"STAR GAZERS "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 GAZERS off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

One Hour Feed
1104 SD Base P389223-001
Wednesday 21 September 2011 - 1200-1300
Includes episodes 1140, 1141, 1142, 1143, 1144



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

"Star Gazers" is available from iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS" 5 MINUTE

Episode # 11-40 - 1st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/3/2011 through
Sunday 10/9/2011

"The Hunter's Moon For 2011"


James: Welcome to Star Gazers. I'm James Albury, Director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida.

Dean: And I'm Dean Regas, Outreach Astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory.
We're both here to help you be sure you know what you're looking at when you go out to your back yard and look up. Let's go.

James: Get outside and look east any night next week about an hour or so after Sunset. The first thing you're likely to see is a big bright Moon. If you don't see the Moon, just wait awhile. If the clouds are cooperating the Moon will be putting in an appearance. You'll also see a bright point of light low on the horizon and that's the giant planet Jupiter. Tuesday night October 11 the full Moon will be very special. No, it won't be the Harvest Moon, that was in September this year. What's special about it is that this Hunter's full Moon will be the most distant full Moon of the year. This means it will appear to be about 12 percent smaller than the largest full Moon, which occurred on March 19 this past spring.

Dean: Since you don't have that March full Moon sitting by this one to compare, the difference isn't obvious. All full Moons look the same to the naked eye. Now the reason the Moon's distance changes is that the Moon's orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle and next Tuesday the full Moon will be about 31 thousand miles farther away than when the Moon was full in March. The Moon's average distance is about 240 thousand miles from Earth but next week the Moon will be over 252 thousand miles away while back in March it was only about 221 thousand miles away. That's a difference of over 30 thousand miles.

James: The full Moon looks awfully bright and it keeps us from seeing most of the stars but it's not really all that bright. The Sun is almost 400 thousand times brighter than the full Moon. Our eyes have an amazing ability to accommodate great ranges of light. The Moon shines only because it reflects light from the Sun and it's not even very good at that. The Moon reflects only about 7% of the sunlight reaching it. That's about the same as charcoal. Jupiter on the other hand reflects about half of the light reaching it from the Sun. And even with the bright moonlight in the sky nearby Jupiter will be quite easy to spot in the eastern sky next week. The Moon will move from one night to the next. Here it is on the 10th, then the 11th, the night of full Moon, then the 12th, the 13th, closest to Jupiter, the 14th and so on. So the best nights for using the Moon to identify Jupiter will be Wednesday the 12th and Thursday the 13th.

Dean: Another weird thing about the Moon is that it is much brighter at full Moon than you might expect. Although the Moon looks half lit up at both first and last quarters, the Moon is not half as bright at first and last quarter as it is at full Moon. At first and last quarter the Moon is less than 10% as bright as it is at full Moon. The Moon only gets to be half as bright as the full Moon when it's about two and a half days before and two and a half days after full Moon. This happens because the Moon is not a smooth uniform ball in the sky. The Moon is very rough on its surface and there are lots of shadows on its surface that don't reflect light our way.

James So, let's recap all this Moon info. We can see the Moon only because it reflects light from the Sun, the Moon does not shine on its own.

Dean: The Moon's orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle. So sometimes the full Moon is close and sometimes it's far away. Next week it will be the farthest full Moon of the year. When the full Moon is close it appears to be larger and brighter. And when the full Moon is far away it appears to be smaller and dimmer.

James: The Moon's brightening and dimming is not smooth and symmetrical. The full Moon is much more than twice as bright as the half lit first and last quarter Moons. The Moon only gets to half as bright as a full Moon when it's about two and a half days on either side of the full Moon.

Unison: So think about all this Moon madness as you keep looking up!

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Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

 


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
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Star Gazer Minute

#11-40 M

10/03/2011 thru 10/09/2011

"The Hunter's Moon For 2011"

Dean: Next week we'll see the smallest and most distant full Moon of the year near the planet Jupiter.


James: Get outside and look east any night next week about an hour or so after sunset. The first thing you're likely to see is a big bright Moon. Close to the giant planet Jupiter. Tuesday night October 11 the full Moon will be very special. This Hunter's full Moon will be the most distant full Moon of the year. And it will appear to be about 12 percent smaller than the largest full Moon which occurred on March 19 this past spring.


