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 9/29/97

10:30-11:00 a.m. 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 #428-I


1035th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/6/97 through Sunday 10/12/97

"Parade of the Gas Planets and

Saturn At Its Best"


Greetings! Greetings! Fellow stargazers and this month the most beautiful of the four giant gas planets will take center stage and be at its best viewing for the entire year because this week, on Friday the 10th, the incredibly beautiful ringed planet Saturn will officially come into opposition which simply means that it will be at its closest and brightest for the entire year and will be visible all night long in the sky from sunset to sunrise. Now many of you may remember that in July the two outer gas planets, Uranus and Neptune, were at opposition followed by Jupiter's opposition in August. And now the cycle of the four gas giants is complete with what I think is the prettiest planet of the whole bunch. Let me show you: O.K., we've got our skies set up for this weekend just after sunset, facing Southeast and depending on how clear and unobstructed a horizon you have you should see Saturn rise just after the Sun sets in the opposite direction in the West. And if you go outside every hour or so you will notice that Saturn will climb higher and higher into the sky so that by midnight real time, which is 1 A.M. daylight time, Saturn will reach its highest point above the southern horizon. Then hour after hour it will slowly descend toward the West and will set just as the Sun begins to rise in the East. And that scenario will hold pretty much for 2 to 3 weeks. But what makes Saturn so special? Seeing as how it is not nearly as bright as Jupiter or Venus? Well, I guess the simplest answer is that it became really special because just shortly after the invention of the telescope it was discovered to have rings which made it unique in all the sky, although we do know now that Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also have rings, but rings which are invisible through Earth bound telescopes. However, through even the smallest, cheapest telescope you will see not only Saturn's rings, but you may even see a thin dark line dividing the rings, which is called Cassini's Division for the Italian astronomer who discovered it in 1675. And if that name Cassini sounds familiar, it should, because this very week a space craft named Cassini is set to be launched toward Saturn which should arrive in the year 2004. Now although we always refer to Jupiter as the largest of the planets, if we include Saturn's ring system it's much larger. In fact, if we use our 8,000 mile wide Earth for comparison, Jupiter is 88,000 miles wide, which means we could fit 11 Earth's across it s middle. And although the body of Saturn is 13,000 miles smaller in diameter than Jupiter, nevertheless if we count its ring system Saturn is exactly twice as wide as Jupiter, 176 thousand miles wide which means that we could line up two Jupiters from one end of Saturn's rings to the other or 22 Earths! Wow! So I always think of Saturn as the biggest planet of them all. But even if you don't agree, I think you will concur that it is the prettiest which is reason enough to look for it the next couple of weeks as you Keep Looking Up!

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 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 9/29/97

10:30-11:00 a.m. 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 #429-I


1036th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/13/97 through Sunday 10/19/97

"Mars, Venus and Antares : A Triple Whammy Weekend!"


Horkheimer: Greetings, Greetings fellow stargazers and have we ever got a weekend for you because this Friday, Saturday and Sunday you'll be able to watch two bright planets and a bright star rearrange themselves in respect to each other right before your eyes night after night. Indeed, this weekend the planets Mars and Venus will perform a celestial pas de trois with the bright red star Antares. Let me show you: O.K. we've got our skies set up for this Friday night October 17 th looking due Southwest just after sunset, your local time, just after it gets dark out. And if you look just above the southwestern horizon you will see a dazzling object which of course is the brightest planet of them all, the second planet out from the Sun, the 8,000 mile wide Earth-sized Venus. And just up and to its left, and much dimmer because it's much, much smaller and much, much farther away and half the size of Venus, the 4,000 mile wide reddish Mars which is playing host to Earth visitors as we speak, Pathfinder and Sojourner. And directly below Venus, the star named Antares which literally means the "Rival of Mars" because it rivals it in color which you can see for yourself because they are so close to each other right now! Now, if you make a mental note of the relative positions of Venus, Mars and Antares you will be able to see exactly how fast closer Venus moves in Earth's skies compared to the far more distant Mars and Antares because if you go out the next evening, Saturday the 18th, at the same time, just after it gets dark out, you will see that Venus has moved eastward so that it is almost smack dab on a straight line between Mars and Antares. And please make sure you see this remarkable lineup on Saturday night because Venus moves so fast that it will move out of this straight line position within 24 hours. Indeed, on Sunday night, the 19th, it will have moved considerably farther eastward. Once again: Friday the 17th, just after sunset; Saturday night the 18th a near perfect lineup; and Sunday the 19th, the 3 askew once again. Now the reason for these relative motions is because of the planets intrinsic speeds and their distances, for the closer a planet is to the Sun the faster it moves. Indeed, Venus moves 78 thousand miles an hour in its orbit about the Sun while Mars moves only 54 thousand miles an hour, on top of which Venus is only 75 million miles away from us this week while Mars is 175 million miles away. Of course the real fooler is Antares because it is a whopping 440 light years away which, if put into proper perspective, simply means that because light travels 186 thousand miles per second, we actually see Venus this weekend, not as it exists now but as it existed 7 minutes ago. And because Mars is so much farther away we see it this weekend as it existed 16 minutes ago. But Antares is so incredibly far beyond we see its light as it existed 440 years ago. And talk about size? Well, 4,000 mile wide Mars and 8,000 miles wide Venus can't even compare to Antares because Antares is so big we could line up 68,000 Venuses side by side across its middle. Now that's something to think about as you Keep Looking Up!

