STAR HUSTLER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.


Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for January 1997 is as follows: The feed will be January 27, 1997 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.



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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #384-I


991st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 12/2/96 through Sunday 12/8/96

"Dramatic December Sky Drama :
Our Moon and the Two Brightest Planets"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and boy have we ever got some beautiful sky images for you the first two weeks of December. And if you make a point to watch the images every day, you will see exactly how exquisite is the waltz between our Moon and planet Earth and the two brightest planets because seldom do we have such an opportunity to watch such beautiful sky images spaced so closely together. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for late this week, Saturday morning, December 7th just before dawn, facing due East and smack dab in front of you you will see the absolutely exquisite 26-day old waning, that is shrinking, crescent moon and below it about 1 moon day's journey away, the brilliant planet Venus. What a wonderful sky picture! But what do I mean when I say "about 1 moon day's journey away?" . . . simply this: in 24 hours time, by the following morning, the moon will have moved 26 full moon widths in Earth's skies and will be snuggled right up next to Venus. Indeed, if you go out the next morning, Sunday, December 8th, at dawn, the Moon will be snuggled right up next to Venus in an absolutely sensational sky pairing. And since the Moon is also 1 day older, and waning, it will be an even skinnier crescent 27-day old moon. And if you have really good eyesight the next morning, December 9th, you will see an even skinnier 28-day old crescent moon another 26 full moon widths away. But don't bother to look for the Moon the next morning December 10th, because the 29-day old moon is always a new moon and thus is always invisible being too close to the Sun for observation. However the next night, Wednesday December 11th, if you go out at dusk, just as it starts to get dark out and look west and have a clear flat horizon you will see a brand new waxing, that is growing, 1 day old slender crescent moon, and the barely visible planet Mercury just down and off to its side. But the next night's the goodie night because on Thursday December 12th , just after sunset a slightly fatter waxing 2 day old moon will have moved 26 full moon widths away and will be just above the brilliant planet Jupiter, another spectacularly breathtaking pairing of our nearest neighbor and second brightest planet. Then the next evening, Friday December 13th a waxing 3 day old moon will be again slightly fatter and will be 26 full moon widths away from where it was the night before. So there you have it. Two absolutely exquisite pairings of a waning, that is shrinking, and a waxing, that is growing, crescent moon with the two brightest planets just a few days apart, and the opportunity to track the moon as it moves 26 full moon widths farther along every 24 hours in its monthly journey. Once again, at dawn, facing due east, Saturday December 7th, Sunday December 8th, Monday December 9th, then at dusk facing west, Wednesday December 11th, Thursday December 12th and Friday the 13th. Wow! What beauty awaits you and all for free if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!



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

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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.


Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for January 1997 is as follows: The feed will be January 27, 1997 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.



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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #385-I

992nd Show


To Be Aired : Monday12/9/96 through Sunday 12/15/96

"This Week's Impact With An Ancient Asteroid and
How To Watch It".

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and this week our planet Earth will intersect with a path of asteroid debris from an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon and we will be treated to what will be a very good asteroid shower. Now historically this event has been called the December Geminid Meteor Shower. And as most of you regular viewers know, a meteor shower occurs whenever our Earth rides directly into a stream of comet debris and the little pieces of comet debris slam into our Earth's upper atmosphere and produce visible streaks of light, because meteor showers are really nothing more than comet litter slamming into Earth's shield of air. You see, every time a comet pays a visit to the Sun it sheds part of itself in its wake. And eventually as the comet makes a lot of trips to the Sun the entire orbit of the comet gets littered with comet debris. And whenever our Earth crosses a well-littered cometary orbit we get hit with the stuff and experience what we call a meteor shower. But about a decade or so ago we discovered via satellite that the object responsible for the Geminid Meteor Shower is not a comet but an asteroid. You see, according to theory, after a comet has made a lot of trips to the Sun all its snow and ice eventually melt away, and only a solid core is left. And we then call that solid comet core, since it's no longer capable of producing a cometary display, an asteroid. So, what we're experiencing here is debris from a comet so old and worn out that it no longer has the stuff to put on all the show and wonder of a brilliant comet head with a long tail of gas and dust, such as Halley's Comet or the incoming Comet Hale-Bopp. So while we will never, ever again see a brilliant comet associated with the Geminid Meteor Shower we will nevertheless continue to experience the Geminid Meteor Shower itself which is one of the two best meteor showers of the year, the August Perseids usually coming in as number one. And this year the night to watch, after dark, is Thursday night December 12th after dark right through to sunrise, Friday morning December 13th. And we'll have no moonlight this year to interfere. Now although the Geminid meteors seem to originate from the constellation Gemini they can appear all over the sky. And to watch them, get comfortable in a lawn chair or sleeping bag and constantly scan the sky back and forth. But you must be far away from city lights and have a clear dark sky to catch the faintest of meteors. Now, the Geminids have been growing steadily stronger ever since they were discovered in 1862, from 14 meteors per hour the last half of the last century, to about 40 per hour by 1930. Then they went up to 60 per hour in the fifties, 80 per hour in the seventies and up to 100 per hour at peak in the eighties. How many will you see? Well it all depends on how far away you are from city lights and how close you are to the peak of the shower. This year, the shower peaks close to dawn Friday, the 13th. Indeed, you might even say that this Friday the 13th our Earth will impact with an asteroid, but it will be such a lovely impact if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