Dean: Since you don't have that March full Moon sitting by this one to compare, the difference isn't obvious. All full Moons look the same to the naked eye.


James: The Moon will move from one night to the next. Here it is on the 10th, then the 11th, the night of full Moon, then the 12th, the 13th, closest to Jupiter, the 14th and so on. So enjoy the Moon and Jupiter while you keep looking up!

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


* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of "Star Gazers"







"STAR GAZERS "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 GAZERS" off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

One Hour Feed
1104 SD Base P389223-001
Wednesday 21 September 2011 - 1200-1300
Includes episodes 1140, 1141, 1142, 1143, 1144


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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS"

Episode #11-41 - 2nd Show
To Be Aired : Monday 10/10/2011 through Sunday 10/16/2011


Dean: Welcome to Star Gazers. I'm Dean Regas, Outreach Astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory

James: And I'm James Albury, Director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida.

Dean: Stars are not always what they seem. Most stars in the sky are really two, three, or more stars orbiting each other. Many stars wildly fluctuate in brightness. They're all different colors and temperatures. Some are newly born and others are nearing their dramatic demise.

James: This week we're going to look at three stars in the fall sky with hidden secrets. The first star is really two beautifully colored stars in a small telescope.

Dean: The second will make your head spin.

James: And the third is a lonely star with a funny name that gave astronomers a big planetary surprise. As our telescopes get better and better we're uncovering the mysterious nature of stars trillions of miles away. Let us introduce you to the stars Albireo, Altair, and Fomalhaut.

James: Okay, we have our skies set to 10pm this month looking west. The most prominent feature in this part of the sky is the Summer Triangle. Look for the three brightest stars high in the sky and you've found it.

Dean: the three stars are called VegaAltair and Deneb

James: Now Deneb is supposed to be the bright tail of the constellation Cygnus the swan but we're going to zoom in on the fainter head star visible inside the Summer Triangle. This is the star called Albireo and it's one of the favorites for amateur astronomers with a small telescope.

Dean: When you look closer at Albireo, you find it's really a double star - two stars orbiting each other. The bigger one is orange in color and the smaller one is brilliant blue. The contrasting colors make a cool and hot sight to see - this tells us their contrasting temperatures. The bluer, the hotter. The oranger, the cooler. They're like two beautiful jewels in the night sky.

James: Now let's get back to the star Altair and his hidden secret. Altair looks like any ordinary bright white star. But Altair is one of the closer stars to us at only 17 light years away.

Dean: And because it's "relatively" close astronomers could uncover Altair's secret - it's mind-boggling rotational rate.

James: Meaning it spins really fast.

Dean: Our Sun spins as well. The Sun rotates about 2 kilometers per second at its equator and it takes over 25 days for the Sun to spin once at the equator. Now let's compare our Sun to Altair. Altair is almost twice as big as the Sun and shines 11 times brighter. But hold onto your seats, this star spins super-fast! At the equator, Altair rotates at about 286 kilometers per second. That means that the entire star spins once every 9 hours!

James: This unbelievable rotational velocity has actually affected the shape of this star. Instead of a sphere, Altair is squished at the poles and bulges at the equator. Its entire mass has shifted and has left Altair looking like a rapidly spinning egg-shaped star.

Dean: Next, let's look south at 10 pm. You'll see only one bright star. This is Fomalhaut the brightest star in the constellation of Piscis Australis or the southern fish.

James: With a little imagination you can make out a goldfish shape in these stars with Fomalhaut as one beady eye.

Dean: Fomalhaut is a blue-white star, 25 light years away, making it a closer target to observe with the best telescopes. In 2004 astronomers detected a dust ring around Fomalhaut

James: We call it proto-planetary debris

Dean: And everyone got excited. This was the kind of proto-planetary debris that might harbor a planet or even a whole solar system.

James: And then in 2008, astronomers caught the first visible-light image of a planet orbiting around another star. Orbiting around Fomalhaut. You have to really squint, but there it is. So check out Fomalhaut tonight, the lone star in the south

Dean: That's not so lonely after all

James: Find rapidly rotating Altair in the western sky on the left side of the Summer Triangle.

Dean: And don't forget to train your telescopes on Albireo to discover its second Sun. When you look at the stars above who knows what other hidden secrets you'll discover when you

Both: Keep looking up!



