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!

Friday 9/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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

STAR GAZER

Episode # 02-41 / 1296th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/7/2002 through
Sunday 10/13/2002

"The Early Bird Not Only Gets The Worm,
But Also 4 Pre-Dawn Planets Lined Up In A Row"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. If you get up with the chickens this week and next you can see 4 planets lined up in a row for your pre-dawn perusal. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for this week and next. And if you look east about an hour before sunrise you will see a bright pink planet hugging the horizon, the first planet out from the Sun named for the messenger of the gods, tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury. And directly above it planet number 4, the planet named for the Roman god of war and 1,000 miles wider than Mercury, 4,000 mile wide red planet Mars. Red and pink, what a combination.

Now although Mercury and Mars will change their positions a little from day to day, this week they are at their closest visually to each other. And Mercury is at its brightest for this appearance. And note not only the color differences between Mercury and Mars but also the difference in their brightness because by next August Mars will be much brighter than Mercury. In fact it will be so close to Earth it will be the third brightest object in the night sky. Now if you draw an imaginary line from the horizon up through Mercury and Mars and extend that line about 45 degrees from Mars you will land on an extremely bright light, the 5th planet out from the sun, named for the Roman king of the gods, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And if you extend that line another 45 degrees you will land smack dab on planet number 6, the planet named for the Roman god of agriculture, the ringed planet, 75,000 mile wide Saturn which, this year, is at its best for viewing through a small telescope since 1973 because its ring system is tilted at its best angle.

And if you don't have a telescope, now is the best time to find a friend who does because when you look at Jupiter you will see several bands of incredible storm activity plus Jupiter's 4 largest moons which look like pinpoints of light that constantly change their positions. Mars unfortunately is so far away right now that you won't see any detail, but next August when it's at its closest in 60,000 years you will actually see 1 or 2 of its ice caps and several of its larger markings. Finally if you look at Mercury through a telescope this week and next it will look like a waxing moon that gets fatter and fattier as it gets farther from us each day. But why are these planets on a line, you might ask? Well, that line is officially called the ecliptic and it is the path across the sky along which all the planets appear to travel as they change their positions from night to night ... the reason being that all the planets except for Pluto are basically on the same plane as they orbit about the Sun. In fact if we could stand on any of these 4 planets and look back at our Earth it would also appear along that line because we are also in orbit on the same plane around the Sun. So get thee out and catch 4 pre-dawn planets for your perusal, lined up in a row. It's easy and it's fun. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#02-41M

10/07/2002 thru 10/13/2002

"4 Planets For Your Pre-dawn Perusal"

Horkheimer: If you get up with the chickens you can see 4 planets lined up in a row. Look east and you'll see the 1st planet out from the Sun, named for the messenger of the gods, tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury. Above it planet number 4, named for the Roman god of war, 4,000 mile wide Mars. Then if you draw a line from the horizon through Mercury and Mars, 45 degrees from Mars you'll see planet number 5 named for the Roman king of the gods, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And if you extend that line 45 degrees more you'll land on planet number 6, 75,000 mile wide Saturn named for the Roman god of agriculture. 4 planets for your pre-dawn perusal. I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


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!

Friday 9/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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



 

STAR GAZER

Episode #02-42 /1297th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/14/2002 through Sunday 10/20/2002

"This Year's Very Special Hunter's Moon"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. This year the Hunter's Moon which will occur on Sunday night October 20th and Monday October 21st will be very special. But what is a Hunter's Moon you ask? Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for this upcoming Sunday night, October 20th just after sunset, facing east where you should see an exquisite pumpkin orange full moon just beginning to rise. And this moon has had a special name in western society for a long time.

