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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. 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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 804
Friday September 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0840, 0841, 0842, 0843


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER 5 MINUTE

Episode # 08-40 / 1609th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/06/2008 through
Sunday 10/12/2008

"The Hunter's Moon, Mercury At Its Best,
Jupiter The King And UFO Alert!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And have we ever got four goodies for you. A magnificent Hunter's Moon, Jupiter still high and bright in early evening, Mercury has its best morning appearance of the year and the planet that's always mistaken for a UFO returns. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for any night this week and next 45 minutes after sunset looking west where just above the horizon you'll see what looks like the bright landing light of an oncoming airplane or a UFO. And each night throughout October just after sunset it will be a bit higher in the sky. It's not a UFO of course but whenever this planet returns to evening skies as it is now people always claim there is a UFO in their front or back yard. It is of course the most brilliant planet of them all, same size as our planet Earth, 8,000 mile wide Venus. Venus is the brightest planet. But if you look over to its left to the south in early evening you will see the second brightest planet. It is the king of them all 88,000 mile wide Jupiter which means we could line up eleven 8,000 mile wide Venuses or Earths across its middle. So you have two wonderful planets for early evening viewing all month long.

But if you look toward the east just after sunset next Tuesday night the 14th you'll be greeted by an exquisite Hunter's Moon just rising. And as you regular viewers know my two favorite full Moons of the year are the full Moon of September the Harvest Moon and the full Moon of October the Hunter's Moon because they always remind me of giant golden jack o'lantern pumpkins as they rise and set. But do you remember why this full Moon is called the Hunter's Moon? Well traditionally this is the first full Moon after the Harvest Moon. And since the fields were harvested one month earlier hunters could ride out after sunset through the harvested fields by the light of this Moon and catch small animals that had come out to glean the fields. So please don't miss Tuesday night's super beautiful, super colorful, super romantic Hunter's Moon.

And now that we've got all of you early evening cosmos watchers covered what's left for you early birds to see? Well just keep facing east and during the last half of this month the smallest and closest planet to the sun, also known as the pink planet, will have its best morning appearance of 2008. Start looking about 45 minutes before sunrise next week and you'll see tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury just above the horizon. And if you watch morning after morning it will continue to get higher and brighter and on the morning of the 26th will make an exquisite picture with an old waning crescent Moon. Plus on the 27th you may be able to see an even skinnier crescent Moon just below and to the right of Mercury in the early morning twilight.

So there you have it, Mercury at its morning best for 2008, a jack o'lantern pumpkin colored harvest Moon next Tuesday night the 14th, the king of the planets in the south in early evening and the UFO planet Venus in the west just after sunset. What a plate full of cosmic goodies from which you are free to partake. Keep looking up!

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Star Gazer Minute

#08-40 M

10/06/2008 thru 10/12/2008

"The Hunter's Moon, Jupiter The King
And UFO Alert!"

Horkheimer: What do the Hunter's Moon, the planet Jupiter and a UFO alert have in common? They can all be seen in early evening. 45 minutes after sunset face west and you'll see what looks like a brilliant UFO which is always what people think whenever 8,000 mile wide Venus returns to evening skies which it recently has. It's the brightest planet. But if you face south you'll see the second brightest planet 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, so big we could line up eleven Venuses across its middle. Face east Tuesday night the 14th and you'll experience a giant, pumpkin colored, jack o'lantern Moon just rising. It's called the Hunter's Moon because long ago hunter's could ride through the harvested fields by the light of this Moon and catch the small animals that had come out to glean the fields. Three cosmic goodies in early evening, keep looking up!

How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station. 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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 804
Friday September 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0840, 0841, 0842, 0843


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #08-41 /1610th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/13/2008 through Sunday 10/19/2008

"How To Use The Moon To Find
The Ringed Planet Just Before Sunrise"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. As most of you viewers know my second favorite planet after planet #3 is planet #6, the giant gas planet with all the rings, exquisite Saturn. And just recently it has returned to morning skies and can be seen just before sunrise. And you can use the Moon to find it on Friday Saturday and Sunday October 24th, 25th and 26th. Plus believe it or not Saturn will be losing its rings soon. So see them now before they're gone.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Friday morning October 24th, 6 a.m. your local time facing east where you will see an exquisite breathtakingly beautiful 25 day old waning crescent Moon, which means that it is getting skinnier and skinnier rather than a waxing crescent which means getting fatter and fatter. And if you look closely you may notice that there will appear to be a grayish black full Moon nestled within this crescent, which is called earthshine and which can only be seen during times of waxing or waning crescent Moon. Look just above this beautiful Moon and you'll see Regulus the brightest star of Leo the lion. Then look an equal distance below the Moon and, voila!, you'll see slightly brighter yellowish Saturn. The next day Saturday October 25th the Moon will be just past Saturn and even skinnier and will still sport some lovely earthshine. And 24 hours later on Sunday the 26th the Moon will be well past Saturn and Saturn will be equally spaced between the Moon and Regulus. Once again Friday the 24th, Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th.

