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 9/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 # 03-40 / 1348th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/06/2003 through
Sunday 10/12/2003

"The Moon Pays A Visit To Saturn,
Winter's Stars Make A Midnight Preview
And Mars Is Still Fabulous But Not For Long"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And just a reminder that although Mars is still even closer and brighter than it's been at some of its close meetings with Earth, it is rapidly moving away from us and dimming nightly which makes October the last really super good month to see it. Plus an exquisite Moon pays a visit to the ringed planet and winter's stars preview at midnight.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week and next looking due south at 10:00 p.m. where you'll still see reddish-gold Mars very bright and very close. But you'd better see it now because Mars will shrink in size almost 30% during October and will be only half as bright at the end of this month than it is right now. In fact, on October 1st Mars was only 42 1/2 million miles away but by Halloween it will be 58 million miles away. So please see it now.

But if you're Mars'd out, we still have something wonderful for you to see if you hang out until midnight. Simply face east around midnight this week and next, and right in front of you you'll see a midnight preview of some of winter's most famous stars, the ones which will be very high in the sky in early evening in the depth of winter. The most obvious stars of winter are the bright stars that make up the constellation Orion the Hunter. Orion's dead giveaway is the three equally spaced stars in a row that mark his belt, two stars which mark his shoulders and two others; which mark his knees. And I always love to watch Orion rise around midnight in early October. To his left we see the two brightest stars, Castor and Pollux, of the constellation Gemini the Twins but looking a bit different than usual because Gemini sports an additional bright object which usually isn't there. And it isn't a star, in fact, it's the most beautiful planet in our solar system, the ringed planet Saturn. And it's absolutely breathtaking through even the cheapest department store telescope.

But just in case you're one of those who still has trouble finding the planets let me remind you that when stars and planets are close to the horizon stars often appear to twinkle. In fact, that's an easy way to tell a planet from a star. Planets don't twinkle. So if you see something that isn't twinkling near a lot of twinkling stars chances are you've spotted a planet. Now if you want to see something really pretty, mark midnight Thursday October 16th on your calendar because then an exquisite almost last quarter Moon will hover just above Saturn. But although they'll look close to each other, in reality the Moon will be 247,000 miles away while Saturn will be a whopping 800 million miles away. And you'll be able to watch them accompany each other across the sky from midnight Thursday to dawn Friday. So there you have it, a midnight winter preview, the Moon visits Saturn, and the last really good month to watch Mars before it slips away. I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!

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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer" is underwritten by a grant from 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

#03-40 M

10/06/2003 thru 10/12/2003

"Mars, Winter's Stars and
The Moon Visits Saturn
"

Horkheimer: We've got Mars, winter's stars and the Moon visiting Saturn for you. Look due south at 10 p.m. for Mars which is still extremely bright although it is rapidly moving away. Face east around midnight and you'll see a preview of winter's most famous stars, Orion the Hunter and Gemini's Castor and Pollux. But within Gemini will be an object that usually isn't there, the ringed planet Saturn which will be visited by the moon on Thursday night the 16th. And although they'll look close to each other the moon will be 247,000 miles away while Saturn will be a whopping 800 million miles beyond. Watch them ride across the sky together until dawn! 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 9/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 #03-41 /1349th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/13/2003 through Sunday 10/19/2003

"Why Do The Stars Change With The Seasons?
And 2 Cosmic Signs That Fall Is Here"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and you know, just as we have seasons here on Earth, so too do the heavens have their seasons. Why? Well, if our Earth were perfectly stationary in the heavens, we would see the same star patterns in the same place every single night. But because our Earth is not stationary, but rotates on its axis once every 24 hours from west to east, the stars appear to slowly drift across the sky all night long in the opposite direction, from east to west.

