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 8/25/97

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 #423-I


1030th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/1/97 through Sunday 9/7/97

"A Super September Planet Parade"


Greetings! Greetings! Fellow stargazers! And make sure you don't miss the exquisite meeting of the brightest planet Venus and the brightest star in Virgo, Spica, this upcoming weekend. Simply go outside this Friday night the 5th, just as it starts to get dark out, look west-southwest and you"ll see a dazzling Venus with much dimmer blue-white Spica only one finger width away, plus an incredible sliver of a moon hovering just above them. Then on Sunday, September 7th an even fatter moon glowing like a lantern will hover over the red planet Mars. And while you are observing you might be interested to know that this week Venus is almost 100 times brighter than Mars, although just a few months ago Mars was among the most brilliant objects in the night sky. Remember? But if you miss this weekend's celestial drama, never fear, because the following weekend the Moon will be paying a visit to the king of the planets, Jupiter, the second brightest planet in September's skies. Indeed, on Saturday night the 13 th an even fatter moon will compete with Jupiter for your attention as sits directly above the largest planet in our solar system. And keep in mind that because our moon is only 2,000 miles wide we could line up 44 of them across Jupiter's middle. Wow! And there's still more because for about 2 1/2 weeks starting Tuesday September 16th we will have the best chance of the entire year to see the elusive first planet out from the Sun, dinky 3,000 mile wide Mercury. Indeed, on September 16th Mercury will be at what we call 'greatest elongation' which simply means that it will be at its farthest distance away from the Sun for this appearance of Mercury; which also means that we'll have a much better chance than usual to see it because Mercury is usually so close to the Sun that it is lost in the Sun's glare and thus invisible from our planet. To find this tiny world any clear morning for about 2 1/2 weeks starting September 16th, look almost due East just before sunrise. You'll see it just above the horizon, but make sure you have a clear, flat horizon unobstructed by trees or buildings and free from layers of clouds. And see for yourself if Mercury deserves its reputation as the pink planet. And if you have a small telescope see if you can determine which phase it is in because it indeed goes through phases just like our Moon as seen from our planet. And in case you wonder what that bright star is just above Mercury, it's the brightest star of Leo the Lion, the blue-white beauty named Regulus. So there you have it, a real planet parade although I didn't even mention Saturn which is also up there but which I'll zero in on in an upcoming episode. Anyway, you've got enough to hold you for now so 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 8/25/97

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 #424-I


1031st Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/8/97 through Sunday 9/14/97

"The Wonderful Week of The Harvest Moon"


Horkheimer: Greetings, Greetings fellow stargazers and I absolutely promise not to sing "Shine On Harvest Moon" this year although this is the week of my favorite moon of any season. Now most of you know something about the Harvest Moon, but I'll just bet that there a lot of you who don't, especially if you've lived in a city all your life. So let's start with the basics. A harvest, according to the dictionary, is simply the act of gathering in a crop, or the harvested crop itself, and at this time of year across the middle latitudes of the North American continent and Europe, many of summer's crops have been or are in the process of being harvested. Now traditionally the Full Moon nearest to the first day of Autumn, which this year is Monday September 22nd, is called the Harvest Moon. In most years this title of Harvest Moon goes to the Full Moon of September, but it can occur as late as October. This year's Harvest Moon is quite early, and occurs officially on Tuesday night September 16th. But for all practical purposes, the Harvest Moon doesn't last for just one night, it really lasts for almost a whole week, about 5 or 6 days, from Sunday night the 14th through Friday the 19th. Now the reason the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is called the Harvest Moon is that it always rises within an hour or so of the same time each night, depending on where you live. In the mid U.S. it rises roughly 30 minutes later each successive night, in Britain about 20 minutes later each night. And before the invention of electric lights this was very important to farmers at harvest time because it meant that they could work late into the night each evening, gathering in their crops by the bright light of this moon. In fact, the Harvest Moon rises just about the time the Sun sets for about 5 nights in a row. Now the astronomical reason for this is that the path of the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox makes a much smaller angle with the horizon than at any other time of the year. Of course, whenever the Moon is close to the horizon we always look at it through thicker and dustier layers of Earth's atmosphere which gives the Moon more color; so the Harvest Moon frequently looks orangeish as it rises. And as astronomer Guy Ottewell says, this coloration plus the Harvest Moon's special tilt may be what first suggested the Hallowe'en Pumpkin. Indeed, as you look at the beautiful Harvest Moon rise several nights this week, see if you don't agree that it looks very much like a Jack-O-Lantern, even though Hallowe'en is still several weeks away. At any rate, even if you don't have any crops to harvest, you can celebrate the Harvest Moon another old-fashioned way, and that is by simply taking in its beauty as it rises with someone special...someone you love. After all astronomy isn't all science. There's a bit of poetry in it too if you simply 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 8/25/97