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


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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.


Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for January 1997 is as follows: The feed will be January 27, 1997 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.



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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #386-I

993rd Show


To Be Aired : Monday 12/16/96 through Sunday 12/22/96

"The Earliest Winter In 99 Years and
May Your Christmas Eve Be Bright, Very Bright!"



Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and if you're one of those who says ,"You know it seems like Winter comes sooner than it used to", let me just tell you that scientifically, you haven't slipped a cog, you're absolutely right. For in fact, this winter of '96 and '97 will be the earliest winter in 99 years. Let me explain. O.K., as most of you regular Star Hustler watchers know, the official beginning of any season occurs at a precise moment in time and is based upon where our Sun is located in reference to the stars. On the first day of Spring the Sun is located on what we call the Celestial Equator which is simply an imaginary extension of the Earth's Equator against the sky. Then, as seen from Earth, the Sun moves a little farther north of the Celestial Equator every single day until it reaches its highest point north of the Equator on the first day of Summer which, astronomically speaking, is called the Summer Solstice. The day after the Summer Solstice the Sun slowly starts to move back down toward the Celestial Equator, day after day, until once again it will land smack dab on the Celestial Equator. And when that happens we call that the Autumnal Equinox, or simply the first day of Fall. Thereafter, the Sun moves south of the Equator day after day until it reaches its southernmost point on the first day of Winter, the Winter Solstice. In fact, the first day of Winter is actually a specific moment in time when the Sun is precisely at its farthest point south of the Celestial Equator. And this year, that precise moment of the Winter Solstice, that is the first day of Winter, is this Saturday December 21st at 9:07 a.m. Eastern Standard Time or your local equivalent. And believe it or not, the solstice has not been this early since Tuesday, December 21st, 1897 when it was almost an hour earlier at 8:12 a.m.Eastern Standard Time. So, this is indeed the earliest Winter in 99 years. Bundle up if you go outside, and please do go outside on Christmas Eve because this will be the brightest Christmas Eve in 46 years. Why? Simple. Because this Christmas Eve we will have a Full Moon and we have not had a Full Moon on Christmas Eve since 1950. Now because the December Full Moon is always the highest riding Moon of any Full Moon of the year, it will cast practically no shadows and will brilliantly flood light all across the landscape, especially a snow-covered one. And although the Full Moon always occurs at a precise moment in time, nevertheless this Christmas Eve Full Moon will look almost full Christmas night. So don't worry if it's clouded over on your Christmas Eve, you'll have another night to catch the brightness of the brightest Christmas in a long time, because we haven't had a Full Moon on Christmas night either since 1977. So happy earliest of winters and if your Christmas is not white at least it will be bright if you simply remember to Keep Looking Up!
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.


Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for January 1997 is as follows: The feed will be January 27, 1997 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #387-I

994th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 12/23/96 through Sunday 12/29/96

