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

9/24/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE

 

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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 99-40

1139th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/4/99 through Sunday 10/10/99

"The Moon and Venus,

The Moon and Mercury, and

The Moon and Mars"


Horkheimer: Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers. And if you have trouble finding and identifying planets we have a little trick you can use to help. You see every once in a while our Moon, which is pretty easy to find and identify, comes visually close to a planet. So if you mark those nights down on your calendar when the Moon is visiting a particular planet all you have to do is go outside, find the Moon and the planet in question will be close by. Let me show you.

We've got our skies set up for early this week, Tuesday October 5th, one hour before sunrise facing east where you'll see an exquisite trio of cosmic beauties forming an almost perfect triangle in the heavens. The Moon of course is the obvious object but below and to its left the not so obvious star, the giant blue star Regulus which marks the heart of Leo the Lion. And to its right an object so obvious and dazzling that it has frequently been mistaken for a UFO, the second planet from the Sun 8,000 mile wide Venus. But if you miss this trio on Tuesday the 5th you can still see a beautiful sky picture of the Moon, Regulus and Venus Wednesday October 6th and even Thursday October 7th. Now this very old waning, that is shrinking, crescent Moon will turn into a new Moon which we can never see on Saturday the 9th, and then will return in evening skies as a waxing, that is growing, young crescent Moon. And you'll be able to use it to find the first planet out from the Sun, 3,000 mile wide Mercury, although it is a bit of a challenge.

We've got our skies set up for Sunday night October 10th, 30 minutes after sunset, facing west southwest and if you have an absolutely clear sky and a completely flat unobstructed horizon with no buildings and no big trees you just may be able to see a one day old crescent Moon hugging the horizon and to its left, bright but tiny Mercury. On the next evening Mercury will be just a teeny bit higher but the Moon will be much higher. Binoculars will definitely help.

Finally if you want to find the 4th planet, 4,000 mile wide Mars, go out Thursday October 14th and look south west and you'll see a much bigger crescent Moon just to the right of Mars. And in case you miss it on the 14th go out Friday the 15th and an even bigger crescent Moon will be up and to Mars' left. So there you have it, a few good nights when a crescent Moon will show you how to find the three closest planets. Thursday October 5th before sunrise; the Moon, and Venus, and Regulus thrown in for good measure. Wednesday October 6th, Thursday October 7th.

And the real challenge for you, if you have clear skies and an unobstructed horizon, a one day old Moon and Mercury on Sunday October 10th and a slightly fatter Moon and Mercury on October 11th. And in the southwest the Moon and Mars on the 14th and the Moon and Mars on the 15th. You see the planets aren't always hard to find if you just know when to use the Moon as a finder and you remember to Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-40 M

10/4/99 thru 10/10/99

"Moon Finder"

 

Horkheimer:Horkheimer: If you're like most people you probably have trouble telling a planet from a star. But there's a trick you can use to identify both. Simply use the Moon as a finder. To find the 4,000 mile wide red planet Mars and the 600 million mile wide red star Antares, look southwest one hour after sunset Wednesday the 13th and right below the crescent Moon you'll see giant Antares, the fabled heart of the Scorpion. The next night the Moon will be just to the right of equally legendary Mars and the next night up to Mars' left. Once again Wednesday: the Moon and Antares, Thursday: Moon to the right of Mars, Friday: Moon to Mars' left. And would you believe Antares is so huge we could line up 143,000 Mars across its middle. I'm Jack Horkheimer reminding you to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

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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 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

9/24/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE





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


 

STAR GAZER

Episode #99-41


1140th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/11/99 through Sunday 10/17/99

"Stars For An Indian Summer!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. This is that time of year when across the middle and northern latitudes of the U.S., a strange and wonderful phenomenon occurs. You see even though the days and nights have been getting chillier and chillier and in some places the first frost may have occurred, nevertheless, out of nowhere a few unseasonably warm golden days occur, days called Indian Summer. When I was a kid living in Wisconsin we always looked forward to this last echo of summer which seemed to be a miniature season out of time and place. Indeed, Indian Summer always seemed like summer's last hurrah, its last attempt to remind everyone of its wonder by sneaking into the cold days of autumn and bidding a final farewell. And just as summer seems to have a difficult time leaving, so too do some of the stars which dominated summer nights. Let me show you.

We've got our skies set up for any night the next few weeks about an hour after sunset, your local time. And if you look almost overhead you will see 3 brilliant stars which if we draw lines between them would create a giant triangle. A triangle traditionally called the Summer Triangle and which strangely, is still very high in the heavens after sunset throughout October. Its brightest star named Vega, belongs to the tiny constellation Lyra the Harp. Its next brightest is Altair in the constellation Aquila the Eagle. And the third brightest, Deneb which marks the tail of Cygnus the Swan.