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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 
 
 

"Star Gazers" Minute

#11-41 M

10/10/2011 thru 10/16/2011

"The Secret Lives Of Stars"

Dean: This month at 10 pm go outside and find the Summer Triangle high in the west. These are three bright stars, Deneb, Vega, and Altair.
James: At only 17 light years away, Altair is one of our closest stars and although Altair looks like a normal white star it has a hidden secret.

Dean: Since it's relatively close, astronomers discovered that Altair spins at over 286 kilometers per second! That spinning is so fast that it actually squishes the entire star at the poles!

Dean: Now when you look south at 10 pm you'll see only one bright star. This is Fomalhaut the brightest star in the constellation of Piscis Australis or the Southern Fish.

James: Recently astronomers imaged the first ever planet around Fomalhaut. You have to really squint, but there it is. Astronomers have discovered hundreds of planets around other stars but this is the only picture of one. When you look at the stars above who knows how many of them have planets

Dean: And which spin like crazy.

Both: Keep looking up!

Please give us your comments. (Click Here)




 
* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of "Star Gazers"




 



"STAR GAZERS "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 GAZERS" off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

Satellite feed info:

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

One Hour Feed
1104 SD Base P389223-001
Wednesday 21 September 2011 - 1200-1300
Includes episodes 1140, 1141, 1142, 1143, 1144


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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS"

Episode # 11-42 - 3rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/17/2011 through Sunday 10/23/2011

"Pegasus, The Pleiades And The Farthest You Can See With The Naked Eye! Plus Two Bright Planets In The Sky"


James: Greetings, fellow Star Gazers, and if you recall last week Dean and I showed you how to find one of two wonderful early evening autumn star patterns, the Pleiades.

Dean: So this week, we'd like to show you the other sure sign of autumn which at 8 o'clock your local time will be halfway up the eastern sky. It's called the Great Square of Pegasus the horse.

James: And we have a few bright planets you can keep an eye out for as well! Wondering what we're talking about? Let's show you!

Dean: OK, we have our skies set for just after sunset, facing east. If we could draw lines between four not-quite-so-bright stars we would indeed trace a great celestial square.

James: And with a few other stars nearby and a little imagination, we could connect stars to the west of this square to make a long neck with the bright star Enif as our horse's nose, a few dim stars from the northwest point of the square for two short front legs.

Dean: And using the bright star to the northeast we could draw lines between the faint stars of Andromeda and come up with two respectable hind legs. And it is a very special object just off the knee of one of these hind legs, which makes autumn so special. It's difficult to find but well worth the effort if you have clear dark moonless skies.

James: First of all look below the Square of Pegasus for five bright stars which, if you could draw lines between them would trace out the letter "M", the constellation named for the ancient queen of Ethiopia, Cassiopeia.

Dean: Absolutely! Then take the second brightest star in Cassiopeia, draw a line from it straight up through the bright star of Pegasus's square where the hind legs connect; and if you go about 2/3 of the way up that line from Cassiopeia and look just to the right of it you will see a tiny faint cloud which, if you look at it through a pair of binoculars, becomes even brighter, but a cloud it is not.

James: Indeed it is the farthest object we can see in the universe with the naked eye. It is called M-31, the Great Galaxy of Andromeda which, through a large telescope, reveals itself to be a gigantic family of stars similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Dean: That's right James, and the truly mind boggling thing is this: although autumn's skies have the fewest bright stars of any season, nevertheless, the celestial objects in autumn skies are either breathtakingly beautiful, or intellectually mind boggling; because when you look at the exquisitely lovely Pleiades, you are looking at a group of stars whose light, which we see now, left it over 400 years ago, about the time of the invention of the first telescope.

James: ah, yes! And when you look up at the tiny dim cloud at the knee of Pegasus, the great Galaxy of Andromeda, you are looking at the light which left it two and a half million years ago, just about the time Australopithecus, the Lucy creature, walked on this Earth, long before the appearance of man.

Dean: Just imagine, the light we see tonight actually left this great galaxy over a million years before any creature learned how to use fire.

James: Wow!

Dean: Oh yes, the stars of autumn may be less brilliant than those of any other season, but their intrinsic magnificence and beauty is overwhelming.

