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

8/26/99 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 # 99-36

1135th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/6/99 through

Sunday 9/12/99

"Mars Meets Its Rival!

And Won't Be This Close Again Until 2016!"


Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. Next week one of my favorite sky things is going to happen when the red planet Mars meets its rival the red star Antares which will give us all the opportunity to see with our own eyes why our ancient ancestors considered Antares to be Mars' equal and rival. You see the ancient romans named Mars for their mythical god of war but they called the star Antares "marti comparatur", which means "comparable to or the equivalent of Mars". The ancient Greeks however, called Mars "Ares" after their god of war, thus the name 'Antares' which we use today literally means "anti, opposed to, or rivaling Mars". And frankly, I much prefer the Greek name Antares to the Roman "marti comparatur".

So let me show you how to find and compare Mars and its wonderful rival. O.K., We've got our skies set up for the middle of this week, Thursday September 9th, an hour after sunset facing southwest where you will see the giant fish hook shaped group of stars we call the Scorpion and right where the heart of the Scorpion should be is a very bright red star, the star Antares. But right now Antares has a visitor because getting ready to slowly move across the entire constellation of Scorpius is the red planet Mars, only 6 degrees away, which is equivalent to 12 full moons lined up side by side. Now whenever Mars came close to the Scorpion's heart, about every two years, our ancestors could not fail to notice that the heart star was almost identical in brightness and in color to Mars, kind of a reddish ruby- orange gold . And eventually the Greek name for the red star became the official name 'Antares', the rival of Mars. Now although our ancestors thought Mars was a much more important object than Antares, so important that they named it after their gods of war because of its bloody red color, today we know that Antares is far more significant.

You see Mars is nothing more than a very close, very tiny 4,000 mile wide planet, only half the size of our earth. But Antares is a very distant and very big star, 600 million miles wide which means that we could line 143,000 Mars side by side across Antares' middle.The rival of Mars?, In color only, for sure. At any rate, you can watch Mars move slowly closer and closer to Antares this week and next until Friday September 17th it will be less than 3 degrees, that's less than 6 full moons, away from Antares. In fact, Mars and its rival will not be this close again until August of the year 2016.

And you can also watch an exquisite moon slowly pass above the two; on Tuesday the 14th, Wednesday the 15th, Thursday the 16th and Friday the 17th. So get thee outside to see for yourself exactly what our ancient ancestors saw, a cosmic sight that so impressed them that the name they gave the Scorpion's heart is the name we still use today, Antares the rival of the Greek planet Ares, the Roman planet Mars. Yours for the seeing if you Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-36 M

9/6/99 thru 9/12/99

"MARS AND ANTARES"

 

Horkheimer: Greetings fellow stargazers. Next week the red planet Mars meets its rival the red star Antares which marks the heart of the Scorpion in the closest pairing of the two until august 2016. In fact, in ancient Greek, Antares literally means "the rival of Mars" because our ancestors noted that whenever the two of them came close to each other Antares did indeed rival Mars in color. Today however we know that there the similarity ends because Mars is merely a very close 4,000 mile wide planet while Antares is a 600 million mile wide star, so huge we could line up 143,000 Mars' up across its middle. You can compare them this week and next one hour after sunset in the southwest. If you simply remember 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'

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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

8/26/99 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 #99-37


1136th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/13/99 through Sunday 9/19/99

"The Two Days of The Year

When The Sun Rises Due East and Sets Due West"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. You know autumn officially begins next Thursday the 23rd, so once again get ready for some in-your-face sunrises and in-your-face sunsets, because every year on the first day of fall, which astronomers call the autumnal equinox and the first day of spring, which astronomers call the vernal equinox, our sun will rise directly due east and set due west. Which means that if you drive to work on a due east highway at sunrise the sun will rise directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road. And if you drive home at sunset on a due west highway, the sun will set directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road.

Now although the sun rises due east and sets due west on these two days only, nevertheless for about a week centered on the first day of autumn and the first day of spring, the sun rises and sets so close to due east and due west that driving back and forth to work due east and west at sunrise and sunset can be pretty miserable. So get out your sunglasses and put those sun visors down. But what are the equinoxes anyway? Well, the word 'equinox' comes from the Latin, 'equi' which means equal and 'nox' which means night, which simply means that on the two days of the equinoxes the hours of night are equal to the hours of daylight. This is all because these are the two days when the sun on its yearly journey through the heavens crosses an imaginary line in the heavens we call the celestial equator. One equinox marks the first day of spring and the other one marks the first day of autumn.