You see, the full moon after the Harvest Moon is always called the Hunter's Moon. Why? Well, as you may recall the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, the first day of autumn is always called the Harvest Moon because before the invention of electric lights farmers could continue to harvest their fields after sunset by the light of the Harvest Moon. The full moon after the Harvest Moon was named the Hunter's Moon because 1 month later, after the harvest was cut, hunter's could ride out under the light of this full moon to hunt the small animals that came out to forage the remains of the harvested crops. And although the name "Hunter's Moon" sounds poetic and looks beautiful to the human eye, I'm sure that to the little animals on this planet it was rather a fearsome and dangerous full moon.

At any rate this year the animals will get a break because while the Hunter's Moon is usually big and bright, this year it will be the least bright of all the full moons so earth's little creatures won't be quite as visible. You see, this year's Hunter's Moon will be the most distant and thus the least bright full moon for the entire year. In fact it will be 252,000 miles away which will make it appear 12% smaller and 32% less bright than the closest and brightest full moon of the year which occurred on February 27th when it was only 222,000 miles away. Big difference! Even so I'd like you to pay particular attention to the markings on this year's Hunter's Moon as it rises just after sunset because in addition to its appearing orange because we view it through the dustier layers of Earth's atmosphere when it's close to the horizon, you may also notice that its markings are rather appropriate for the end of October because if you use your imagination the full moon of October almost always looks like a jack-o-lantern.

In fact, astronomer Guy Ottewell suggests that perhaps hundreds of years ago people noticed that the full moon closest to Halloween looked like a human face and was pumpkin colored and that just perhaps this was what prompted our ancestors to make the first jack-o-lanterns. True or false? No one knows. But it certainly makes you think. So, from now on make a note to see how much the full moon every October looks like a jack-o-lantern. In fact, start looking and see for yourself this Sunday and Monday nights. And personally I hope that the only thing you hunt for this weekend is the Hunter's Moon. I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.



Star Gazer Minute

#02-42 M

10/14/2002 thru 10/20/2002

"This Year's Special Hunter's moon"

Horkheimer: The Hunter's Moon this Sunday and Monday nights will be very special. Look east after sunset and you'll see it, looking like a pumpkin as it rises. Now the full moon after the Harvest Moon is always called the Hunter's Moon because 1 month after the harvest hunter's used to ride out under the light of this full moon to hunt the small animals that came out to forage what was left of the harvest. But this year the little animals will get a break because this year's Hunter's Moon will be the most distant and thus least bright full moon of the entire year, 30,000 miles farther and 32% less bright than the closest last February. I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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!

Friday 9/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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



STAR GAZER

Episode # 02-43 / 1298th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/21/2002 through Sunday 10/27/2002

"The Seven Sisters And Halloween
And The End Of The World"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know because Halloween greeting cards often depict a witch riding a broom in front of a full moon many people have the mistaken notion that there's a full moon every Halloween when in fact we won't have a full moon on Halloween again until 2020. But there is something you can see in the night sky every Halloween that has long been associated with traditional days of the dead. Let me show you:

O.K., we've got our skies set up for midnight, any night in late October and early November. And if you look up almost overhead you will see a tiny cluster of stars called The Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. And to many people long ago, when The Pleiades reached their highest point at midnight, which happens every year around this time, it was a signal 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 many ancient cultures around the world held great ceremonies in honor of the occasion. The 19th century astronomer W.T. Olcott wrote that these widespread memorial services often commemorated a great cataclysm that supposedly occurred in even more ancient times when The Pleiades culminated at midnight. In fact many speculated that this great cataclysm might have been either the great flood of the Bible or perhaps the 10 plagues of Egypt or even the legendary sinking of Atlantis. Indeed, this belief was so popular that even Chaucer and Milton called The Pleiades the Seven Atlantic Sisters.

In fact, the belief that a great cataclysm had occurred when The Pleiades culminated at midnight was so widespread that even the ancient Aztec and Maya conducted spectacular ceremonies every year when The Pleiades culminated at midnight, plus every 52 years when their 2 great calendars coincided they had a very special Pleiades midnight culmination sacrifice 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 so convinced that the world had already been destroyed and recreated not once, but four times and always when The Pleiades culminated at midnight. The belief was so widespread that in Mexico the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan was oriented to the setting of The Pleiades as were all of the city's west running streets.And in ancient Greece several temples were lined up with the rising and setting of the Seven Sisters.