Now although I shouldn't play favorites my favorite is the brightest, Vega, the 5th brightest star we can see from Earth. It glistens a crisp sharp blue white which tells us that it is a much, much hotter star than out own yellow-orange Sun. Indeed, compared to our Sun's surface temperature of 10,000 degrees fahrenheit, Vega burns a fierce 17,000 degrees. And whereas our sun is just a little under 1 million miles in diameter, Vega is almost 3 million miles wide. Indeed, if we could place our Sun and Vega side by side, Vega would be 60 times brighter. But the thing I really like to think about when I gaze up at Vega on these crisp autumn nights is that our Sun and all its planets, including our earth, are racing head on toward Vega at the incredible speed of 12 miles a second, that's over 43,000 miles per hour which means that every year we get almost 400 million miles closer. However even though Vega is only 27 light years away, nevertheless at this speed it would take our Sun almost half a billion years to reach it.

Astronomers call this point in space toward which we are rushing "The Apex of the Sun's Way". How lovely. How poetic. So some night this month, perhaps on one of the evenings of Indian Summer, go out just after sunset, look almost overhead, focus on Vega and if you have a vivid imagination, let your spirit soar and you might almost feel our tiny Earth hurtling through space toward this magnificent star, "The Apex of the Sun's Way". What a wonderful venture awaits you these autumn nights if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-41 M

10/11/99 thru 10/17/99

"Summer Stars in Autumn Skies"

 

Horkheimer: Even though we're well into autumn there's still a bit of summer hanging around. Just look overhead and you can see three brilliant stars which if we draw lines between them create a giant triangle traditionally called the Summer Triangle but which is still very high in early evening throughout October. Its brightest star Vega, 3 times the diameter of our own Sun, is my favorite because our sun and all its planets, including our earth, are racing head on toward Vega at the incredible speed of 43,000 miles per hour which means that every year we get 400 million miles closer. Astronomers call this point in space towards which we're rushing, "The Apex of the Sun's Way". How poetic, I'm Jack Horkheimer reminding you to Keep Looking Up!


For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or 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 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

9/24/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE




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



STAR GAZER

Episode # 99-42


1141st Show


To Be Aired : Monday 10/18/99 through Sunday 10/24/99

"Jupiter At Its Brightest and Closest In A Dozen Years!"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And if you've been wondering what that bright light is in the east after it gets dark out, it's the biggest planet in our solar system, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter, which this week and next is the brightest and closest it's been in a dozen years. Let me show you.

O.K., We've got our skies set up for this Saturday night October 23rd. And if you go outside right after the Sun has set and look east you'll see Jupiter rising over the horizon, so bright you may even mistake it for a UFO or an airplane landing light. The reason it's so bright is because Jupiter is not only at opposition but also close to perihelion. And I'd better explain that.

First opposition: now we all know that our Earth makes one trip around the Sun once every year. But it takes 12 years for Jupiter to make one trip around the Sun. So once every year our Earth catches up with Jupiter at a point in space where Jupiter is directly opposite the Sun from Earth. And whenever a planet is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth we say that that planet is at opposition, so since Jupiter is opposite the Sun this Saturday and next week, as the Sun sets in the west, Jupiter will rise in the east and will slowly climb higher and higher into the heavens until it reaches its highest point around midnight, after which it will slowly descend and set in the west just as the Sun rises in the east. You see whenever a planet is at opposition it is visible all night long.

But why is Jupiter brighter this year than it has been in a dozen years? Simple. This Saturday when it is at opposition it is also close to perihelion. Which means 'closest to the Sun' and thus closer to our Earth. You see Jupiter's orbit is like a stretched out circle, so every year when it's at opposition it is not always the same distance from the Sun and Earth. When Jupiter is at opposition when it's far from the Sun as in 1993 it's not nearly as bright. You see Jupiter is at opposition at the same time as it's closest to the Sun only once every 12 years!

And this year is that year. In fact, this weekend is it. Indeed this weekend and next week Jupiter will not only be closer and brighter than it's been in a dozen years it will also look bigger through a telescope. And even the cheapest department store telescope will show you the bands of storms that ring its equator and several of its moons. In fact, if you have real steady hands you can even see Jupiter's disc and several of its moons through a pair of binoculars.