Now if you watch the sun rise on the first day of spring you will see that it rises due east. But if you watch the sun rise each successive day you will notice that it will rise a little bit farther north of east each successive day until it reaches its farthest point northeast on the first day of summer, after which the sun will seem to back up and rise a little bit less northeast each successive day until once again on the first day of autumn it will rise due east. Then each successive day it will rise a little bit farther south of due east until on the first day of winter it will rise at its farthest point southeast, after which it will slowly start to retrace its journey north once again. And this entire cycle repeats year after year after year.

In fact, almost all ancient cultures seem to have kept track of this rising and setting of the sun at different places on the horizon and in so doing, realized that one cycle equals one year. Indeed, this cycle was one of early man's first methods for keeping track of time, something which is almost lost to modern man because we rely on calendars and atomic clocks to keep our time for us. So put those sun visors down as you drive back and forth to work next week and why not start your own personal record, keeping track of where the sun rises and sets on your horizon throughout the entire year. It's fun if you just remember to Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-37 M

9/13/99 thru 9/19/99

"The Autumnal Equinox"

 

Horkheimer: Greetings fellow stargazers. Have you ever wondered why the first day of fall which is next Thursday the 23rd is called the autumnal equinox? Well in Latin 'equi' means equal and 'nox' means night, and on the first day of fall the length of night is equal to the length of day. But did you also know that on the first day of fall the sun will rise directly due east and set directly due west. You can prove it yourself because if you drive to work on a due east highway at sunrise, the sun will rise directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road and if you drive home at sunset on a due west highway the sun will set directly over the yellow line in the middle of the road. So put those sun visors down, have a happy autumnal equinox and 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

8/26/99 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 # 99-38


1137th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 9/20/99 through Sunday 9/26/99

"A Trick You Can Do With A Dime

and The Harvest Moon"
 

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. This Saturday is the night of the Harvest Moon and although most of you have heard of the Harvest Moon I'll just bet that a lot of you don't really understand its significance, especially if you've lived in a city all your life. So let's start with the basics. A harvest according to the dictionary is simply the act of gathering in a crop or the harvested crop itself. And for centuries, at this time of year, across the North American continent and Europe, the fall harvest took place.

So traditionally the full moon closest to the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox, was called the Harvest Moon. And the first day of autumn this year is this week, Thursday the 23rd. And the closest full moon, this year's Harvest Moon, is two days later Saturday the 25th. But for all practical purposes the Harvest Moon doesn't last for just one night. It really lasts for several nights and that's because it rises close to sunset for several nights in a row. The astronomical 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 several evenings gathering in their crops by the bright light of the moon. Now whenever any full moon is close to the horizon we always look at it through thicker and dustier layers of earth's atmosphere which often makes the moon look orangeish as it rises. So we may see orangeish moon rises several nights in a row. Not only that, many people swear that the harvest moon is much, much bigger when it rises than when it's overhead. But you can prove to yourself that this isn't so, because if you take one thin dime and hold it out at arm's length as the Harvest Moon climbs up over the horizon, you will see that it covers exactly the same amount of the moon as it does if you hold it out at arm's length in front of the moon when it's high up overhead.

You see, the reason the harvest moon seems larger as it rises over the horizon is due to the optical illusion of seeing the moon close to known familiar foreground objects such as trees and buildings. If however, there are no foreground objects or if the foreground objects are totally unfamiliar or strange to us the moon will almost magically shrink. And you can prove it to yourself by simply bending over at the waist and looking at the moon upside down between your legs. Because then familiar trees and buildings will be seen in a way that makes them totally unfamiliar. Indeed the moon really looks smaller when you're looking at it upside down than when you're looking at it right side up. Just try it this upcoming weekend of the Harvest Moon. Believe me it'll be more than a dime's worth of fun, if you Keep Looking Up!