Plus, because our Earth makes one journey around the Sun once every 365 1/4 days our Earth changes its position in respect to the stars a little bit each night so that if a given star rises on the horizon at 8 o'clock one night, the following night that same star will rise 4 minutes earlier and will be approximately 1 degree farther along on its journey across the night sky at 8 p.m. which further means that since any given star rises 4 minutes earlier each successive night and is 1 degree farther along each successive night, after a month any given star will be 30 degrees farther along in its journey across the sky; which further means that after a quarter of a year, the length of a season, any given star will have moved 90 degrees, or a quarter of the way around the entire sky at 8 p.m., and since each season is a quarter of a year long this means that any season you go out stargazing in early evening the stars overhead will not be the same stars that were overhead in early evening the previous or following season.

In spring Leo the Lion is always prominent in early evening so we call Leo a spring constellation. In winter Orion is prominent so he is called a winter constellation and for the same reason Scorpius and Sagittarius are summer constellations. And a sure sign of autumn is the appearance of Pegasus the Horse and the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. Indeed, if you go out in early evening in late October and early November you will see the 4 stars which mark the great square of Pegasus almost overhead. And if you look down almost due east you will see what looks like a shimmering little cluster of stars called the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, riding on the shoulder of Taurus the Bull which some people say looks like a bunch of cosmic grapes, or a miniature dipper.

My favorite description however is Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem when he wrote, "Many a night I saw the Pleiads rising through the mellow shade, glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid." I'm particularly fond of the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, because when I was a kid in Wisconsin, every autumn I fantasized that the Pleiades was the smoke of some ancient Indian camp fire rising up into the cool autumn night. What do they look like to you? What do they remind you of? So get thee outside some night the next few weeks between 8 and 10 p.m., look east for the rising Pleiades, the Seven Sisters and almost overhead for the great square of Pegasus announcing that the stars of summer have turned to the stars of autumn just as the leaves on Earth have turned to red and gold. 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.



Star Gazer Minute

#03-41 M

10/13/2003 thru 10/19/2003

"Why Do The Stars Change With The Seasons?
And 2 Cosmic Signs That Fall Is Here"

Horkheimer: Just as we have seasons on Earth, so too do the heavens have their seasons. Because our Earth rotates every 24 hours from west to east, the stars appear to move across the sky from east to west. Plus, because our Earth moves about the Sun, any given star will be 1 degree farther on its journey at the same time each successive night, or 90 degrees along in 3 months which is a season. In spring Leo is prominent in early evening; in winter, Orion; in summer Scorpius and Sagittarius. And right now the great square of Pegasus and The Pleiades, The Seven Sisters, announcing that the stars of summer have turned to the stars of autumn, just as the leaves on Earth have turned to red and gold. 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 9/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 # 03-42 / 1350th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/20/2003 through Sunday 10/26/2003

"Celebrate Halloween The Cosmic Way
Plus Some Of Halloween's Most Famous Myths and Misconceptions"

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 misconception 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 a bit spooky you can see in the sky every Halloween at midnight that has been associated with Halloween and traditional days of the dead, for hundreds of years. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for midnight to 1 a.m. Late October/ early November. And if you look up almost overhead you will see the tiny cluster of stars called the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters; which seen through a modern telescope reveal themselves to be not seven but a group of over one hundred stars in a sphere 14 light years wide. But long before telescopes were invented and before anyone understood the true nature of stars many cultures believed that whenever the Seven Sisters reached their highest point around midnight, which happens every year about this time, it was a cosmic 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 they culminated around midnight, many ancient cultures around the world held great ceremonies in honor of this cosmic occurrence. Some ancient myths tell us that there was a widespread belief that some great cataclysm occurred in ancient times when the Seven Sisters culminated at midnight. Some thought that this great cataclysm might have been the great flood of the Bible. Others believed the ten plagues of Egypt. And some even said that the sinking of Atlantis occurred when the Sisters culminated at midnight. Even the ancient Aztecs and Maya conducted spectacular ceremonies every year when they culminated at midnight. And every 52 years when their two great calendars coincided they had a very special midnight culmination sacrifice because they believed that the world would actually come to an end on one of these Seven Sisters overhead at midnight nights. Indeed they were convinced that the world had already been destroyed and recreated not once but four times and always when the Sisters culminated at midnight.

