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 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.

Satellite feed for February 1997 is as follows: The feed will be February 24, 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 #389-I


996th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 1/6/97 through Sunday 1/12/97

"Weekend of the First Planet and A Saturn-Moon Conjunction"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and yes indeed this weekend is a great weekend to find the first planet out from the Sun; a planet which viewed close-up looks very much like our Moon except for the fact that it's a thousand miles wider than our 2,000 mile-wide Moon; a planet which moves fastest of them all around the Sun and completes one journey, that is one year, every 88 Earth days; the planet named for the swift moving Messenger of the Gods and one of the most elusive of all the naked-eye planets, our old friend Mercury. Now the reason this weekend is such a good time to find the first planet is because you'll be able to use the second planet, as viewed from here on the third planet, as a guide. Let me show you. O.K., We've got our skies set up for Friday, January 10th at dawn just before it starts to get light out. And if you look to the southeast you'll see brilliant, beautiful Venus hugging the horizon. And just to its left, riding beside it, the much dimmer but lovely planet Mercury. And if you go out the next morning at dawn, Saturday, January 11th, you will notice that Mercury has climbed up higher in the sky in relationship to Venus, and even higher on Sunday morning, January 12th. In fact, you can watch it climb slowly higher all next week until by the following weekend it will appear on the other side of Venus. Watch carefully. Monday the 13th, Tuesday the 14th, Wednesday the 15th, Thursday the 16th, Friday the 17th, and Saturday the 18th. Now if you have a small telescope you will notice that Mercury will look like an itty-bitty first quarter Moon while Venus will present a full circular disk. But if you want something even more beautiful and for early evening viewing, might I suggest you mark Monday night, January 13th just after sunset on your calendar. Because if you go outside you will see an absolutely stunning, close conjunction - that is, close meeting - between a beautiful crescent Moon and the incredibly distant ringed-planet Saturn. Don't miss this first great conjunction of the year, please. And if you want to tease your way into it, may I suggest you start watching every night facing west just after sunset beginning this Saturday night, January 11th when you'll see a beautiful slender sliver of a moon close to the horizon getting ready to journey up for its Monday night meeting with Saturn. Indeed, the next night Sunday the 12th just after sunset, the Moon will have moved halfway up between where it was on Saturday to where it will be on Monday, its night of rendezvous with the ringed planet. Indeed, Monday night the 13th will be a January night to remember. Don't miss this. And once again if you have a small telescope and use at least 40 power you will be able to see the exquisite ring system of the 6th planet. Wow! Mercury and Venus this weekend! And the Moon and Saturn next week! What a wonderful way to begin the New Year 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.



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 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.

Satellite feed for February 1997 is as follows: The feed will be February 24, 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 #390-I

997th Show


To Be Aired : Monday1/13/97 through Sunday 1/19/97

"Don't Worry About Winter,
After All It's The Shortest Season of the Year".

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and yes indeed you heard right. Winter for the Northern Hemisphere is the shortest season of the entire year. And I'll just say, it's probably a safe bet that most of you out there, if you've ever thought about the duration of the seasons, have never realized that not only are the seasons not equal in length, in fact no two of them are alike. And not only is Winter the shortest, it is getting even shorter. Why? Let me show you. O.K., Now everyone knows that our Earth makes one trip around the Sun once a year. In fact, astronomically speaking, that is exactly what a year is - one orbit of a planet around the Sun. Now for our planet Earth that is 365 1/4 earth days. And according to Kepler's laws of motion the closer an object is to the Sun the faster it will travel. Any planet closer to the Sun than our Earth should travel faster and have a shorter year. And indeed, the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury, zips around the Sun once every 88 Earth days; one year on Mercury is 88 Earth days long. At the other extreme, the most distant planet Pluto, takes 248 Earth years to make one trip around the Sun, so one Pluto year is 248 Earth years. The rule: the the closer an object is to the Sun the faster it travels and the farther it is from the Sun the slower it travels. And this applies to our Earth as it travels in its orbit. You see, our Earth's orbit is not a perfect circle but a slightly stretched out one called an ellipse. And the Sun is not at the center of this ellipse. So the Earth varies its distance from the Sun during the year. And believe it or not, the Earth is closest to the Sun the first week of every January and farthest from the Sun the first week of every July. So our Earth travels much faster when it's Winter in the Northern Hemisphere and much slower during the Summer. Indeed, on the first day of Spring, the Vernal Equinox, the Earth is travelling 66,900 mph and takes 93 days to go from the first day of Spring to the first day of Summer. Thereafter the Earth continues to slow down til it's at its farthest point from the Sun the first week of July when it reaches its slowest speed of 65,500 mph. But thereafter it slowly starts to speed up. Even so, it takes 94 days for the Earth to travel from the first day of Summer to the first day of Autumn making Summer the longest season of all. And then, picking up more speed day by day, it takes only 90 days for our Earth to travel from the first day of Autumn to the first day of Winter. But it continues to speed up until it reaches its closest point to the Sun the first week of January when it's zipping along at 67,700 miles an hour. That's 2,200 miles per hour faster than it travelled in July. Indeed, the Earth whips through Winter in only 89 days. And that season will continue to get shorter until around 3,500 A.D., when winter will be only 88.71 days long. So if anyone tells you winters are getting longer, they're wrong. In fact, Winter is a full five days shorter than Summer. Even so, if its still too long for you, take comfort in the fact that if you lived on Pluto, Winter in the Northern Hemisphere would take 45 years and in the Southern Hemisphere would be 80 Earth years long. Which would mean you'd really have to bundle up as you Keep Looking Up!

