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!

One Hour Feed STAH 803
Wednesday Aug. 20, 2008, 1100-1100
Includes episodes 0835, 0836, 0837, 0838, 0830


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 5 MINUTE

Episode # 08-35 / 1604th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 9/01/2008 through
Sunday 9/07/2008

"Mars And Venus Slam Into Each Other!
And Uranus At Its Closest And Brightest
For The Entire Year"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. You know every once in a while two planets will appear so close together that you'd swear they might slam into each other. And even though we know that such a cosmic collision will never occur, nevertheless it is always fun to see such an event from Earth. And such is the case on Thursday evening September 11 when the planet named for the goddess of love Venus and the planet named for the god of war Mars will be so close that they will indeed appear as if they might crash into each other. And starting this weekend you can watch them move closer and closer each night until the fateful almost-collision on the 11th. Plus on the following evening Friday the 12th the seventh planet Uranus will be at its closest and brightest for the entire year.

O.K., we've got our skies set up for this Sunday September 7th, 30 minutes after sunset while it's still a bit light out facing west where just above the horizon you will see tiny 3,000 mile wide Mercury, slightly bigger 4,000 mile wide Mars and dazzling 8,000 mile wide Venus. And you'll notice that Mars and Venus will be pretty close. In fact so close that we could fit only 4 1/2 full Moons lined up end to end between them. But by Monday the 8th they'll be even closer, only 3 1/2 full Moons would fit between them. On Tuesday the 9th, closer still, only 2 1/2 full Moons apart, on Wednesday the 10th only 1 1/2 full Moons apart. But then, ta da!, the big change occurs on Thursday the 11th when Venus and Mars will be so close, only 3/10ths of one degree apart, that less than 1/2 of one full Moon could fit between them. Wow!

This is a really close meeting of two planets! And if you want to take full advantage of this sight i strongly suggest you watch them approach each night through a good pair of binoculars. Indeed you'll be amazed at how rapidly the planets in their orbits move. But even though Mars and Venus will look super close, visually speaking, it's only from our viewpoint on Earth, which makes it so. It's really all an optical illusion. In fact on September 11th Mercury will be 88 million miles away, whereas Venus will be 138 million miles away. But Mars will be a whopping 227 million miles from Earth! 89 million miles farther away than Venus, which sounds like a long way from home.

But if you really want to go a long way from home go out 24 hours later on Friday night September 12th around midnight. Face due south and if you have binoculars or a small telescope you will see a tiny blue-green light which is 32,000 mile wide Uranus which will be eight times farther away from Earth than Mars, a whopping one and 3/4 billion miles away. And that's close for Uranus because on Friday night the 12th it will be at its closest and brightest to Earth for 2008. And the reason I ask you to wait until midnight to look for it is because that's when it will be due south and at its very highest above the horizon. So don't miss the 7th planet at midnight on the 12th and a near collision between Venus and Mars on the 11th. Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#08-35 M

9/01/2008 thru 9/07/2008

"Mars And Venus Slam Into Each Other!"

Horkheimer: Brilliant Venus and red-gold Mars are moving closer to each other every single night and next Thursday the 11th they'll be so close you'd swear they might slam into each other. Start watching this sunday right after sunset when Venus and Mars will be only 4 1/2 full Moons apart, Monday only 3 1/2 full Moons, on Tuesday 2 1/2 full Moons, on Wednesday only 1 1/2 full Moons apart, but tada! Thursday night they'll be so close less than 1/2 of one full Moon could fit between them. Wow! Of course it's an optical illusion because Venus will be 138 million miles away and Mars will be 89 million miles farther! So start your Venus/ Mars watch now, and see the near collision between them on the 11th. 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!

One Hour Feed STAH 803
Wednesday Aug. 20, 2008, 1100-1100
Includes episodes 0835, 0836, 0837, 0838, 0830


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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

STAR GAZER

Episode #08-36 /1605th Show
To Be Aired : Monday 9/08/2008 through Sunday 9/14/2008

"The Great Harvest Moon Illusion And
How You Can Prove It's An Illusion"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next Monday September 15th is the official night of the Harvest Moon and along with it comes the great Harvest Moon illusion, which you can prove is an illusion for yourself. But just what is a Harvest Moon anyway? Well according to the dictionary a harvest is simply the act of gathering in a crop or the harvested crop itself. And for centuries at this time of year across North America and Europe the fall harvest took place. Now traditionally the full Moon closest to the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox, is called the Harvest Moon. And since this year the autumnal equinox occurs on the 22nd only 7 days after the full Moon, this means that the full Moon of the 15th is the closest full Moon to the equinox and thus the Harvest Moon. Simple.

