STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION



STAR GAZER 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 STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.



Satellite Feed Info
Monday 5/25/98
10:30-11:00 a.m. Eastern Time

GE 3
Transponder 512
Digital Only

 



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


STAR GAZER Episode #SG 030-I


1069th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/1/98 through Sunday 6/7/98

'Story Telling And The Stars:
An Ancient Tale of Star Crossed Lovers'


Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers and this week let's roll back the centuries and look upon a distant spring time when love was as fresh and new and wonderful as it is now. I'd like to tell you an ancient tale which focuses on the star pattern that is the symbol of spring itself, Leo the lion, who serves as an annual reminder of both the happiness of love won and the tragedy of love lost, as perennial as spring itself.

To find Leo simply go outside any clear night this week just after sunset and look west and there you'll see him. Our story was told by the great Roman poet Ovid over two thousand years ago. Surely most Roman children, at one time or another, heard this tale - the tale of of two young lovers: handsome Pyramus and the beautiful Thisbe. Like Romeo and Juliet, the young lovers in Shakespeare's time, Pyramus and Thisbe had to love in secret because their parents were against the match. And like Romeo stealthily seeking out Juliet in the dark of the night, climbing up trees to her balcony, Pyramus likewise met Thisbe in the dark of night and they talked to each other of love through cracks in the wall which separated their homes from one another. Unable even to touch each other because of this wall, finally one moonlit night they decided to risk the anger of their parents and agreed to secretly meet in a distant woods.

But Thisbe, arriving first, was horrified to see in the shadows of a large tree, a huge lion devouring a traveller taken by surprise. Frightened, she quietly ran off to warn Pyramus and to get help but as she ran she lost her veil which fluttered past the lion who snatched at it and stained it with the traveller's blood. Then Pyramus, arriving a short time later, saw the veil which he immediately recognized and with no other thought but that the lion had killed Thisbe, Pyramus attacked the lion with his small sword. But Pyramus was no match and was quickly killed. Meanwhile, Thisbe who was unable to find any help whatsoever, rushed back to the woods desperately hoping that she was not too late to warn her lover. But when she found Pyramus he was already dead and she fell upon his body in grief. Well, you can guess the rest, because lurking in the shadows still was the lion; and on seeing Thisbe, he killed her too. Thus as with Romeo and Juliet, Pyramus and Thisbe were finally united forever but in death. Their families, upon seeing both their children taken from them forever, realized the folly of their quarrel, but too late.

It was said that the lion's attack was so severe that a nearby mulberry tree was completely covered with the lovers' blood and that ever since, even to this day mulberry trees bear red fruit instead of white. It was also said that Jupiter took such pity on these two young lovers that as a constant reminder to mankind of true love, he put Thisbe's veil among the stars where we can see it flutter still, wafted by an eternal cosmic wind, directly behind the lion in the stars of Coma Berenices. And to see this veil for yourself all you have to do is remember to Keep Looking Up!

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

For graphics for this script (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.



 


STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR GAZER 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 STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc.without written permission.





Satellite Feed Info
Monday 5/25/98
10:30-11:00 a.m. Eastern Time

GE 3
Transponder 512
Digital Only

 

 



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


 


STAR GAZER Episode #SG 031-I


1070th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/8/98 through Sunday 6/14/98

'A Celestial Sky Show To Celebrate The Solstice!'


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings fellow stargazers and mark Sunday, June 21st, one hour before sunrise as the day and time to get out of bed to watch the Sun rise because greeting this first day of summer, 1998 - the day of the Summer Solstice - will be a celestial sky show not often seen. Now most of you regular viewers know that every year on the morning of the Summer Solstice I plead with you to go outside an hour or so before sunrise to watch the Sun come up and to notice all the wonderful effects in nature that occur. But this year instead of just watching the effects of sunrise on the first day of summer, you will also be greeted by an exquisite grouping of celestial objects. And you can watch this grouping start to assemble itself all next week.

Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for Tuesday, morning June 16th, an hour before sunrise and if you look to the southeast you will see the biggest planet of them all, 88,000 mile wide Jupiter. And then down to its left, almost directly due east, 75,000 mile wide Saturn. And down to its left the much smaller but much brighter 8,000 mile wide Venus. And these are the three planetary members of our Summer Solstice sky show. But to add to the show we have our nearest neighbor in space, our dinky 2,000 mile wide Moon which will be only one day before last quarter and up to the right of Jupiter.

