight nights. In fact they were convinced that the world had already been destroyed and re-created not once but four times and always on the very night of the Pleiades midnight culmination. This belief was so firm that the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan was oriented to the setting of the Pleiades as were all the city's west-running streets. In fact several ancient Greek temples were also lined up with the setting or rising of the Seven Sisters.

So every Hallowe'en if you go outside at midnight and look up there you'll see them, the Pleiades, the Seven Lovely Sinister Sisters marking not only the night and the hour of The Dead, but perhaps even the end of the world itself. I mean if you really believe that kind of stuff. At any rate, 'til the end arrives I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-42 M

10/16/2000 thru 10/22/2000

"The End of the World on Hallowe'en"

 

Horkheimer: Although we usually associate Hallowe'en with a full moon, many cultures celebrating a Day of the Dead at this time of year attached more importance to the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, which are overhead at midnight on Hallowe'en. Many peoples believed that a great ancient cataclysm occurred when the Pleiades were overhead at midnight, such as the Great Biblical Flood or the sinking of Atlantis. The Aztec and Maya not only believed that the world will come to an end on one of these Pleiades overhead-at-midnight nights but were convinced that the world had already been destroyed and recreated four times on just such a night. Should we rename them the Seven Sinister Sisters? I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

9/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (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

Episode #00-43 /1194th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/23/2000 through Sunday 10/29/2000

"A Venus and Crescent Moon Sky Goody

and Say Farewell To Sagittarius"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know, every so often, when Venus makes an evening appearance, a brand new slender sliver of a crescent moon sometimes appears close to Venus in what I have long called Venus/Moon super sky goodies and one of those sky goodies is about to occur, something that is so visually beautiful that it has caught the eye of human beings for thousands of years and has often been depicted in works of art. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week at dusk, that is just after sunset but before it gets completely dark out and if you look southwest you will see brilliant dazzling 8,000 mile wide Venus. But if you go out at the same time this Sunday, October 29th and if you have a clear flat horizon unobstructed by buildings and haze, you should see an absolutely exquisite two day old waxing slender sliver of a crescent moon just to the right of Venus. And if you're lucky you may even see the "Old Moon in the New Moon's Arms", which is a faint image of the full moon nestled in the bright crescent moon, caused by what we call "Earthshine", which is nothing more than sunlight shining on our earth and bouncing off our earth on to the dark portion of the moon.

And if you've never seen this combo of Venus and a crescent moon with earthshine it will truly take your breath away. But if you miss this on the 29th you'll still see another exquisite pairing of the moon and Venus the next night, Monday October 30. And while you're looking at these two worlds, beautiful as they are, you might want to remind yourself that while our moon is a 2,000 mile wide world only 245 thousand miles away on the 29th and 30th, Venus is an 8,000 mile wide world, 115 million miles away on the 29th and 30th which means that when we look at the moon on these evenings, because light travels 186 thousand miles a second, we are actually seeing the moon as it existed one and a quarter seconds ago, while we are seeing Venus as it actually existed 600 seconds, or ten minutes ago.

Now the next two nights the waxing crescent moon will pass just above the stars of the teapot portion of Sagittarius. In fact on Halloween night it will hover just above the 3 stars which make up the lid of the Teapot. And these stars are so far away that we see them as they existed 62 years ago, 140 years ago and 220 years ago. Then on Wednesday night November 1st a still exquisite moon will hover just above the brightest star of the Teapot's handle which we see today as it existed 170 years ago. So whenever we look at objects in the night sky in effect we are never seeing them as they actually exist right now, but as they existed at some time in the past, depending on how far away they are. Once again: moon and Venus on Sunday the 29th, and again on Monday the 30th. And on Halloween, the moon above the lid of the teapot, and November 1st above the brightest star in the teapot's handle. What a lovely way to end one month and begin another. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-43 M

10/23/2000 thru 10/29/2000

"Venus Returns With The Crescent Moon"