And while you're out there please if you or a friend have a small telescope, use it now because by Christmas Eve Saturn's rings will almost disappear. Why? Well, it takes Saturn 29 1/2 Earth years to make one orbit about the Sun. And as it does so its rings constantly appear to change position as seen from Earth. On April 9, 2003 they appeared wide open as astronomers say and we were looking up at Saturn from underneath, so to speak, at the south side of Saturn's rings. But ever since then they've been slowly closing month after month year after year, slowly tilting downward, so by January of this year they looked like this. On September 24th they looked like this and next week on October 24th they'll look like this. Even less of them will be seen by thanksgiving week. And ta da! On Christmas Eve December 24th they will almost disappear.

After which they will slowly reveal a bit more of themselves in kind of a tease. But after next summer they will do a magic act and on September 4th of 2009 Labor Day weekend they will disappear in all but the biggest of Earth's telescopes. Then they will slowly open once again and be wide open in October of 2017 when we will then be looking at the ring's northern side. But this is all an optical illusion. Saturn's rings do not actually tilt. It's a matter of perspective due to where our Earth and Saturn are in their orbits. When we are in this position we look up at the southern side of Saturn's rings and from this position we look down at the northern side of Saturn's rings. And in between Saturn's rings disappear. So catch Saturn now before they disappear like the white rabbit down the famous rabbit hole. Keep looking up!

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

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-41 M

10/13/2008 thru 10/19/2008

"How To Use The Moon To Find
The Ringed Planet Just Before Sunrise"

Horkheimer: You can use the Moon to find Saturn before it loses its famous rings. Friday the 24th at 6 a.m. face east and you'll see a crescent Moon. Just above it Regulus the brightest star of Leo and just below it bright yellowish Saturn. On Saturday the Moon will be just past Saturn and on Sunday well past it. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Look at it through a telescope now while you can still see its rings because on Christmas Eve they will almost disappear. In fact next Labor Day weekend they'll vanish all together for one night. But the ever changing rings of Saturn are all an optical illusion caused by where the Earth and Saturn are in their respective orbits. See it next Friday, Saturday and Sunday while it's still got its rings. Keep looking up!


Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 804
Friday September 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0840, 0841, 0842, 0843


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 Click Here

 Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-42 / 1611th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/20/2008 through Sunday 10/26/2008

"An Exquisite Moon Pays A Visit To The Two
Brightest Planets, Starting On Halloween"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And yes indeed an exquisite waxing, that is growing, crescent Moon will pay a visit to the two brightest planets in early evening four nights in a row beginning Friday October 31st, which is Halloween, or as they used to call it when I was a kid All Hallows, or All Holies Eve because it is the evening before All Saints Day which was also known as the day of 'All Holies'. After all saints are supposed to be holy right? And how many of you remember that that's where our Halloween really came from?

O.K., we've got our skies set up for Friday night October 31st, All Hallows Eve, Halloween at dusk while there's still quite a bit of light out facing southwest. And if you have a clear very flat unobstructed horizon you will be able to see an exquisite two day old crescent Moon just above the horizon and just above it the most dazzling planet of them all, planet number two from the Sun, and the same size as our Earth, 8,000 mile wide Venus. And believe me it will be absolutely dazzling and will get even brighter and better for the Christmas holidays. So start your Venus watch now.

But in case you miss Venus and the Moon while you're out trick or treating at sunset never fear because the next night Saturday November 1st will be even better because the Moon will be much higher above the horizon and a little bit fatter and on the other side of Venus. Plus we'll have more apparent earthshine which will look like a black full Moon nestled within the crescent. The next night Sunday November second, an even fatter crescent complete with earthshine will be half way between Venus and another bright light up to the Moon's left which is the second brightest planet and the king of them all, eleven times as wide as Venus and Earth, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. In fact we could line up 11 Venuses or Earths across its middle. But if you want to see something really special one night later on Monday November 3rd an even fatter crescent Moon complete with earthshine will be parked right next to the king. Wow!

Once again just after sunset at dusk on Halloween the Moon will be very close to the horizon and below Venus, on Saturday November 1st it will be higher off the horizon and on the other side of Venus, on Sunday the second it will be halfway between Venus and Jupiter. And ta da! on Monday the third parked right next to the giant planet. And if you have binoculars or a small telescope use them please!

But now here's the really good part because I'd like you to pay very close attention to just how far apart Jupiter and Venus are from one another. Because every night throughout November the two of them will come just a little bit closer to each other. In fact Halloween is the time to begin your Venus ­ Jupiter getting ­ closer ­ to ­ each - other watch. You see on Halloween Jupiter and Venus will be 31 degrees apart from each other, which I like to visualize in full Moons. Since a full Moon is one half a degree wide this means we could fit 62 full Moons between Venus and Jupiter on Halloween. But only one month later on November 30th Venus and Jupiter will be 29 degrees closer, only 2 degrees apart, which means we could fit only 4 full Moons between them. Wow again! So start your Venus and Jupiter watch now beginning Friday night, All Hallows eve. And trust me you'll be absolutely amazed at how dramatically these two planets will change their position in relation to each other night after night after night. I mean planet watching is really fun if you just give it a chance. Plus it's free entertainment! Keep looking up!