But by the next morning, Wednesday the 17th, one hour before sunrise the Moon will have become last quarter and will be parked right smack dab next to old 'Jupe'. The following morning, Thursday the 18th, it will be slightly smaller and will have drifted right between Jupiter and Saturn. On the 19th it will be just to the side of Saturn and on Saturday the 20th, just below it. But, ta da! the most exquisite view will be one hour before sunrise June 21st, the day of the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer. Wow! You will see a very very old sliver of a Moon just to the right of Venus and up to Venus' left the exquisite Seven Sisters. How wonderful ... the seven daughters of Atlas- the Pleiades, the Goddess of Love-Venus, and the Goddess of the Night-our Moon, all lined up in a perfect row.

And while you're out there celebrating the solstice, think of this, and that is that all of this togetherness is really a grand illusion because on this morning, the 21st, the Moon will be only 227,000 miles away while Venus will be 120 million miles away. Jupiter will be 450 million miles beyond, and Saturn 900 million miles. But the exquisite Seven Sisters will be 400-plus light years away. Wow! And after you've spotted all these beauties welcoming in the new season why not just stay outside and watch the effects of sunrise as it transforms your part of the planet from the last night of spring to the first day of summer, because if you do you may be able to win a copy of our brand new video "Make The Stars Your Own" which I'll tell you about in next week's episode. And until then remember to Keep Looking Up!


 

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

For graphics for this script (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.




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR GAZER 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 STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc. without written permission.

 





Satellite Feed Info
Monday 5/25/98
10:30-11:00 a.m. Eastern Time

GE 3
Transponder 512
Digital Only

 



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



STAR GAZER Episode #SG 032-I


1071st Show
To Be Aired : Monday 6/15/98 through Sunday 6/21/98

'Celebrate The Summer Solstice And Win A
Copy Of Our Brand New "Star Gazer" Video!'
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and this week we once again want you to celebrate the summer solstice with us by observing the rising of our closest star to our Earth, the only star we can see in the daytime, the star we call our Sun. A star so huge we could fit over one million Earths inside it, a star whose temperature is over 10,000 degrees Fahreheit. And right now some of you are probably thinking "you're talking about a sunrise and I've seen thousands of sunrises in my life." And yes I am talking about a sunrise but believe it or not the majority of people on this planet have never truly experienced a sunrise because to most people sunrise is always a peripheral event and not the center of one's attention. And so that's why every year we set aside the Summer Solstice and call it 'Day Star Day' so you can experience one of the grandest events in nature, an experience which may change the way you view our Earth forever. .

To participate here's what you do: mark this Sunday, June 21st, the first day of summer as the day when you'll get up while it's still dark out, before twilight begins. And whether you live in the heart of the city or out in the country makes no difference because it's not the Sun itself that you're going to observe when it rises. No, you are going to observe the effects of the sunrise on everything all around you as night slowly turns into day. It's best if you can be outside but if not just sit by a window. Now for the rules which are absolutely essential. No radio, no television, no doing your normal wake-up routine. All distractions must be eliminated.

Simply sit quietly and when you see the sky slowly start to brighten, look and listen and feel what happens all around you, for sunrise is not just visual. No indeed, you will hear the sounds of our Earth and its creatures waking up, feel the wind change, the temperature change and much much more as night slowly slips into day. Keep track of and write down or record all the subtle changes you notice, what you see, hear, feel. Then when you're finished send your observations to "Star Gazer" Day Star Day, P.O. Box 2, Miami, Florida 33261. A panel of judges will select ten of the most outstanding and original reports and those ten will receive a copy of our brand new video "Make The Stars Your Own".

And to top it off, this year there's an extra added attraction for Day Star Day, a spectacular sky show in the east where just before sunrise you will see dazzling Venus lined up in a row with the Seven Sisters and an exquisite crescent Moon. And up higher in the east the planets Saturn and Jupiter. Believe me, if you've never taken the time to really watch our Day Star rise over the horizon you're in for a big surprise because experiencing the effects of a sunrise, using all of your senses, is one of the most wonderful experiences this planet has to offer. And with this year's added sky show and the solstice coming on a weekend it will be perfect for an outing with family or friends and one more good reason to Keep Looking Up!

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

For graphics for this script (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.




STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR GAZER 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 STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc., without written permission.


Satellite Feed Info
Monday 5/25/98
10:30-11:00 a.m. Eastern Time

GE 3
Transponder 512
Digital Only




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


 

STAR GAZER Episode #SG 033-I


1072nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/22/98 through Sunday 6/28/98

'The Brightest Star of Summer And
The Great World's Fair Fiasco'
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and since people in the Northern Hemisphere spend a lot more time outside at night in summer than in winter, and since a lot of you will be outside just after sunset watching fireworks on the 4th of July weekend, I thought it only fair to call your attention to the brightest star of summer which is the 4th brightest star we can see from planet Earth, and which will be almost overhead for lots of people.