Now although The Pleiades no longer culminate at midnight on the same nights as they did in ancient times, nevertheless, you can still see them almost overhead and almost at their highest every Halloween at midnight as a modern reminder that long ago The Pleiades signaled not only the night of the dead, but to some even the end of the world itself. So, should they perhaps be renamed the Seven Sinister Sisters? Whatever, look for them yourself every Halloween at midnight. It's easy and it makes any Halloween just a little bit spookier. I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#02-43 M

10/21/2002 thru 10/27/2002

"The Seven Sinister Sisters On Halloween"

Horkheimer: Although we usually associate Halloween 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 almost overhead at midnight every Halloween. 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 would 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 4 times on just such a night. Should we rename them the Seven Sinister Sisters? Happy Halloween 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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!

Friday 9/20/02 - 0930-100 Eastern Time 4 Shows

Half Hour Feed - 4 shows


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov



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


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #02-44 / 1299th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/28/2002 through Sunday 11/03/2002

"How To Look Back In Time
Over Two Million Years!"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know everyone is fascinated with the concept of time travel and although actually going back in time is only a thing of science fiction, you actually can look back in time and see things as they existed long ago. Let me show you how: O.K., we've got our skies set up for any moonless night in November between 8 and 10 p.m. And if you look almost overhead you'll see 4 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 little imagination we can draw a stick figure of a horse.

First we connect stars just west of the square to make a very long neck and head. Then from the northwest star of the square we draw lines through a few dimmer stars for 2 very short front legs. And to find his 2 rear legs we draw lines down from the northeast star of the square through a few of the stars of the constellation Andromeda. And just off the knee of one of these hind legs is where you can look back in time and see something as it existed over 2 million years ago.

Now it takes a little effort to find it and you have to be far away from city lights on a clear moonless night, and to make it a bit easier, look north for 5 bright stars which, if you draw lines between them, will trace out the letter "m", the constellation Cassiopeia. Then take the brightest star in Cassiopeia and draw a line straight up to the bright star of Pegasus' square where the hind legs connect. Then if you look about 2/3 of the way up that line from Cassiopeia you will see a faint cloud which through a pair of binoculars will look even more cloudlike. But a cloud it is not. In fact it is the most distant object we can see in the universe with the naked eye. It is called M-31 the Great Andromeda Galaxy and in time exposure photographs taken through even amateur telescopes it reveals itself to be a gigantic family of billions of stars much larger than, although similar in shape to, our own galaxy. And it is so incredibly far away that even though light travels 186,000 miles per second, it takes 2 1/2 million years for the light of the Andromeda Galaxy to reach us.

In fact, when we look at the Andromeda Galaxy we see 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 this dim cloud 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 now actually left this galaxy over a million years before any creature on earth learned how to use fire. So if anyone ever asks you if you think time travel is possible, simply tell them, oh yes, if by time travel you mean looking back in time. Isn't star gazing wonderful? I'm Jack Horkheimer, 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.


Star Gazer Minute

#02-44 M

10/28/2002 thru 11/03/2002

"Looking Back In Time"

Horkheimer: Although we cannot actually go back in time like in science fiction, did you know that you can actually look back in time? Go out any clear moonless night in November between 8 and 10 p.m. And from the brightest star in Cassiopeia draw a line to the brightest star in the Great Square of Pegasus and 2/3 up that line you'll see a faint cloud which, through telescopes, 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 it takes 2 1/2 million years for its light to reach us. So we see it not as it exists now, but as it existed 2 1/2 million years ago! Before modern man walked this planet. 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 Meade Instruments, the world's largest manufacturer of telescopes for amateur astronomers. Meade telescopes automatically locate 1000's of celestial wonders at the push of a button. It's astronomy made simple.

 


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


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


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



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