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 #425-I


1032nd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/15/97 through Sunday 9/2197

"Mercury At Its Best, and : It's Sun-Visor-Equinox-Time-Again"


Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and although I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, I really feel it is my astronomical duty to absolutely almost insist that you get up sometime at dawn, just before the Sun rises at least one clear morning this week or next and go outside so you can tell everybody that you are one of those who who have have actually seen, with the naked eye, the most elusive naked-eye planet of them all, the first planet out from the Sun, dinky 3,000 mile wide Mercury. Because this week and next Mercury is at its greatest elongation from the Sun for the entire year, which simply means that it is at its farthest distance from the Sun, and thus at its best for viewing for the entire year. Just go outside any clear morning the next couple of weeks, look due East and if you have a clear, flat, unobstructed horizon you will see it, shining pinkish and even brighter than the first magnitude star just above it, the bluish star Regulus of Leo the Lion. And if you have a small telescope see if you can determine what phase it looks like to you. Does it look like a slender sliver of a moon; like a First Quarter Moon; a Full Moon or Last Quarter Moon? I'm not gonna tell you which phase, but it indeed does go through phases just like our own Moon. And now, something you can see without any difficulty. In fact, something which could blind you. And that is our closest star, the Sun, on the first day of Autumn which this year is Monday the 22nd. Now the first day of Autumn is officially called the Autumnal Equinox; but just exactly what does that mean? Well, the word 'equinox' comes from two Latin words, 'equi' which means equal, and 'nox', which means night, which simply means that on the day of the Equinox the hours of darkness will be equal to the hours of daylight. This is because this is the day when the Sun on its yearly journey through the heavens crosses an imaginary line in the heavens we call the Celestial Equator, the Celestial Equator simply being an imaginary extension of the Earth's Equator. Now there are two equinoxes, one which marks the first day of Autumn and one which marks the first day of Spring. On both equinoxes we can all experience firsthand what I call the two great Sun Visor Days of the year because on both these days the Sun will rise exactly due East and set exactly due West which means that if you take a due East road or highway to work at sunrise the Sun will rise directly over the yellow line and conversely if you take a due west route home from work the Sun will set directly over the yellow line, which further means that I can safely predict that there will be more sun visors down in automobiles on those two mornings and evenings than any other days of the year. In fact, it wouldn't even hurt to go to work with a pair of shades. Remember, however, to take them off if you're also trying to find the planet Mercury on the way to work which you'll be able to see just before the Sun pops up over the horizon. So Happy Mercury Hunting and Sun-Visor Day and 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 8/25/97

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 #426-I


1033rd Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/22/97 through Sunday 9/28/97