But there's more to it than that because even though there is only one official night of the Harvest Moon its visual effect lasts for three nights, the night before the 15th, the 15th and the night after. You see normally the Moon rises approximately 50 minutes later each successive night except for the Harvest Moon which rises only 20 to 25 minutes later each successive night, the reason for this is that the path of the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox makes a much smaller angle with the horizon than at any other time of the year. Now before the invention of electric lights this was very important to farmers at harvest time because it meant that they could work after sunset for at least three nights in a row gathering in their crops by the bright light of the Harvest Moon.

Today mechanized farming is all done with artificial lighting so that aspect of the Harvest Moon has lost its original significance. But what it will never lose is its incredible beauty in early evening. Because for three nights we will see it rise shortly before or shortly after sunset. And all rising full Moons always look much bigger and more colorful than when they are overhead. Now the reason the full Moon looks more colorful as it rises is because we see it through thicker and dustier layers of our earth's atmosphere than when it's overhead.

Plus the full Moon always looks bigger when it's close to the horizon than overhead, even though this is one of the grandest illusions of nature, which you can prove is an illusion yourself next Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings. Simply take a dime, hold it out at arm's length when the Harvest Moon is close to the horizon just after sunset and again when it's at its highest around midnight and you'll see that your dime will cover exactly the same amount of the Moon. But an even more fun way to prove this illusion is to bend over at the waist and watch the rising Harvest Moon upside down between your legs. Because bingo! it will instantly look smaller than when you look at it right side up.

The reason for this is still being argued but believe me it's one heck of an illusion. So don't miss next week's three nights of the Harvest Moon because it will be absolutely gorgeous and may even look like a harvest pumpkin. And definitely more than a dime's worth of fun. I mean what can you buy with a dime anyway? Keep looking up!

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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#08-36 M

9/08/2008 thru 9/14/2008

"The Great Harvest Moon Illusion And
How You Can Prove It's An Illusion"

Horkheimer: Next Monday September 15th is the night of the Harvest Moon. Just after sunset look east and you'll see a huge pumpkin colored full Harvest Moon rising. Now everyone knows that when the Moon rises it always looks much bigger than when it's overhead. But this is just an illusion, which you can prove to yourself. Simply take a dime, hold it at arm's length when the Moon is rising and again when it's at its highest around midnight. And you will see that your dime covers exactly the same amount of the Moon. For Moon illusion #2 bend over at the waist and look at the rising Moon upside down between your legs and bingo! It will instantly look smaller than when you look at it right side up. Try it. Happy Harvest Moon and 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!

One Hour Feed STAH 803
Wednesday Aug. 20, 2008, 1100-1100
Includes episodes 0835, 0836, 0837, 0838, 0830


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-37 / 1606th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/15/2008 through Sunday 9/21/2008

"The Super Bright Star Which Shines Overhead
Every Year On The Autumnal Equinox"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. Next Monday September 22nd is the first day of autumn, the autumnal equinox. But did you know that if you go outside any night during the first week of autumn of any year and look straight up you will see one of the brightest stars in the heavens almost overhead? And that our Sun and Earth are actually flying toward it and getting closer every day? Let me show you.

O.K. we've got our skies set up for any clear night the first week of autumn between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. your local time. And if you look straight up almost overhead you will see an extremely bright star right next to four dimmer stars which if connected by lines would make a lopsided rectangle which is more properly called a parallelogram. These stars plus a handful of others make up the ancient constellation Lyra the harp.