"A Full Moon For Christmas and
The Cross and the Manger :
A Cosmic Christmas Tale Retold"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and once again I'd just like to remind you that this Christmas eve and Christmas night we will have an exquisite Full Moon to light up the heavens. And also, once again I'd like to retell a story about a fascinating cosmic coincidence I discovered back in December of '87, a story many viewers ask me to retell year after year. It all happened by accident as I was searching for something unusual for my Christmas week show and strangely it all began, not with a constellation of winter, but with a constellation of summer, Cygnus the swan, a star pattern which rises in the east just after sunset in July. I think Cygnus has always enchanted me because it looks so much like its name, a graceful swan, its tail marked by one bright star, its beak by another, a star for the tip of the left wing and a star for the tip of the right wing; stars which, if we draw lines between them, represent a swan with outstretched wings. In my youth I always loved to watch Cygnus rise in the east on summer evenings and climb higher and higher until at midnight he appeared with wings outstretched across the very roof of heaven. Then after midnight he would silently descend, gliding downward to the western horizon. Now one thing that always fascinated me about Cygnus was that as he approached the western horizon he seemed to change his shape from a swan into a great cross, a star pattern early Christians called the Northern Cross. It was also interesting to me that every year during Christmas week, around 8 p.m. or so that this cross stands almost upright on the northwestern horizon. And in December of '87 as I was researching my Christmas show the little obscure star cluster called the "Bee Hive" caught my attention and jogged an old memory, for I remembered that the Bee Hive's real name is 'Praesepe' which is Latin for 'The Manger'. So I said to myself, "Wouldn't it be a nice coincidence if at Christmas time we could see both the Cross and the Manger at the same time?" Well, just for fun I picked up my star wheel and dialed in December 25th, 8 p.m. and noticed something which gave me a pleasant start . . . for indeed, there on the wheel at 8 p.m. on the 25th of December was not only the Northern Cross standing upright on the western horizon, just about to set, but directly opposite on the eastern horizon was Praesepe, the Manger, just rising. And they will always be there opposite each other in the heavens every year, every Christmas of our lives. How poetic. Indeed, in all my years as a star gazer I had never heard or read of this lovely coincidence. So, as you gaze up at the night sky this Christmas week at the setting Cross and the rising Manger, may the heavens themselves remind you of a wish that should know no religious boundaries and that is simply: Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men . . . a hope for all mankind of all beliefs if we remind each other to Keep Looking Up!
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

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



STAR HUSTLER

THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION

STAR HUSTLER is seen nationally on most PBS stations. 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 a months worth of STAR HUSTLER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.


Satellite feed for November 1996 is as follows: The feed will be November 25 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for December 1996 is as follows: The feed will be December 30 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.

Satellite feed for January 1997 is as follows: The feed will be January 27, 1997 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Telstar 401, transponder 7-U.


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


STAR HUSTLER Episode #388-I

995th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 12/30/96 through Sunday 1/5/97

"The New Year's Eve Star : A Story Retold"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and once again I'm going to tell you about something that will happen every New Year's Eve for as long as you live, something that to me is almost magical because of its sheer coincidence. You see, at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve the brightest star in the heavens reaches its highest point above the horizon and shines like a dazzling beacon welcoming in the New Year. Let me show you: O.K., first let's take a look at the skies at 7 p.m., your local time, New Year's Eve. We're facing due south and like all good astronomers let's draw an imaginary line which divides the eastern half of the sky from the western half, an imaginary line called the Meridian which runs from the horizon due south straight up to the zenith point and then down the other side of the sky to the horizon due north. Now, as the Earth slowly and endlessly rotates from west to east we are nightly treated to the grandest optical illusion in nature, that of watching the stars seem to rise in the East and travel across the sky and set eventually in the West. And if you watch carefully you will eventually deduce that the highest point any star reaches above the horizon in its nightly journey is when it is smack dab on the Meridian. Now this is very important to telescope users because the higher a sky object is above the horizon, the better its telescopic image will be. So several years ago when I was researching which planets would be high up off the horizon for viewing that New Year's Eve, I stumbled across something which to me was an amazing coincidence, something which I had never read about in any astronomy book or periodical. And that coincidence is: no matter where you happen to be on New Year's Eve, as hour after hour goes by, the brightest star in the heavens, Sirius, will slowly climb up the southeastern sky and at midnight will reach its highest point and be on the Meridian. Think of it... the brightest star visible from our planet reaches its highest point above the horizon at midnight every year on New Year's Eve. How wonderful, how poetic, almost like a cosmic reminder that this brightest of stellar lights is welcoming in and shining on the new year, giving us all hope for a bright new beginning. And if you happen to miss this on New Year's Eve don't fret because Sirius will be in almost the same spot at midnight each night for the first week of the new year. And to top it off, if you look just to the right of Sirius you will see not only the five bright stars which, with Sirius, form the Winter Hexagon, but if you look to Sirius' left you will also see the stars of early Spring, Leo the Lion. How appropriate, that the New Year's Eve star shines right between the stars of the old season and the stars of the new. So might I suggest that this New Year's Eve and every New Year's Eve start your new year bright with cosmic light. And it's so simple if you just remember to Keep Looking Up!
* This week's Sky At A Glance and Planet Roundup from Sky & Telescope.

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


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