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!

Monday 9/20/04 - 1800-1830 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode # 04-40 / 1400th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/4/2004 through
Sunday 10/10/2004

"Autumn's Great Cosmic Square Replaces
Summer's Great Cosmic Triangle"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and as I've often reminded you, when ever the seasons change on Earth, so too do the stars change overhead, thus the phrase "the stars of the season". Now that phrase 'stars of the season' usually refers to the major stars and star groups that reach their highest position above the horizon in mid-evening, so because autumn began two weeks ago we should already see a change in the stars overhead. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night during the first two weeks of October around 10 p.m. Daylight Time and if you look just west of overhead you will see the 3 bright stars which make up the points of the Summer Triangle, the brightest being Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, the second brightest, Altair in Aquila the Eagle, the third brightest, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan. Now during the first week of summer, at the end of June, the summer triangle was just rising in the east at 10 p.m. But if you went out at 10 p.m. Each successive week all summer long you would have noticed that the Summer Triangle was a little bit higher in the sky each week and at the end of August was almost directly overhead at 10 p.m.

But if you looked to the northeast at 10 p.m. at the end of August you would have also noticed that the autumn constellation Cassiopeia, a group of 5 stars which when connected by lines looks like the letter "m" or "w" on its side, was just rising. And if you looked just above and east of Cassiopeia you would have also seen 4 dimmer stars which, if you draw lines between them, make up a great rectangle or square and which is called the Autumn Square or the Great Square of Pegasus, because it is part of the huge constellation Pegasus, the winged horse. Then if you went out each successive week in September at 10 p.m. you would have noticed that the Summer Triangle was slowly moving past overhead and beginning its descent toward the western horizon while the Autumn Square of Pegasus was ascending higher and higher in the east, so that by the first two weeks of October it is almost overhead at 10 p.m. And I think it is rather poetic that the 3 blazing hot stars that make up the Summer Triangle are replaced by the much dimmer and softer stars of the Autumn Square because autumn is after all the softest and gentlest season of the year.

So some night this week and next go out and see for yourself how the heavens above have their own seasons just as our Earth has below. Look first for the Summer Triangle west of overhead and beginning its descent toward the western horizon, then look for autumn's Cassiopeia, in the northeast, and finally almost overhead, autumn's biggest and gentlest Great Square which the ancient Babylonians believed was the doorway to paradise. And if, indeed autumn is a visual paradise on Earth, how appropriate that this lovely portal to a cosmic paradise heralds in the new season. 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-40 M

10/04/2004 thru 10/10/2004

"Autumn's Great Cosmic Square Replaces
Summer's Great Cosmic Triangle"

 

Horkheimer: Whenever the seasons change on Earth so too do the stars change overhead, thus the phrase "the stars of the season", which refers to the stars highest above the horizon in mid evening. And since autumn has just begun we can already see that change. Go outside at 10 p.m. Daylight Time any night the first two weeks of October, look west of overhead and you will see the three blazing hot stars of the Summer Triangle beginning their slow descent toward the horizon while replacing them almost overhead are the four much dimmer and softer stars which make up the Great Square of Pegasus the winged horse, the Autumn Square. How appropriate because autumn is after all the softest and gentlest season of the year. Keep Looking Up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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!

Monday 9/20/04 - 1800-1830 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode #04-41 /1401st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/11/2004 through Sunday 10/17/2004

"A Tale Of Two Planets: Get Ready For
A Super Close Meeting Of The Two Brightest"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers and mark November 4th and 5th as the two mornings you'll be able to see a super close meeting of the two brightest planets in our solar system, our close sister planet Venus and our not-so-close brother planet Jupiter. And from now until then you can watch them close in on each other.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for 45 minutes before sunrise this Friday Oct. 15th facing due east where the brightest thing you'll see will be the brightest planet of them all, 8,000 mile wide Venus, so called because it's almost the same size as our Earth. It's the brightest planet because it's totally enshrouded in a bright cloud cover, which acts like a mirror and reflects brilliant sunlight back to us. Then if you look just below it just above the horizon you will see the second brightest but largest planet of them all, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, so huge we could line up eleven Venuses or Earths across its middle.