"Why Is Fall Called 'Fall' ? or, The Season of Descent"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and this Monday the 22nd at 7:56 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, Autumn begins all over the Northern Hemisphere. And although we usually think of one day of the year as the beginning of each season, in reality each season begins at a precise moment in time which is determined by where our Sun is located in relation to the stars as seen from our planet. Now we all know that our Earth is a sphere and for the sake of mapping we usually draw an imaginary line around its middle which we call the Equator, which divides our Earth up into two equal halves, the Northern half being called the Northern hemisphere, the Southern half being called the Southern hemisphere. But did you know that when we map the heavens we also imagine the heavens to be a sphere? A celestial sphere!! And that if we extend our Earth's equator out into space we can also divide this celestial sphere into two halves, the Northern Celestial Hemisphere and the Southern Celestial Hemisphere and that the line which divides the two halves is called the Celestial Equator. Well during the course of each year our Sun appears to travel on a path across the sky. For half of the year our Sun travels through the Northern Celestial Hemisphere and the other half of the year it travels through the Southern Celestial Hemisphere. But on 2 days of the year the Sun crosses and lies smack dab on the Celestial Equator and we call those two days the equinoxes, the Vernal, or Spring Equinox and the Autumnal or Fall Equinox. And these equinoxes mark the precise beginning of the seasons we call Spring and Fall. Now when the Sun is on the Celestial Equator in March we know that on the following day it will be slightly north of the Equator and the next day even farther North. Indeed, the Sun will keep climbing higher and higher into the Northern Celestial Hemisphere until the third week of June when it will reach its highest point, which marks the First Day of Summer. Then it will slowly start to descend back down toward the the Celestial Equator and will cross it on the First Day of Autumn which is Monday this week. However, after this Monday, day after day the Sun will descend below the Celestial Equator all the way to the First Day of Winter. So one of the reasons we call Spring 'Spring' is because when the Sun is on the Celestial Equator in March it will spring up above the Celstial Equator in the Northern Celestial Hemisphere and vice versa. When the Sun is on the Celestial Equator on the first day of Fall it will slowly 'fall' down below the Equator day after day into the Southern Celestial Hemisphere. It's as simple as that. The Sun springs up in Spring, above the Celestial Equator and falls down below it in Fall. In fact, another name for the Autumnal Equinox is the 'Descending' Equinox so in addition to calling Autumn Fall, we can also call it the 'season of descent' because of the descending Sun. Whatever, isn't it fun to know why things are called what they are? Think about it 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 8/25/97

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 #427-I


1034th Show

To Be Aired : Monday 9/29/97 through Sunday 10/5/97

"How To Make Contact With Vega"

Horkheimer: Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers, and word has it that for the past couple of months because of the movie "Contact", planetaria and amateur astronomical societies have been besieged by the public wanting to know where to find Vega in the night sky. And although Vega is the brightest star of the Summer Triangle, nevertheless, it is still high up in the sky and easily visible during early Autumn in early evening hours. Let me show you. O.K., We've got our skies set up for this week and next about 8 to 9 pm your local daylight savings time. And if you go outside and look just west of overhead you will see three brilliant stars which form an exquisite triangle the brightest of which and the one farthest to the west is Vega, the brightest star of the tiny constellation called Lyra the Harp. Now in Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan's movie, "Contact", Vega is the principle celestial player in a wonderful story of science fiction. But what do we know about Vega according to science fact? Well for one thing, it is a much, much larger star than our own Sun - almost two and a half times its diameter. Thus since our Sun is not quite one million miles wide Vega is well over two million miles wide. And Vega is a much different kind of star than our Sun. For one thing it is much, much younger, and burns much, much hotter. Indeed while our yellow Sun has a surface temperature of 9800° F, Vega burns a fierce blue-white 18,500° F hot. And if we could place Vega side by side with our Sun, it would appear 50 times brighter. Now since Vega is 26 light years away, when we look at it this week we are seeing it not as it exists now but as it actually existed 26 years ago. Which also means that theoretically if we could travel as fast as the speed of light it would take us 26 years to reach Vega. However since that isn't going to happen any time soon, for sure, we can just sit back and wait for Vega to reach us. You see Vega and our Earth are approaching each other at the incredible speed of 9 miles per second which means that we get 32,000 miles closer to Vega every hour. So, when will we mutually arrive and make 'contact', so to speak? Well, don't get ready to visit any Vegan souvenir stores soon because even at the incredible speed of 32,000 miles per hour, we won't reach Vega for another 450,000 years. So, get thee outside some night this week and next to see the wonderful star which has thrilled millions of humans for thousands of years which right now is all the rage because of a wonderful book and film. And for those of you who have a bent for philosophy, see if you notice any resemblance to what happens to the heroine at the end of 'Contact' to what happened to a famous scientist a long time ago. I'm sure a lot of you have already put it together. If so, we'd love to hear from you at 'Star Hustler' . At any rate, remember that the cosmos will always be much brighter because of a brilliant man who walked among us - Carl Sagan - who indeed made it even more wonderful for us 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.



 

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