James: Most definitely, Dean. Now, let's check out where the planets are going to be this week. Shortly after sunset, you'll see the triumphant return of our sister planet, Venus. It's going to be very low in the western sky and may get caught in the glare of sunset, but as the nights pass, the Roman goddess of beauty and love will be slowly getting higher and higher in the west, moving through Libra and into Scorpius the scorpion.

Dean: Then, at the same time on the opposite horizon, you can see the 2nd brightest planet in the sky, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. In its current position, you'll be able to watch Jupiter all night long. Named after the king of the Roman gods, Jupiter is almost as bright as Venus; even though it's much further away from us. It's bright because it's almost 11 times larger than Venus. Jupiter is rapidly approaching what we call opposition; meaning that Jupiter will be opposite the Sun in the sky. At opposition, Jupiter will appear bigger and brighter than it will for the rest of the year. So go outside this week and catch Jupiter, Venus, the Andromeda Galaxy and The Pleiades!

James: And it's all there for you to see if you just remember to

Both: "Keep looking up!"



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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 
 
 

"Star Gazers" Minute

#11-42 M

10/17/2011 thru 10/23/2011

"Pegasus, The Pleiades And The Farthest You Can See With The Naked Eye! Plus Two Bright Planets In The Sky"

James: Greetings, fellow star gazers, Dean and I are going to show you a sure sign of autumn.

Dean: And we have a few bright planets you can keep an eye out for as well! Wondering what we're talking about? Let's show you!

Dean: Ok, we have our skies set for just after sunset, facing east. If we could draw lines between four not-quite-so-bright stars we trace out the Great Square of Pegasus. Look below the square of Pegasus for five bright stars which, form the constellation Cassiopeia the queen.

James: Absolutely! Then take the second brightest star in Cassiopeia, draw a line from it straight up through the bright star of Pegasus's square and if you go about 2/3 of the way up that line from Cassiopeia and look just to the right of it you will see a tiny faint cloud which, if you look at it through a pair of binoculars, it will reveal the Farthest object we can see in the universe with the naked eye. It's the Andromeda Galaxy, over two million light years away!

Dean: Now let's show you where the planets or going to be tonight! Shortly after sunset, you'll see the triumphant return of our sister planet, Venus. It's going to be very low in the western sky and may get caught in the glare of sunset, but as the nights pass, Venus will be getting higher and higher in the western sky.

James: Then, at the same time on the opposite horizon, you can see the 2nd brightest planet in the sky, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. In its current position, you'll be able to watch Jupiter all night long and it will appear bigger and brighter than it will for the rest of the year. So go outside this week and catch Jupiter, Venus, the Andromeda Galaxy and The Pleiades!

Dean: And it's all there for you to see if you just remember to

Both: "Keep looking up!"

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



 
* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer



 


"STAR GAZERS" 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 GAZERS" off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

One Hour Feed
1104 SD Base P389223-001
Wednesday 21 September 2011 - 1200-1300
Includes episodes 1140, 1141, 1142, 1143, 1144Satellite feed info:


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



"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS"

Episode # 11-43 / 4th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/24/2011 through Sunday 10/30/2011

"The Monsters Of the Sky For Halloween"



Dean: Welcome to star gazers. I'm Dean Regas, Outreach Astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory.

James: And I'm James Albury, director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida. Next week is Halloween so Dean and I thought we'd share our favorite monsters in the sky.

Dean: These are the stars and constellations that struck terror in the hearts of our ancestors. And they include a dragon, a sea monster, and a woman with snakes for hair.

James: And finally we'll show you the star cluster that signaled the Day of the Dead. Let's get started

James: Okay we have our skies set for Monday October 31 facing north at 9:30pm. We're going dragon -hunting and looking for Draco the dragon.

Dean: There's our guide star halfway up in the north - Polaris or the North Star. It's not terribly bright but you should be able to spy it from most locations. The dragon's body coils right around the North Star.

James: The dragon's head holds the brightest stars in this monster constellation. Three brighter stars mark his head in a neat triangle and if you're in a darker sky, you might be able to make out a fourth.

Dean: The ancient Babylonians referred to Draco as the she-dragon Tiamat who terrorized creation with her brood of monsters. She's said to have a body seven miles long and a mouth as big as the sky. Along came a god named Marduk who slew the great beast with bow and arrow and freed humanity. Marduk then sliced the dragon in half - one half becoming the Earth, and the other, the heavens above.