But if you don't get up early on Friday get up early on Saturday or Sunday or any day. Just make sure that you watch the progress of Jupiter and Venus as they close in on each other once or twice a week, although it's even more fun if you watch them move closer each day. Now on Friday they will be 20 degrees apart and since a full Moon is one half a degree wide this means we could line up 40 Moons between them. A week later, however, on the 22nd they'll be only 14 degrees or 28 Moons apart. And on October 29th a mere 7 degrees or 14 Moons apart. Then ta da! the real action begins because on November 1st, they will be less than 4 degrees or 8 Moons apart, on the 2nd less than 3 degrees or 6 Moons apart. And on the 3rd less than 2 degrees or 4 Moons apart and then on Thursday and Friday, the 4th and 5th, they are at their very closest, less than one degree apart, which means that less than 2 full Moons could fit between them. Wow!

Now on Thursday Jupiter will be slightly below Venus to its right but on Friday will be just slightly above it. You see all through October Jupiter was below Venus but after November 5th Jupiter will rise above it. In fact if you go out November 6th they will be about a degree and a half or 3 full Moons apart and on the 7th 4 1/2 degrees or 9 Moons apart. And then they'll rapidly move farther away from each other each successive day. So mark November 4th and 5th as the two days when Venus and Jupiter will be in a super close huddle. And don't miss these two days please because they won't be this close again until February 1st 2008.

We must remember, however, that whenever we see a super close meeting of any of the planets it's really an optical illusion because even though they look like they're side by side on the 4th and 5th, in reality Venus our near neighbor will be only 118 million miles away while Jupiter will be a whopping 580 million miles away, almost 5 times farther away. Trust me if you've never planet gazed before you're gonna thank me for this one because this is one to knock your socks off. 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

 

"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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-41 M

10/11/2004 thru 10/17/2004

"Get Ready For A Super Close Meeting Of
Two Super Bright Planets
"

Horkheimer: On November 4th and 5th the two brightest planets will have a super close meeting. And from now until then you can watch them close in on each other. Before sunrise this Friday face east and the brightest planet Venus will be 20 degrees, that's 40 Moon widths away from the second brightest planet Jupiter. On the 22nd 14 degrees apart, on the 29th, 7 degrees, on November 1st, only 4 degrees, on the 2nd, 3 degrees, on the 3rd, 2 degrees, and then ta da! On the 4th and 5th less than one degree, which is less than 2 Moons apart. And if you miss this super close meeting of the two brightest planets you'll have to wait until February 1st of 2008 to see them this close again. So see them now! I'm Jack Horkheimer, Keep Looking Up!


Please give us your comments. (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!

Monday 9/20/04 - 1800-1830 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode # 04-42 / 1402nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/18/2004 through Sunday 10/24/2004

"Don't Miss October 27th's
"Eclipse Of The Hunter's Moon"
Because it Will be The Last Total Lunar Eclipse
For 2 1/2 Years"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next Wednesday night, October 27th we will be treated to the third total lunar eclipse in one and a half years. And I strongly suggest you don't miss it because it will be the last one we'll see until March of 2007. We're calling it "The Eclipse of the Hunter's Moon" which is the traditional name given to October's full Moon because long ago hunters would use the light of this full Moon to hunt small animals in the stubble of the recently harvested fields. Let me elucidate.

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 Sunlight reflected off the Moon and back to our Earth. So 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 a total lunar 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, that is bent, into our Earth's shadow then onto the Moon and then reflected back again. And that's what you'll see Wednesday night October 27th.

Now if we could look at our Earth's shadow cone 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 9:14 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time or your local equivalent when the Moon begins to enter the umbra. Then as minute after minute goes by you can actually see the umbra, our Earth's curved shadow slowly creep across the Moon and gradually darken it and cause it to change color. The Moon will be completely within the umbra and totally eclipsed for 82 minutes from 10:23 to 11:45 after which the whole process will slowly reverse. But no one can predict what color the Moon will actually turn during totality and that's what makes it so much fun! Will it be bright orange, blood red or copper colored? Only the shadow knows. You'll have to see for yourself. Go to our website for more info. And don't miss Wednesday night's "Eclipse of the Hunter's Moon." Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
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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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-42M

10/18/2004 thru 10/24/2004

"Don't Miss October 27th's
'Eclipse Of The Hunter's Moon'
Because it Will be The Last Total Lunar Eclipse
For 2 1/2 Years"

Horkheimer: Don't miss next Wednesday's eclipse of "the Hunter's Moon", the last until 2007. A total lunar eclipse occurs whenever a full Moon glides directly into our Earth's shadow which blocks most of the Sun's light from reaching it because moon light 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 totality the Moon always turns some unpredictable shade of reddish copper orange. At 9:14 p.m. Eastern Time or your local equivalent you can watch our Earth's curved shadow start to glide across the moon. Totality begins at 10:23 and ends at 11:45. But what color will it turn? Only the shadow knows. Keep Looking Up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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!