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 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 9/29/97

10:30-11:00 a.m. 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 #430-I


1037th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/20/97 through Sunday 10/26/97

"Autumn Stars; And Why The Stars Change With the Seasons"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and you know, just as we have seasons here on Earth, so too do the heavens have their seasons. You see, because our Earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours from West to East, the stars appear to slowly drift across the sky in the opposite direction, from East to West. And if our Earth were perfectly stationary in the heavens we would see the same star patterns in the same spot at the same time every single night. But because our Earth is not stationary and makes one journey around the Sun once every 365 1/4 days, our Earth changes its position in respect to the stars a little bit each night so that if a given star rises on the horizon at 8 o'clock one night, the following night that same star will rise 4 minutes earlier and will be approximately 1 degree farther along on its journey across the night sky at 8 p.m. which further means that after a month any given star will be 30 degrees farther along on its journey across the sky at 8 p.m., which further means that after a quarter of a year any given star will have moved 90 degrees or a quarter of the way around the entire sky at 8 p.m. And since each season is about a quarter of a year long, this means that any season you go out at 8 p.m. the stars overhead will be much different than the stars overhead the previous or following season. A sure sign of Spring skies is the appearance of Leo the Lion in early evening, and in Winter, Orion the Hunter. And a sure sign of Autumn is the appearance of Pegasus and the Pleiades. Now the Pleiades, better known as the Seven Sisters, is a group of six bright stars that probably had a seventh bright star long ago. And at the end of October and beginning of November you can find it around 8 o'clock just by looking toward the East. It will look like a shimmering little cluster of stellar grapes. But my favorite description is Tennyson's when he said: " Many a night I saw the Pleiads rising through the mellow shade, glitter like a swarm of fireflies, tangled in a silver braid. " I mean that's about as perfect a description as you can get. Even though I'm equally partial to a fancy I had as a child because being raised in Wisconsin as part of the Winnebago Council of the Boy Scouts, I steeped myself in Indian lore and every Autumn I imagined that the Pleiades, as they slowly rose higher and higher above the chilly horizon, was the smoke of some distant Indian campfire, warming the cool Autumn night. And I even used to imagine that I could count seven stars here rather than six. Some people say you actually can if you have really good eyesight and are far from city lights on a clear moonless night. How may can you count? Naked eye first and then with a pair of binoculars! And what about Pegasus? Well that's another wonderful object of Autumn. And I'll tell you about it next week if you remember to Keep Looking Up!

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 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 9/29/97

10:30-11:00 a.m. 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 #431-I


1038th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 10/27/97 through Sunday 11/2/97

"Pegasus and the Pleiades; And

The Farthest You Can See With The Naked Eye "

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and if you recall last week I showed you how to find one of two wonderful early evening Autumn star patterns, the Pleiades. So this week I'd like to show you the other sure sign of Autumn which at 8 o'clock at the beginning of November is almost directly overhead. It's called the Great Square of Pegasus the Horse. And if we could draw lines between four not-quite-so-bright stars we would indeed trace a great celestial square. And with a few other stars and a little imagination we could connect stars to the west of this square to make a long neck with the bright star Enif as our horse's nose, a few dim stars from the northwest point of the square for two short front legs. And using the bright star to the Northeast we could draw lines between the faint stars of Andromeda and come up with two respectable hind legs. And it is a very special object just off the knee of one of these hind legs which makes Autumn so special. It's difficult to find but well worth the effort if you have clear dark moonless skies. First of all look below the Square of Pegasus for five bright stars which, if you could draw lines between them would trace out the letter "M", the constellation named for the ancient Queen of Ethiopia, Cassiopeia. Then take the second brightest star in Cassiopeia, draw a line from it straight up through the bright star of Pegasus's Square where the hind legs connect; and if you go about 2/3 of the way up that line from Cassiopeia and look just to the right of it you will see a tiny faint cloud which, if you look at it through a pair of binoculars, becomes even brighter, but a cloud it is not. Indeed it is the farthest object we can see in the universe with the naked eye. It is called M-31, the Great Galaxy of Andromeda which, through a great telescope, reveals itself to be a gigantic family of stars similar to our own great galaxy. And the truly mind boggling thing is this: Although Autumn's skies have the fewest bright stars of any season, nevertheless, the celestial objects in Autumn skies are either breathtakingly beautiful, or mind boggling intellectually because when you look at the exquisitely lovely Pleiades, you are looking at a group of stars whose light, which we see now, left it over 400 years ago, about 25 years before the invention of the first telescope. But when you look up at the tiny dim cloud at the knee of Pegasus, the Great Galaxy of Andromeda, you are looking at the light which left it two and a half million years ago, just about the time Australopithecus, the Lucy creature, walked on this Earth, long before the appearance of man. Just imagine, the light we see tonight actually left this great galaxy over a million years before any creature learned how to use fire. Oh yes, the stars of Autumn may be less brilliant than those of any other season, but their intrinsic magnificence and beauty is overwhelming. And it's all there for you to see if you just "Keep Looking Up!"

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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