James: Let's look high in the east now for the constellation Perseus. He's a toughie to find since the stars don't look like a armor-clad hero with winged sandals.

Dean: I think he looks more like a stretched letter, "K".

James: And we see Perseus holding something in his outstretched arm. To the ancient Greeks it's the star Algol a.k.a. The winking eye of Medusa.

Dean: But other cultures had some very frightening names for this star, like: the spectre's head, ghost's head, satan's head, the double eye, and my personal favorite, from the chinese, Tseih She, piled up corpses.

James: Why such scary names? Algol is no ordinary star - it's a special type of star called an eclipsing variable. Algol is really two stars of different brightnesses that orbit each other. When the bigger, dimmer star blocked the light of the smaller brighter star the ancients noticed. During these eclipses Algol dims like clockwork every 2.87 days.

Dean: So, see if you can see the winking eye of Medusa this month - it won't turn you to stone.

James: Perseus is using Medusa's head to save princess Andromeda from a briny behemoth- the sea monster, Cetus. Look farther to the southeast, and just below Jupiter, you can find the sea monster.

Dean: His outline looks more like a recliner chair.

James: Nevertheless, this was Poseidon's vicious pet sea monster who we see turned to stone by

Dean: Medusa's head!

James: Algol strikes again!

Dean: Finally let's talk about the Day of the Dead many cultures selected November 1 as a special day to honor the dead. It marks a halfway point between fall and winter plus the coolest star cluster does something special that night - at midnight.

James: The Seven Sisters, or Pleiades, are an open cluster of stars visible in the east. At first glance they look like a little cloud, but upon closer examination you may be able to make out the individual stars in the cluster.

Dean: A sharp-eyed first grader told me they looked like a dinky dipper.

James: This little cluster features heavily in all Hallow's Eve celebrations around the globe - when they are highest at midnight. Aztecs, Mayans, Peruvians, Japanese, and Hindus all had festivals for the dead near November 1 in honor of the Seven Sisters.

Dean: As the night rolls on, the Pleiades rise higher and higher in the sky. And at local midnight the Pleiades reach their highest point. In fact from the Yucatan peninsula, the Seven Sisters would be straight overhead - the great Mayan pyramids would point directly at the cluster.

James: Very cool!

James: So look for Draco the dragon in the northern sky.

Dean: The winking star, Algol, or Medusa's head, in the east.

James: Cetus the sea monster in the southeast

Dean: And, if you dare, stay up 'til midnight to see the Seven Sisters ride almost overhead.

Both: Have a happy Halloween and keep looking up!

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


"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 
 

"Star Gazers" Minute

#11-43 M

10/24/2011 thru 10/30/2011

"The Monsters Of The Sky For Halloween"

James: Next week is Halloween and Dean and I thought we'd share our favorite monsters in the sky.

Dean: These are the stars and constellations that struck terror in the hearts of our ancestors - and I have a doozy.

James: Algol?

Dean: Algol. Legend has it; this is the star marking Medusa's severed head. You can see Algol in the east after sunset in Perseus. Among different cultures this star was known as: "spectre's head, ghosts' head, satan's head, the double eye, and my personal favorite, from the Chinese Tseih She, piled up corpses.

James: Why such scary names? Algol changes its brightness dramatically.

Dean: Very scary.

James: Farther in the southeast, and just below bright Jupiter, you can find the sea monster constellation, Cetus. This was Poseidon's vicious pet who we see turned to stone by

Dean: Medusa's head!

James: Algol strikes again.

Both: Have a happy Halloween and keep looking up!

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




 
* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer


"STAR GAZERS" 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 GAZERS" off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

STAH 1101-113
WPBT offer/WPBT uplink

All Wednesdays/All SD06

One Hour Feed
1104 SD Base P389223-001
Wednesday 21 September 2011 - 1200-1300
Includes episodes 1140, 1141, 1142, 1143, 1144 Satellite feed info:


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



"Star Gazers" is available with iTunes,
for downloading with Quicktime
and we're on YouTube

 

 
 

"STAR GAZERS"

Episode # 11-44 / 5th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/31/2011 through Sunday 11/6/2011

"Plenty Of Planets For The Evening Sky"



Dean: Welcome to Star Gazers. I'm Dean Regas, Outreach Astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory.