But, you may ask, just how far away is Jupiter from our Sun and Earth this Saturday, the night of opposition? Well it will be 461 million miles away from our Sun but only 368 million miles away from our Earth, that's close! Please don't miss this. Simply go outside just after it gets dark out, look toward the east. And if you like, watch Jupiter slowly travel across the heavens all night long. But do it now because right now Jupiter is as bright as it ever gets and won't be this bright again until 2011. It's yours for the seeing if you just remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#99-42 M

10/18/99 thru 10/24/99

"Jupiter Brightest and Closest

In A Dozen Years"

 

Horkheimer: This week and next the largest planet in our solar system, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter is the brightest and closest it's been in a dozen years, so bright you may even mistake it for a UFO or an airplane landing light. You can see it every night rising in the east about an hour after sunset and because it is at opposition that is directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth it will remain visible all night long, slowly climbing the heavens in early evening and reaching its highest point at midnight, then descending and setting in the west at sunrise. Jupiter comes close to us once a year but because its orbit is a stretched out circle only once every 12 years does it come this close. In fact right now it is as close and bright as it ever gets. I'm Jack Horkheimer reminding you to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or 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 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

9/24/99 10:30 - 11:00 am Eastern time (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:

 

Lorain County JVS - NASA CORE

15181 Route 58 South

Oberlin, OH 44074

440/775-1400

FAX 440/775-1460

nasaco@leeca.esu.k12.oh.us

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/CORE



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


 

 

STAR GAZER

Episode #99-43


1142nd Show



To Be Aired : Monday 10/25/99 through Sunday 10/31/99

"Saturn At Its Brightest In Over 20 Years!

Jupiter At Its Brightest in 12 Years! and

Venus At Its Highest and Brightest

For the year!"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And if you've been thinking that some of the objects in the night sky look much brighter than usual you're absolutely right. Because right now 3 planets are out dazzling themselves. Let me show you.

O.K. We've got our skies set up for any night this week and next about an hour after sunset. And if you face east you will see an incredibly dazzling bright light, which is the 5th planet, 88,000 mile wide planet Jupiter, which right now is at its closest and brightest since 1987. It is at what we call opposition, meaning that it is directly opposite the Earth from the Sun. And whenever a planet is at opposition it remains in the sky all night long. So for a couple of weeks, Jupiter will rise in the east as the Sun sets in the west and will slowly climb higher and higher hour after hour until it reaches its highest point at midnight and then will slowly descend after midnight and set in the west at sunrise. And although Jupiter comes into opposition every year, this year it's closer than it has been in a dozen years.

And if that's not enough, wait for 45 minutes after Jupiter rises, and you'll see another bright light rising almost exactly where Jupiter rose. It's the 6th planet from the sun, 75,000 mile wide Saturn. And it too will be at opposition next week on November 6th. And although I point out Saturn at least once a year I know many of you have never seen it this bright. In fact, next week Saturn will be at its brightest in over two decades. Indeed, it has not been this bright since March of 1977. Now because it too is at opposition like Jupiter it will be visible all night long and if you watch carefully you will notice it will follow Jupiter right along Jupiter's path and trail Jupiter all night long, reaching its highest point about midnight and setting at sunrise about 45 minutes after Jupiter sets.

And because Jupiter and Saturn are so exceptionally close right now, you absolutely must try to look at them through even the cheapest department store telescope because you'll see bands of storm clouds around Jupiter's equator, several of its moons and Saturn's fabulous ring system tilted 20 degrees from the horizontal. And if you don't have a telescope or a friend who has one, please contact your nearest astronomical society, because you'll rarely see Jupiter and Saturn better than this!

Last but not least, rising about 3 and 1/2 hours before sunrise, you'll see the second planet from the sun, 8,000 mile wide Venus which is now at its greatest elongation, that is at its greatest distance from the sun, and almost at its brightest too. And as an extra special treat, go out a couple of hours before sunrise Wednesday morning, November 3rd to see an exquisite crescent moon just above Venus. And on the next morning, Thursday November 4th an even more exquisite crescent moon closer to and just below Venus. It hardly ever gets as good as this. So get out and see 3 planets at their brightest. It's easy if you just remember to Keep Looking Up!


 

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-43 M

10/25/99 thru 10/31/99

"Saturn and Jupiter

At Their Closest and Brightest! "

 

Horkheimer: This is a fabulous time for planet gazing because right now 88,000 mile wide Jupiter is at its closest and brightest in 12 years and 75,000 mile wide Saturn is at its closest and brightest in 22 years, which means that some of you viewers will have never seen these two planets this bright. To find Jupiter look east one hour after sunset. It's so bright you may even mistake it for an airplane landing light. One hour later and about one fist below Jupiter you'll see Saturn. Now because they're both at opposition that is opposite the Sun as seen from Earth you can watch them slowly travel across the sky from east to west all night long, Saturn faithfully following along in Jupiter's path. I'm Jack Horkheimer reminding you to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Don't miss the cartoon version of

'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of

 

To Subscribe

(only $26.95 for 9 issues)

contact

'ODYSSEY'

30 Grove Street

Suite C

Peterborough, NH 03458

or 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 Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer

 



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