 

Horkheimer: In case you haven't noticed, our brilliant 8,000 mile wide sister planet Venus has returned to evening skies. And you can see it pair up with an exquisite waxing crescent moon Sunday the 29th. An even better pairing will happen on Monday the 30th. You may even see "The Old Moon In The New Moon's Arms" which is a faint ghostly image of the full moon nestles in the bright crescent. It's called "Earthshine" because it is sunlight bouncing off our earth onto the dark portion of the moon. Don't miss this. It's the kind of cosmic beauty that has awed humanity for thousands of generations. And keep in mind that while our moon is only 245,000 miles away, this weekend Venus is 115 million miles beyond. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (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. 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!

9/20/2000 9:30 - 10:30 am Eastern time (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

Episode #00-44 /1195th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/30/2000 through Sunday 11/5/2000

"The Farthest Thing In The Universe

You Can See With The Naked Eye"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Have you ever wondered just how far away you can see with the naked eye? If so you'll love autumn skies because every autumn the most distant object visible to the naked eye appears at its very best. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night in November between 8 and 10 p.m. and if you look almost overhead you'll see 4 not quite so bright stars which, if we could draw lines between them, would trace out a square. it's called The Great Square of Pegasus, the winged horse and with a few other stars and a little imagination we could connect stars just west of this square to make a long neck and head. And a few dim stars down from the northwest star of the square for two very short legs. And we could draw lines down from the bright northeast star of the square through a few of the dim stars of Andromeda and come up with two very respectable hind legs. And just off the knee one of those hind legs is the most distant object you can see with the naked eye.

Now it takes a little effort to find it because you have to be far away from city lights and have clear, dark, moonless skies. First look below and north of the Square of Pegasus for five bright stars which if you draw line between them, would trace out the letter "M", the constellation Cassiopeia. Then take the brightest star in Cassiopeia and draw a line from it straight up to the bright star of Pegasus' Square where the hind legs connect. Then if you go about 2/3 of the way up that line from Cassiopeia and look just to the right of it you will see a faint cloud which, if you look at it through a pair of binoculars, becomes even brighter. But a cloud it is not. Indeed it is the farthest object we can see in the universe with the naked eye. It is called M-31, the Andromeda Galaxy, which in time exposure photographs taken through even amateur telescopes reveals itself to be a gigantic family of billions of stars much larger than , but similar in shape to, our own Milky Way galaxy.

And it is so outrageously far away that even though light travels 186 thousand miles per second, it takes 2 1/2 million years for its light to reach us. In fact we are actually seeing it not as it exists now but as it existed 2 1/2 million years ago. Just think of it, when you look up at M-31, the great galaxy of Andromeda, this month you are seeing it as it actually existed just about the time Australopithecus, the Lucy creature walked on this earth, long before the appearance of modern man. Indeed, the light we see tonight actually left this galaxy over a million years before any creature on earth learned how to use fire. So if anyone ever asks you "How far away can you see with the naked eye?" Tell them 2 1/2 million light years away or 2 1/2 million years ago. Isn't the night sky wonderful? I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#00-44 M

10/30/2000 thru 11/05/2000

"The Farthest Thing In The Universe

You Can See With The Naked Eye"

 

Horkheimer: Have you ever wondered how far away you can see with the naked eye? If so, go out any clear moonless night between 8 and 10 p.m. and if you're far from city lights draw a line from the brightest star in Cassiopeia to the brightest star of the Great Square of Pegasus overhead and 2/3 of the way up that line you'll see a tiny faint cloud which through binoculars looks much brighter and in time exposure photographs reveals itself to be a gigantic family of billions of stars. It's called M-31, the great galaxy in Andromeda, and it is so far away that it takes 2 1/2 million years for its light to reach us. In fact we see it not as it exists now but as it existed 2 1/2 million years ago before modern man walked this planet. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

 

For GRAPHICS for this script (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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