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 Info

Monday 6/30/97

10:00-10:30 Eastern Time

Schedule 5-B-5

Telstar 402

Transponder 7 Upper

Digital Only

 





Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER.

Changes may well be made as production requires.



STAR HUSTLER Episode #415-I


1022nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/7/97 through Sunday 7/13/97

"Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali :

The Two Stars Of Summer You Just Love To Pronounce"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and once again it's Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali time. So loosen up your tongue, fasten your cosmic seat belts and let's go outside to find them. OK, we've got our skies set up for any night the next couple of weeks just after it gets dark out. And if you look South you will see the giant fish-hook shaped constellation of Scorpius the Scorpion followed by the teapot shaped portion of Sagittarius. But up and to the right of the fish-hook of Scorpius you'll see two semi-bright stars with some of the strangest sounding names in the heavens, Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali. Now in case you have a hard time finding them you can use the old moon trick next Monday night July 14th when the moon will be smack dab directly between the two. Zubenelgenubi will be below the moon, Zubeneschamali will be above it. Now in arabic, Zubenelgenubi means 'the southern claw' while Zubeneschamali means 'the Northern claw'. And a couple thousand years ago they were the claws of the scorpion. But then Julius Caesar and his cronies came along and lopped them off and renamed them Libra the Scales for the symbol of roman justice. Which I'm sure led many an ancient star gazer to mutter, ..."There oughta be a law..." . At any rate, these two stars are wonderful and although they appear visually to be the same brightness from Earth, actually they are very, very different. For instance, Zubenelgenubi is about 65 light years away from our planet Earth and shines 25 times brighter than our own Sun, and it is approaching us at the incredible speed of 6 miles per second. And upon closer examination we also find that Zubenelgenubi is not just one, not even two, but three stars, two of them so close together that they orbit each other once every 20 days. On the other hand, Zubeneschamali, the Northern claw is over twice as far away as Zubenelgenubi being 140 light years distant. And although it appears the same brightness as its claw companion, it isn't. For it is 6 times brighter than Zubenelgenubi which means that it is over 150 times brighter than our Sun. And it is speeding toward us 4 times faster than Zubenelgenubi at a rate of 21 miles per second. And Zubeneschamali is also at the center of a centuries old debate. You see, over two thousand years ago it was listed as the brightest of all the stars of the Scorpion, even brighter than Antares. A few centuries later however the great astronomer Ptolemy described Antares as equal to Zubeneschamali in brightness. But today Antares appears 5 times brighter. Has Zubeneschamali dimmed over the past two thousand years? Or, conversely, has Antares gotten much, much brighter? At any rate, it's always fun to try to pronounce these two tongue-twisters of summer. So get thee outside to do some Zubenelgenubi-ing and Zubeneschamali-ing. It's easy, 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 Info

Monday 6/30/97

10:00-10:30 Eastern Time

Schedule 5-B-5

Telstar 402

Transponder 7 Upper

Digital Only

 

 





Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER.

Changes may well be made as production requires.


 



STAR HUSTLER Episode #416-I


1023rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/14/97 through Sunday 7/20/97

"Summer Ballet of Two Planets and A Star :

A Celestial Pas De Trois"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and have we ever got something nifty for you to follow in the sky every night just after sunset from the end of this week all the way through next week. A real cosmic dance between two planets and a star. Let me show you. O.K., We've got our skies set up for late this week Thursday the 17th, just after sunset before it gets completely dark out. And if you look west northwest and have a clear flat horizon you will see three equally spaced objects. The brightest one, the one in the middle, is our old friend, the second planet out from the sun, eight thousand mile-wide Venus. And down to its right, much dimmer and very close to the horizon, the first planet out from the sun, three thousand mile-wide Mercury. And up and to Venus' left the brightest star in the spring constellation Leo the Lion, the 4 million mile-wide star, Regulus. Now if you watch, night after night, at the same time just after it starts to get dark out you will see an exquisite slow pas de trois. For instance, if you go out the next night, Friday July 18th, you'll see that Regulus has moved slightly closer to Venus and Saturday night, the 19th, closer still. Sunday evening the 20th, they'll be only 3 degrees apart, which means that we could fit only 6 Full Moons between them. And monday evening the 21st, only 2 degrees apart, only 4 Full Moons widths separate them. Tuesday evening, they're only 1 degree and 2 Full away from each other. Then on Wednesday evening Venus will be on the other side of Regulus. . . As Regulus starts its close approach to Mercury. On Thursday evening the 24th Regulus will be between Venus and Mercury, equidistant between the two. Then Friday night the 25th it will be very obvious that Regulus is indeed almost on a collision course with Mercury because on that evening they will be only one degree away from each other, only two Full Moons apart. Then on Saturday,the 26th ta da! they will be at their very closest and only one Moon could be slid between them. And if you still have a really clear and flat unobstructed horizon a week later on Monday evening August 4th you just may, if you're lucky, be able to see a slender sliver of a one day old crescent Moon hugging the horizon, while Regulus will be on the other side of Mercury getting ready to leave our night skies. In fact, it might be fun to see how long you'll be able to track Regulus before it slips below the horizon and disappears from evening skies until next Spring. And notice how dramatically Regulus has changed its position since the 17th - from being the highest above the horizon to the lowest. Once again, our cosmic ballet speeded up, the 17th, the 18th, the 19th, 20th, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and finally Aug. 4th. Proving once again that there's always something to watch in the heavens if you just take a little time out 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 Info

Monday 6/30/97

10:00-10:30 Eastern Time

Schedule 5-B-5

Telstar 402

Transponder 7 Upper

Digital Only

 

 





Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER.