Monday 9/20/04 - 1800-1830 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

Episode #04-43 / 1403rd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/25/2004 through Sunday 10/31/2004

"Don't Miss Next Week's Super Close Meeting
Of The Two Brightest Planets Followed By
An Exquisite Visit To Each By A Very Old Moon "


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next week, Thursday November 4th and Friday November 5th, the two brightest planets of them all will have a super close meeting which you'll not see again until the year 2008. Plus on the 8th and 9th they'll be visited by an exquisite very old waning crescent Moon. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Friday this week October 29th 45 minutes before sunrise facing due east where the brightest thing you'll see in the sky is our near neighbor planet and the brightest of them all, 8,000 mile wide Venus, often called our sister planet because it's almost the same size. And right below it only 7 degrees away or 14 full Moons apart because one full Moon is 1/2 a degree, the second brightest but largest planet of them all, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. A planet so huge we could line 11 Venuses or earths across its middle. And you might rightly ask if Venus and Jupiter are so close to each other and Jupiter is so much larger, why is it dimmer? And that's a very good question.

The simplest answer is that Jupiter is much, much farther away from us than Venus ever is. In fact on the 29th Venus will be only 114 million miles away while Jupiter will be 585 million miles beyond. But as close as they appear on the 29th the real action begins on November 1st when they will be less than 4 degrees or 8 Moons apart, on the 2nd less than 3 degrees or 6 Moons apart and on the 3rd less than 2 degrees or 4 Moons apart. But then ta da! Finally on the two biggest days until 2008, Thursday and Friday November 4th and 5th, they will be at their very closest, less than one degree apart which means that less then two full Moons could fit between them. Wow!

And Venus will be only 118 million miles away while Jupiter will be 5 times farther away, a whopping 580 million miles. Now on Thursday Jupiter will be slightly below Venus to its right but on Friday it will be just slightly above it. You see all through October Jupiter was below Venus but after November 5th Jupiter will rise above it. In fact if you go out on November 6th they will be about a degree and a half or 3 full Moons apart. But by the 7th 2 and a half degrees or 5 full Moons apart. And then they'll rapidly move farther away from each other each successive day. Don't miss this super close huddle on the 4th and the 5th please.

And as if this weren't enough on Tuesday morning November 9th an exquisite slender sliver of a 26 day old Moon complete with earthshine will be parked right above Jupiter. And on the 10th an even slimmer 27 day old Moon will be parked right underneath Venus and all three will be equally spaced and lined up in a row. So mark the 4th and 5th as Venus/Jupiter super close meeting days and the 9th and the 10th as the visitation of each by an exquisite crescent Moon. Plus on the 9th you'll also notice that Jupiter is now way above Venus 4 1/2 degrees or 9 full Moons apart. Isn't planet watching fun? 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

To see a web video version of this script

Click Here for RealPlayer

#04-43 M

10/25/2004 thru 10/31/2004

"Don't Miss Next Week's Super Close Meeting
Of The Two Brightest Planets Followed By
An Exquisite Visit To Each By A Very Old Moon "

Horkheimer: Next Thursday and Friday November 4th and 5th the two brightest planets will have a super close meeting and you can watch them as they approach. This Friday the 29th before sunrise face east and 8,000 mile wide Venus will dazzle you. And only 7 degrees away the second brightest planet 88,00 mile wide Jupiter, so huge we could line 11 Venuses or Earths across its middle. On Monday the 1st they'll be less than 4 degrees apart, on the 2nd less than 3 degrees, on the 3rd less than 2 and ta da! On Thursday and Friday less than 1 degree apart, the closest you'll see them until 2008. But even though they'll look close to each other, in reality Venus will be 118 million miles away while Jupiter will be 5 times farther. Keep Looking Up!

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


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