Let me show you: O. K., 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 towards the north you will be able to see our old friend the Big Dipper. Four stars mark his cup and three stars three stars mark his handle and if you use our old handle trick you will be able to find summer's brightest star quick as a wink. Simply extend a line which has the same curvature, the same arc as the arc in the Dipper's handle and you will arc to Arcturus which is the brightest star of summer, and the brightest star of the constellation Bootes, the Herdsman. It is a fascinating star and compared to our Sun is somewhat mind boggling. Indeed, it is about 115 times as luminous as our Sun. And if we could place our Sun side by side next to Arcturus, it would look like a dwarf because although our Sun is almost a million miles wide, it would take 20 of our Suns lined up end to end to equal the diameter of Arcturus. Or, if you'd like to think of it in really mind boggling terms, since it would take 108 of our Earths lined up end to end to stretch across the middle of our Sun, it would take over 2,000 Earths to stretch across Arcturus' middle. Wow!

Now because Arcturus is such a bright star and shines almost overhead in early evening much of Summer, back in 1933 it was used to open the World's Fair in Chicago. You see, 40 years prior to 1933, in 1893, there had been another World's Fair in Chicago and since astronomers had determined that Arcturus was 40 light years away, it meant that the light of Arcturus seen in 1933 was the light that left it forty years earlier when the previous World's Fair opened. So it was decided to open up the '33 Fair by training the light from Arcturus through a telescope onto a photoelectric cell which would turn on all the lights of '33 Chicago Fair. And it worked! With much hoopla and applause. But there was one hitch in the switch. It seems that where the telescope was located, the one that focused the light from Arcturus onto the photo cell was clouded out. But since the telescope was many miles away from the fair site, the officials just kept quiet about it and flipped the switch by hand. In other words, they faked it. And to add insult to injury a few years later astronomers found out that Arcturus wasn't 40 light years away but only 35 light years instead. At any rate, may Arcturus shine brightly overhead on this and every 4th of July, because World's Fair or not it's always fun to see if you Keep Looking Up!

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

For graphics for this script (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.





STAR GAZER
THE INTERNATIONAL EDITION




STAR GAZER 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 STAR GAZER off satellite for personal use, classroom use, astronomy club use, etc., without written permission.


Satellite Feed Info
Monday 5/25/98
10:30-11:00 a.m. Eastern Time

GE 3
Transponder 512
Digital Only




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


 

STAR GAZER Episode #SG 034-I


1073rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 6/29/98 through Sunday 7/5/98

'Mercury's One Week Stand
And Far Out Earth'
 

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and this week, Friday July 3rd, our Earth will reach its farthest distance away from the Sun for the entire year when it will be 94 million, 500 thousand miles away which is 3 million miles farther away than it was on January 4th which has always puzzled a lot of people: I mean why is it hotter in summer if we are farther away from the Sun than we are in winter? And vice versa. Well the answer is quite simple. Our Earth is not oriented straight up and down in space in relationship to the Sun, but is tilted so that when it is Summer in the Northern Hemisphere the Sun's rays shine on the Northern Hemisphere more directly than they do in winter and thus provide more heat. And thank heaven Earth is farther away from the Sun in July than in January otherwise our summers in the Northern Hemisphere would be even hotter than they are and our winters would be much much colder.

And now for a 4th of July treat because the most elusive of all naked eye planets starts making its appearance for one week only just after sunset starting July 4th. To find tiny three thousand mile wide, closest-planet-to-the-Sun Mercury, start your viewing on the 4th of July during evening twilight before it gets completely dark out. First look due west for the constellation Leo the Lion. Then find its brightest star, Regulus and then down to its right, west-northwest, hugging the horizon you should be able to see pinkish Mercury glowing in the twilight. And if you watch it every night for the next week you will notice that Regulus and Leo will steadily creep closer and closer to tiny Mercury. And keep in mind that while Mercury is a 3,000 thousand mile wide planet that Regulus is a 1.5 million mile wide star. Then later on in the evening on the 4th when you're outside watching the fireworks, if you look south you'll see the Moon and below it and to its left you should be able to make out everyone's favorite constellation of summer, Scorpius the Scorpion which will look like a gigantic fish hook or capital letter "J" crawling along the southern horizon.

And two nights later, Monday evening, July 6th you will notice the Moon just above and to the left of the great red heart star of the Scorpion, the pulsating giant star Antares. So there you have it. A reason to be thankful that our Earth is 3 million miles farther away from the Sun than it was in January, the elusive first planet Mercury for 4th of July viewing just after sunset and everybody's favorite summer constellation Scorpius making your 4th of July weekend complete. What more do you need except a picnic basket, fireworks and good friends! So happy 4th of July and whatever you do remember to Keep Looking Up!

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

For graphics for this script (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.



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