But Lyra's brightest star Vega is the real attention grabber. It is the fifth brightest star and compared to our Sun is a doozy. For starters while our Sun is 865 thousand miles wide, Vega is over twice as wide, two million miles. And Vega's blue­white color tells us that it is a super hot star, much hotter than our own yellow-orange Sun. In fact our Sun's surface temperature is a mere ten thousand degrees Fahrenheit whereas Vega's is a blistering 17,000 degrees. So because Vega is much bigger and hotter it is 60 times brighter! Talk about getting a suntan in a hurry!

But one of the really nifty things about Vega is that it once was and will again be our North Star, a much brighter one than our current North Star, which is the end star of the handle of the Little Dipper. You see the North Star is simply the star directly above our Earth's north pole, the one towards which our Earth's axis points. But because of a regular, very slow wobbling motion of our Earth, like a top slowing down, our Earth's axis doesn't always point to the same spot in the heavens. In fact our Earth's axis traces out a great circle in the sky. Right now our Earth's axis is pointed to a spot on that circle very close to our current North Star.

But the Earth's axis slowly drifts, constantly changing where it points in that circle. A hundred years from now it will point even closer to our current North Star but a thousand years from now it will be well past it. And once every 26,000 years it points to Vega. So 14 1/2 thousand years ago Vega was the North Star of our cave man ancestors and Vega will be our North Star once again eleven and a half thousand years from now. Wow!

But what I really love about Vega is that it marks the direction our Sun and Earth are headed. In fact our Sun and Earth are racing towards Vega at the incredible speed of 12 miles per second. But Vega is so far away it would take our Sun almost 500 million years to reach it. And unfortunately by the time we get there Vega will have already moved. So don't pack your bags for Vega yet.

Just go out any night next week the first week of autumn between 8 and 9 p.m., look overhead and contemplate the incredible beauty of this brilliant blue white star. And in your mind's eye see if you can almost feel our Earth and all of us on it zooming through space at 12 miles per second toward it. You know sometimes I feel as if I almost need a seat belt. Keep looking up!


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

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#08-37 M

9/15/2008 thru 9/21/2008

"The Super Bright Star Which Shines Overhead
Every Year On The Autumnal Equinox"

Horkheimer: Every year during the first week of autumn the fifth brightest star shines directly overhead in early evening. It is twice as big as our Sun, much hotter and 60 times brighter. And every 26 thousand years our Earth's axis point to Vega, which makes it our North Star, a much brighter one than our current North Star in the Little Dipper's handle. It was our cave man ancestors' North Star 14 1/2 thousand years ago and it will be the North Star again 11 1/2 thousand years from now! Our Sun and Earth are actually racing toward it at the incredible speed of 12 miles per second. But it's so far away it would take us 500 million years to reach it. So don't pack your bags for Vega yet. Just look overhead all next week for this brilliant blue­white beauty. 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!

One Hour Feed STAH 803
Wednesday Aug. 20, 2008, 1100-1100
Includes episodes 0835, 0836, 0837, 0838, 0830


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-38 / 1607th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/22/2008 through Sunday 9/28/2008

"The Return Of The False Dawn Of Omar Khayyam: And How To Find It"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. Almost a thousand years ago the Persian poet Omar Khayyam in his book of poetry "the Rubaiyat" wrote his most famous line " a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou beside me singing in the wilderness". But elsewhere in "the Rubaiyat" Omar made a poetic allusion to a mysterious "false dawn" as opposed to the real dawn, which can only be seen at a certain time of year. And happily next week is your best chance this year to see it because there will be no bright Moon light to wipe out this delicate astronomical phenomenon. Let me tell you all about it and what you have to do to find it.

O.K., if we could go way out into space and look down on our solar system with superhuman vision, we would notice a faint, almost imperceptible vast cloud extending outward from the Sun in the plane of the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth and slightly beyond, an enormous cloud of cosmic dust. And while one would expect it would be impossible to see this super faint cloud from Earth, nevertheless in September when the plane of our Earth's orbit is almost vertical to the horizon, we can under the right conditions. And those conditions require that there is no bright Moon light out and that you must be far away from city lights because even the faintest Moon light or urban lighting will wipe out the extremely delicate, ethereal glow of the false dawn.