Changes may well be made as production requires.


STAR HUSTLER Episode #417-I


1024th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/21/97 through Sunday 7/27/97

A Planet named George : Tale Of A Celestial Gas Bag


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and mark July 29th as the night the planet George comes into opposition which simply means that it will lie opposite the Sun as seen from Earth and will be closest to our planet for the entire year and will be visible in the sky all night long from sunset to sunrise. Let me show you. O.K., We've got our skies set up for any clear night next week between 9 & 10 pm, your local time, facing South where you will see the two most fabulous constellations of summer - the fish hook-shaped Scorpius the Scorpion and the teapot-shaped Sagittarius. And to sagittarius' left the bright planet jupiter, and between jupiter and Sagittarius the very dim but very wonderful giant gas planet named George which was discovered by a professional oboist and organist turned amateur astronomer, Sir William Herschel. Indeed, Sir William was so enthralled with astronomy that he conducted a systematic search of the heavens with one of his homemade telescopes back in 1781. And after calculating the orbit of a so-called comet which he discovered, he realized that his comet was not a comet at all but had to be a planet. So he immediately named it for his benefactor George the Third of England. Thus the planet, for awhile anyway, was named George. Well, this rather irked some some non-George loving astronomers so they renamed it Herschel after its discoverer. But a few other astronomers claimed that they had seen it before Herschel, even though they didn't recognize it for what it was. So they insisted that neither George nor Herschel should get the credit and that the planet should be named after one of the ancient gods as were all the other planets. And they named it for the Greek god who had charge over all the heavens, even before Zeus came along, Uranus. A god who was both son and husband of Gaia, the Earth, father of the Titans and the Furies and the race of one-eyed giants known as the Cyclops. And although Herschel and his fellow astronomers never lived to find it out we now know that the planet variously named George, Herschel and Uranus is as strange as the god for which it was named. Indeed, Uranus is often called the sideways planet because it travels around the Sun on its side with its north pole pointed directly at the Sun during part of its orbit and its South pole pointed to the Sun during the other part which creates the longest seasons ever on any planet in our solar system. In fact, each season on Uranus is 21 Earth years long. And right now Uranus is situated so that we are looking directly at its north pole. To find it, use a pair of binoculars and look 24 full moon widths to the right of Jupiter for a teeny-weeny blue-green disc which in reality is a planet four times the width of our Earth, has its own set of 10 rings and supports a family of 15 moons. It's truly weird but wonderful, by George, so 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 Info

Monday 6/30/97

10:00-10:30 Eastern Time

Schedule 5-B-5

Telstar 402

Transponder 7 Upper

Digital Only

 

 





Notice : These are working drafts of the scripts for STAR HUSTLER.

Changes may well be made as production requires.


 

STAR HUSTLER Episode #418-I


1025th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 7/28/97 through Sunday 8/3/97

Plan Now For The Perseids!

The Most Famous Meteor Shower Of All Time


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and right now mark Monday night, August 11th, 11 pm as the time you'll want to go out to observe the annual return of the most famous meteor shower of all time, the Perseids, because this year the First Quarter Moon will be setting just about that time and will provide a moonless night so that you can see the faintest of these meteors. And the reason I'm giving you two weeks warning is because since a lot of you will undoubtedly be out away from city lights on vacation I want you to have plenty of time to plan ahead to watch. Now, right off I'd like to get a couple of things straight. And that is that I personally, strongly dislike the term 'meteor shower'. I much prefer the term 'meteor sprinkle' because at the peak of almost any meteor shower the most meteors you can expect to see are about 50 to 100 per hour, except of course for extremely rare occasions when all heaven breaks loose and thousands can be seen. But those are rare, rare unexpected occasions. So, if you can content yourself with the fact that during a good meteor shower you may have a chance to see 50 or so meteors streak across the sky during the course of an hour then the Perseids is one of your best bets. But you have to follow some simple rules. And these rules are perfect for people who are on vacation because number 1, you have to be far, far away from any city or artificial lighting where if you look up you can see at least a couple hundred stars. And, rule number 2, you should simply lie back on the ground, or better yet in a reclining lawn chair, and slowly scan the skies back and forth for at least an hour. Number 3, never use binoculars or a telescope. And number 4, you have to have patience. Now if you follow these rules and it's clear out and there's no moonlight in the sky to interfere, you will see several meteors per hour. And this year we're very fortunate because the 1st Quarter Moon is setting just as the best part of the meteor shower is getting underway especially for North and South America. So, head out just before midnight Monday the 11th, plan to stay out for two or three hours into the wee hours of Tuesday morning the 12th. And if you're out with the whole family see who can count the most meteors in one hour. But what are meteors, anyway? Well, they are not falling or shooting stars even though that's exactly what they look like. In fact, meteors are simply little specks of comet debris shed all along a comet's path as it travels around the sun. And every time our Earth rides through one of these paths of comet litter, little pieces of debris slam into our Earth's atmosphere so fast and so hard that they burn up and look like shooting stars. Now the Perseids are the comet debris from a comet named Swift-Tuttle. So, plan now for the Perseids, Monday night the 11th and Tuesday morning the 12th, and have enough blankets, lawn chairs, coffee and hot chocolate to while away the hours as you watch the heavens sprinkle forth their meteoritic glory.Its fun and easy 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.



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