James: And I'm James Albury, Director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida.

Dean; We're both here to help you be sure you know what you're looking at when you go out to the back yard and look up. Let's go.
Next week look low in the southwest just after sunset and see if you can catch a glimpse of the brightest of all the planets, Venus. You'll have to look soon after sunset because Venus won't be there very long before it will set.
James: Venus will move a bit farther left each night plus it will be just above the closest planet to the sun, Mercury. And the two of them, Venus and Mercury, will stay close together for about a week.

Dean: Let's put some dates in there and take a closer look. Monday November 7 about 45 minutes after sunset, Venus will be about 2 degrees above Mercury and will be about 40 times brighter. The next day Tuesday the 8th they will each have moved a bit in the sky but will stay the same distance apart.

James: Then on the 9th they will continue flying in formation but on the 10th they will pass close to the star Antares, the giant red heart of the scorpion. Then on the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th this pairing will continue while Antares will be rapidly left behind. But this pairing won't last and after the 15th Mercury will turn and head back toward the Sun letting Venus go on alone.

Dean: I suggest you keep watching Venus every evening after sunset and notice that it keeps moving a little bit more to the left each night and will get a bit higher each night. The best night will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving when a skinny crescent Moon will join it.

James: Then turn around and look east just after sunset next week and the Moon will be your best buddy for helping you identify the giant planet Jupiter. Monday night November 7th look east after sunset and you'll easily spot a waxing, that is growing, gibbous Moon. Gibbous means humped, which is what the Moon will look like as it approaches full Moon. About 20 degrees down to the left of the Moon you'll easily spot a bright light in the sky and that is the giant planet Jupiter.

Dean: Jupiter is extra bright right now because it's closer than usual, only a mere 371 million miles away. Back in April Jupiter was over 550 million miles from us and was noticeably dimmer.

James: Then the next night Tuesday Nov. 8th, the Moon will be closer to Jupiter and one day closer to full Moon. The next night, Wednesday the 9th, the Moon will be just past Jupiter and only 6 degrees away. Then Thursday November 10th, the night of full Moon, Jupiter will be about 16 degrees to the right of the Moon. Let's go back over that again.

Dean: Evening sky, looking west, just after sunset, November 7th through the 15th, Venus and Mercury will pair up for about a week.

James Then look toward the east early evening November 7th thru the 10th, for the Moon showing you the giant planet Jupiter. So Jupiter and Venus will both be in the evening sky for the next few months and will have a really close rendezvous in March of 2012.

Dean And now we have a planet for you early morning sky gazers too. This one isn't nearly as bright as Jupiter or Venus but there is a big lion in the sky to help you locate it. Look in to the southeast before dawn about half way up the sky and look for the big backward question mark that marks the head of Leo the lion. This question mark will be easier to spot than usual because it will have a double dot at the bottom with the star Regulus marking the bottom dot and the planet Mars making the brighter upper dot, if you look on the mornings of November 10th and 11th.

James: Let's back up to Monday November 7th and you'll have a great chance to see how fast a planet can move across the sky. Here we are on the 7th, the 8th, the 9th, the 10th and the 11th. Notice how far Mars has moved in just a few days. This is why planets were called wandering stars.
Unison: Two bright planets in the evening and a bright star and a planet in the morning.
Keep looking up!

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"Star Gazers" Minute

#11-44M

910/31/2011 thru 11/06/2011

"Plenty Of Planets For The Evening Sky"


Dean : Next week look low in the southwest just after sunset and see if you can catch a glimpse of Venus and Mercury.

James : Then turn and look east for the Moon and Jupiter.

Dean: Monday November 7 about 45 minutes after sunset, Venus will be about 2 degrees above Mercury and will be about 40 times brighter. The next day Tuesday the 8th they will each have moved a bit in the sky but will stay the same distance apart. Then from the 9th through the 15th they will continue flying in formation. But this pairing won't last and after the 15th Mercury will turn and head back toward the sun letting Venus go on alone.

James Then look toward the east in the early evening November 7th thru the 10th, for the Moon showing you the giant planet Jupiter. So Jupiter and Venus will both be in the evening sky for the next six months and will have a really close rendezvous in March of 2012.

Unison: Two bright planets in the evening sky!
Keep looking up!

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* 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 6 was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer


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