As a general rule if you can see the Milky Way from where you're observing you'll have a good chance to see this rare phenomenon next week. To see it look toward the east about 2 hours before sunrise, before the real dawn. It will look like a wedge or cone-shaped dim patch of light about the same brightness as the Milky Way and it will extend from the horizon about one third to half way up to the zenith ... a ghostly, faintly glowing rounded pyramid of light.

Now the scientific name of this phenomenon is the zodiacal light and it's caused by sunlight scattered from all those trillions and trillions of dust particles which make up the great cosmic cloud. And although Omar didn't mention it, this 'false dawn' also has an evening counterpart ... a 'false dusk', the evening zodiacal light, which looks pretty much the same except that it is visible 2 hours after sunset in the west in March when the plane of our Earth's orbit is also almost vertical to the horizon.

Additionally, if you ever see a similar oval-shaped glow directly overhead at midnight you would be seeing the zodiacal light's sister phenomenon called the gegenschein or counterglow. And I personally wonder whether any poet ever wrote about that.

At any rate, remember that September is the month to see the 'false dawn' of Omar Khayyam, the morning zodiacal light, which I admit is very elusive. But once you've found it I think you'll know why it appeared in poetry centuries before it appeared in scientific writings. So get thee outside before dawn next week when there's no Moon and make sure you're far from city lights and see if you can see what inspired an ancient poet. I think you'll find it inspiring too. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#08-38 M

9/22/2008 thru 9/28/2008

"The Return Of The False Dawn Of Omar Khayyam:
And How To Find It"

Horkheimer: Almost a thousand years ago the Persian poet Omar Khayyam wrote about a 'false dawn' which can only be seen in September. And which you can see next week if you're far from city lights because there will be no Moon out to hide its faint glow. Look east about 2 hours before sunrise for a very dim cone shaped patch of light about the brightness of the Milky Way extending from the horizon almost half way up to the zenith. Although Omar couldn't know it his 'false dawn' is actually a humongous cloud of cosmic dust extending from the Sun past Mercury and Venus and slightly beyond Earth. Astronomers call it the zodiacal light. And next week is your best chance to see it this year. So see what inspired an ancient poet and you may be inspired yourself. 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!

One Hour Feed STAH 803
Wednesday Aug. 20, 2008, 1100-1100
Includes episodes 0835, 0836, 0837, 0838, 0830


Star Gazer is also available from NASA CORE. A videotape of the current month is available from NASA CORE for $16.00 plus $6.00 shipping (within the U.S). Please send a VISA, MasterCard, check, money order or an official school purchase order to the address below:

NASA Central Operation of Resources for Educators

Lorain County JVS NASA CORE / 15181 Route 58 South / 440/775-1400 / FAX 440/775-1460 / nasaco@leeca.org / http://core.nasa.gov


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


STAR GAZER

Episode # 08-39 / 1608th Show

To Be Aired : 9/29/2008 thru 10/05/2008

"Say Farewell To Summer's Cosmic Triangle
And Welcome Autumn's Cosmic Square"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow star gazers. And as I've often reminded you, whenever 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 officially began a week and a half ago on Monday September 22nd 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 at 10 p.m. and by 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. instead of the triangle. And I think it is rather poetic that the 3 blazing hot stars that make up the Summer Triangle are replaced by the four 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 beginning its descent toward the western horizon, then look for autumn's Cassiopeia, in the northeast, and finally almost overhead, autumn's 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 loveliest of seasons. Keep looking up!


How did you like this episode?


Please give us your comments. (Click Here)

For GRAPHICS for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#08-39 M

9/29/2008 thru 10/05/2008

"Say Farewell To Summer's Cosmic Triangle
And Welcome Autumn's Cosmic Square"

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. In fact if you look just west of overhead at 10 p.m. you will see the three blazing hot stars of the Summer Triangle beginning their descent toward the horizon while replacing them almost overhead are the four much dimmer and softer stars which make up autumn's Great Square, which the ancient Babylonians believed was the portal to paradise. How appropriate that summer's bright triangle gives way to autumn's dimmer square because after all autumn is the softest and loveliest 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


Don't miss the cartoon version of
'STAR GAZER' in each monthly issue of




 
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

This week's Sky At A Glance displays current week only.


Starry Night Deluxe was used to produce this episode of Star Gazer


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