For graphics for this script (Click) Here

 


Star Gazer Minute

#99-38 M

9/20/99 thru 9/26/99

"The Harvest Moon"

 

Horkheimer: Greetings fellow stargazers. Since this Thursday is the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox, and since the full moon closest to the equinox is always called the Harvest Moon, this weekends' full moon is the Harvest Moon for '99. And although it will look almost twice as big when it rises as when it's overhead, it's only an optical illusion. In fact, if you take a dime and hold it at arms length in front of the moon when it rises and when it's overhead you'll see that the moon doesn't change size. It just seems bigger when it rises because it's close to familiar foreground objects like trees and buildings. It's one of nature's great optical illusions which you can see this weekend if you 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

8/26/99 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 #99-39


1138th Show



To Be Aired : Monday 9/27/99 through Sunday 10/3/99

"A Parade Of Planets From Sunset To Sunrise"

Horkheimer: Greetings greetings, fellow star gazers. And no matter what time you go out stargazing the next couple of weeks you'll be able to see at least one planet. And if you start planet hunting at sunset and stay up until sunrise you can see 4 of the 5 naked eye planets. Let me show you. O.K., We've got our skies set up for any clear night the next couple of weeks just after sunset. And if you look over to the southwest you'll still be able to see Scorpius the Scorpion hugging the horizon. Please, take a look at him now because in a month's time he'll have slithered out of sight below the horizon.

Scorpius, of course, looks like a giant fish hook. It's heart marked by a giant red star named Antares which in ancient Greek means "rival of mars" because it rivals Mars in color. And you can prove it to yourself. Just look up and to the left of Antares and Mars will be shining bright orangeish red just like Antares. Please compare their colors now because you won't have another chance for a couple of years. Now while Mars is a very close tiny 4,000 mile wide planet Antares is a very distant 600 million mile wide star. Wow!

Next if you wait until about 9 o'clock as Mars is about to set and look due east you'll see brilliant Jupiter the biggest planet of our solar system, 88 thousand miles wide and just below it, but not as bright, the incredible ringed planet, 75,000 mile wide Saturn and even the cheapest department store telescope will show you some of Jupiter's moons and Saturn's rings, which are now tilted toward us in an absolutely spectacular fashion. Finally, if you wait up all night or get up with the chickens just before dawn while it's still dark out you'll see an absolutely spectacular Venus which is now at its greatest brilliancy for the entire year. It is so brilliant you simply can't miss it. Just look due east.

And if you want to see something really spectacular mark the mornings of October 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th. Because on Monday October 4th Venus will be huddled right next to the brightest star of Leo the Lion, Regulus. And up to its right will be a beautiful waning crescent moon. The next morning, however, Tuesday Oct. 5th is the best of all when an even slimmer crescent moon will make a perfect triangle with Venus and Regulus. Don't miss this. You'll never forget it. But if you do miss it you'll still see an exquisite crescent moon just below Venus and Regulus on Wednesday, Oct. 6th. And if you want to see a really skinny crescent moon go out before dawn Thursday oct. 7th. Once again Monday October 4th, and ta da! Tuesday, October 5th, a super cosmic triangle! Wednesday October 6th and Thursday October 7th. And, of course, Jupiter and Saturn rising in the east at 9 P.M. And Mars and Antares looking like reddish orange twins just after sunset. Wow, what a great way to begin autumn if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!

 

For graphics for this script (Click) Here


Star Gazer Minute

#99-39 M

9/27/99 thru 10/3/99

"Moon and Venus"

 

Horkheimer: greetings fellow stargazers. If you get up with the chickens before sunrise then you can't fail to notice an absolutely spectacular object hovering in the east. Frequently mistaken for a UFO, it is the return of our sister planet 8,000 mile wide Venus. Which right now is at its greatest brilliancy for the entire year and will be joined next week by an exquisite crescent moon. On Monday the 4th, Venus will be huddled right next to the brightest star of Leo the Lion, Regulus with the moon up to its right. Tuesday the 5th, however, an even slimmer crescent moon will form a perfect triangle with Venus and Regulus. Wednesday October 6th is pretty good too. But my pick of the week is the cosmic trio on October 5th when you early birds will definitely get more than a worm if you just 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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