Now although they no longer culminate at midnight on the exact same nights as they did in ancient times, nevertheless you can still see them almost overhead every Halloween at midnight as a modern reminder that long ago they signaled not only the night of the dead but to some even the end of the world itself. So should, perhaps, these Seven Sisters be renamed the Seven Sinister Sisters? Whatever, find them yourself this 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

#03-42 M

10/20/2003 thru 10/26/2003

"The Seven Sinister Sisters And Halloween"

Horkheimer: Although we mistakenly 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 Seven Sisters 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 seven sisters 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? 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

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 9/19/03 - 1100-1130 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 #03-43 / 1351st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/27/2003 through Sunday 11/02/2003

"Next Week's Eclipse Of The Frosty Beaver Moon:
The Last Of The Two Total Lunar Eclipses Of 2003"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Back on May 15th we were treated to the first of two total lunar eclipses for 2003. And next week on Saturday November 8th the second will occur and most people over North America will be able to see all or at least part of it. In various Indian legends November's full Moon is called "the Frost Moon" or "the Beaver Moon" so we're calling this eclipse "the Eclipse of the Frosty Beaver Moon". Let me show you.

O.K., let's imagine that we're out in space looking down on our Moon, Earth and Sun. Now as most of you know, our Moon does not make its own light. Moonlight is really light from the Sun reflected off the Moon and back to our Earth and one half of the Moon is lit up by the Sun at all times. Although the only time we see the half of the Moon that is completely lit up is when we have a full Moon which occurs every month whenever the Moon is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth. Now usually when we have a full Moon the Moon is either above or below the plane of our Earth's orbit. But occasionally the full Moon will glide directly into our Earth's plane and will pass directly through our Earth's shadow cone; which will block most of the Sun's light from reaching it. In other words our Earth's shadow will eclipse the light of the Sun. So we call such an event an eclipse.

Now during an eclipse the Moon never completely disappears but always turns some unpredictable shade of reddish copper orange. And that's because the red rays of Sunlight are always bent by our Earth's atmosphere into our Earth's shadow, filling it with a faint reddish copper orange light. So during a total lunar eclipse the reddish orange color you see is actually light from all the Sunrises and Sunsets around the world being refracted into our Earth's shadow then onto the Moon and then reflected back again. And that's what you'll see early Saturday evening November 8th.

Now if we could look at our Earth's shadow more closely we would see there are two distinct parts to it a pale outer shadow called the penumbra and a smaller dark shadow called the umbra. The penumbral phase of the eclipse is never very noticeable so I'm suggesting that you start watching at 6:32 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or your local equivalent when the Moon starts to enter the umbra because as minute after minute goes by you'll actually see our Earth's curved shadow slowly creep across the Moon and the Moon will gradually darken and change color. During totality which begins at 8:06 and ends at 8:31 the Moon will be completely within the Earth's umbra and totally eclipsed for 25 minutes after which the whole process will slowly reverse. What unpredictable color will the Moon turn during totality? No one knows for sure. That's what makes it fun! Go to our website for more info. And don't miss Saturday night's Eclipse of the Frosty Beaver Moon. 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

#03-43 M

10/27/2003 thru 11/02/2003

"Next Week's Total Lunar Eclipse"


Horkheimer: On Saturday November 8th North America will experience a total lunar eclipse. A total lunar eclipse occurs whenever the full Moon glides directly into our Earth's shadow which blocks most of the Sun's light from reaching it because moonlight is nothing more than reflected sunlight. There is however always some red sunlight, which is bent by our Earth's atmosphere into the shadow. So during a total eclipse the Moon will always turn some unpredictable shade of reddish copper orange. You can watch our Earth's curved shadow start to cross the Moon at 6:32 p.m. Eastern Time or your local equivalent. Totality begins at 8:06 and ends at 8:31, after which the process reverses. 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


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