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

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-42 M

10/20/2008 thru 10/26/2008

"An Exquisite Moon Pays A Visit To The Two
Brightest Planets, Starting On Halloween"

Horkheimer: Watch an exquisite waxing crescent Moon visit the two brightest planets four nights in a row beginning on Halloween. On Halloween at dusk face southwest and you'll see a lovely crescent Moon and just above it the brightest planet of them all, number two, 8, 000 mile wide Venus. 24 hours later on Saturday November 1st the Moon will be on the other side of Venus and on Sunday the 2nd halfway between Venus and the second brightest planet, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. So big we could line eleven Venuses or Earths across its middle. Then ta da! on Monday the 3rd the Moon will be parked right next to it. And pay close attention to just how far Venus and Jupiter are from one another because all month long they'll get closer and closer and on the 30th will be super close! Start your Venus / Jupiter watch now! Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?
Please give us your comments. (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. Visit http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html for help in locating your local PBS station.

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!

Half Hour Feed STAH 804
Friday September 19, 2008, 1100-1130
Includes episodes 0840, 0841, 0842, 0843


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" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 

STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-43 / 1612th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/27/2008 through Sunday 11/02/2008

"The Seven Sinister Sisters Fly High
Across The Sky At Midnight On Halloween"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers. 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 year at 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 is even niftier and definitely spookier because every Halloween the Seven Sinister Sisters fly high across the sky at midnight. Let me show you.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for the witching hour of midnight, any Halloween facing south. And if you look up almost overhead you will see the tiny cluster of stars called The Pleiades, but which are more popularly known as The Seven Sisters. And to various cultures long ago, whenever The Seven Sisters reached their highest point at midnight, which happens every year at the end of October and beginning of November, this was a sort of cosmic signal telling people that this was the time of the year to honor the dead.

Now astronomically speaking, whenever any object reaches its highest point in the heavens we say that it has culminated. And whenever The Pleiades culminated at midnight many ancient cultures held great ceremonies in honor of the dead, which is basically where our Halloween comes from. There was also a popular belief that great natural catastrophes had occurred on some of the nights when The Pleiades culminated at midnight. In fact some legends claim that the Great Flood and the 10 Plagues of Egypt, even the legendary sinking of Atlantis, occurred when The Pleiades culminated at midnight.

Indeed, this belief was so widespread that the ancient Aztec and Maya conducted spectacular ceremonies when The Pleiades culminated at midnight because they believed that the world had already been destroyed and recreated not once but 4 times when The Seven Sisters were overhead at midnight. Even the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico was oriented to the setting of The Pleiades as were all of the city's west facing streets. And coincidentally many ancient Greek temples were also lined up with the setting or the rising of The Seven Sisters.

Now although The Pleiades no longer reach their highest point, that is culminate, exactly at midnight on the same nights as they did in ancient times, nevertheless, they are still almost at their highest every Halloween at midnight as a modern reminder that our ancestors were deeply moved and affected by the cosmos and used many cosmic coincidences to determine important religious and ceremonial events in their life. In fact some people still believe that the next time the world ends it will also happen on a Pleiades overhead at midnight night. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

So get thee outside this Halloween or any Halloween at midnight look almost overhead for the beautiful cluster of stars known as The Pleiades, and The Seven Sisters or as I like to call them on Halloween, the Seven Sinister Sisters. And as you look at them remind yourself that these same stars have been seen by thousands of generations who have gone before us who saw them as very important in determining their own special days of the year when they honored their dead. And although it is a bit creepy don't you agree that Seven Sisters at midnight are even better than a full Halloween Moon? I mean I'll take seven witches over one Moon any night. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

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"Star Gazer" is available for downloading
with Quicktime.

Check Out WPBT's Version

 
Click Here

 
Click Here

 

 
Click Here

Star Gazer Minute

#08-43 M

10/27/2008 thru 11/02/2008

"The Seven Sinister Sisters Fly High
Across The Sky At Midnight On Halloween"

Horkheimer: Although we often associate Halloween with the full Moon many cultures celebrating a day of the dead at this time of year attached more importance to the tiny star cluster The Pleiades, The Seven Sisters, which are almost overhead at midnight every Halloween. Some legends claim that a great ancient cataclysm occurred when The Pleiades were overhead at midnight, such as the great flood and the sinking of Atlantis. And the Aztec and Maya believed that the world had been destroyed and recreated four times on such a night and would once again come to an end when The Pleiades were overhead at midnight. Which is where you'll find them this Halloween. So should we rename them The Seven "Sinister" Sisters? Keep looking up!


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