P.S. For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, your winter is 5 days longer than your summer. Sorry 'bout that!

* 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 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.

Satellite feed for February 1997 is as follows: The feed will be February 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 #391-I

998th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 1/20/97 through Sunday 1/26/97

"Now Is The Time To Start Your Comet Hale-Bopp Watch!"



Horkheimer: Boy oh boy! It's on its way and it's coming fast and I'm talking about what may be the best comet most of us have seen in our lifetimes, Comet Hale-Bopp. And as I've told you for the past year and a half, it should be at its very best, no foolin', April Fool's Day, April 1st of this year. But February is the month to really get serious about watching Hale-Bopp as it zooms closer and closer to Earth every single day and gets bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter. In fact, the path of this comet from January 1st through the end of May is an almost perfect track right along the edge of the Milky Way. Let me show you: O.K., on January 1st when Hale-Bopp was still very tiny and dim it was here near the constellation Aquila the Eagle. January 10th here, on the 20th here, by the end of the month here just above Aquila's bright star Altair. From February 1st through the 28th it tracks alongside Cygnus the Swan and should double in in brightness and become almost as bright as the star Vega by the 1st of March. Then it will really brighten and get bigger as it continues to track along the Milky Way where its tail will whisk through the constellation of Cassiopeia and its head will come close to the Andromeda Galaxy. Then on its best night, April 1st, it will sweep its tail through the exquisite Double Cluster of Perseus and continue its journey with its tail brushing Auriga the Charioteer and finally the upper reaches of Orion the Hunter. But this month is really the month to begin your watch because this is the month when you will notice an incredible change in its brightness and size. Let me show you how to find it. O.K., we've got our skies set up for about an hour or so before sunrise this week and next, facing due East where you will see the 3 brilliant stars of the Summer Triangle. Vega will  be brightest and highest up off the horizon, Deneb, the brightest star of Cygnus the Swan below it, and closest to the horizon, Altair, the brightest star of  Aquila the Eagle. And about 7 to 9 degrees above Altair, that's about 14 to 18 full moon widths away, depending on which day you look, Comet Hale-Bopp. Now if you have clear dark skies far from city lights, and can see the Milky Way you will have no problem seeing it with the naked eye. And once you've spotted it, you will really be impressed with it through a pair of binoculars. In fact, a pair of binoclulars is my favorite astronomical instrument for comet watching. Indeed, binoculars are simply two small wide-view telescopes put together which give you exquisite stereo vision. Then morning after morning go out about an hour or so before sunrise and watch Hale-Bopp as it moves higher and higher and its tail grows longer and longer, and it gets brighter and brighter until by month's end its overall brightness should equal that of Vega. Wow! Now although what you see won't look like the exquisite time-lapse video tapes amateur astronomers have been shooting all over the world, nevertheless, you will see something which by April 1st I think will absolutely knock your cosmic socks off. At least I'm placing my money on this one. So get thee outside for the comet watch of your life which is simple if you just 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 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.

Satellite feed for February 1997 is as follows: The feed will be February 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 #392-I

999th Show


To Be Aired : Monday 1/27/97 through Sunday 2/2/97

"A Red Planet For A Green Holiday!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and mark this upcoming St. Patrick's Day, March 17th as a red letter day for the Wearin' of the Green because this St. Paddy's Day the red planet Mars will make its closest approach to our planet Earth in over two years and will dazzle us all with its brightness and beauty. And you can start to watch it come closer and closer and get bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter night after night starting right now. Let me show you : O.K., we've got our skies set up for the first week of February around 10 P.M. your local time, and if you go outside and look toward the East you will see the most prominent constellation of springtime just risen up off the horizon, good old Leo the Lion, the front of him marked by a backward question mark or sickle-shaped group of stars with the bright star Regulus as the point of the question mark and a small right triangle close to the horizon marking Leo's rear. And a not quite so bright star, named Denebola, marking Leo's tail. And in case that name, Denebola, sounds familiar, you may recall that the tail of Cygnus the Swan is named simply Deneb. Deneb in Arabic means the Tail, whereas Denebola is an abbreviation for Al Dhanab Al Asad, which means 'The Tail of the Lion'. At any rate, if you look just behind the tail of Leo, just across the border of the constellation Virgo, you'll see a bright rouge-gold light and that is the planet Mars. And if you go out every night at 10 o'clock through St. Paddy's Day you'll notice that Mars will be slightly higher in the sky day after day, night after night. But it will rapidly change its size and appearance and brightness as it zooms in on planet Earth. In fact, if you stay up this week until midnight you'll be able to see exactly how bright Mars is in comparison to one of the most famous stars in the sky. So let's move our skies to midnight. First look for the Big Dipper in the Northeast and then shoot an arrow through the handle of the Big Dipper and it will land smack dab on the brightest star in the constellation Bootes, the brilliant red-orange star called Arcturus. Then if you compare Arcturus and Mars you will see that Mars, which was several times dimmer than Arcturus just a few months ago, now already exceeds Arcturus in brightness and is getting brighter and brighter. Oh, and by the way, while you're getting ready for the St. Patrick's Day visit of the Red Planet keep in mind that Mars is a small world, only 4 thousand miles wide; that is half the size of our 8 thousand-mile-wide Earth; although it is twice as wide as our 2 thousand-mile-wide Moon. And even now through a good amateur telescope you may just be able to detect the two tiny white spots that mark its North and South poles; that is 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.


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