WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #12-12 "Spring And A Crescent Moon"
Air Dates March 19 - March 25, 2012



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: Hey there Star Gazers.† Iím Dean Regas, astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory.

JAMES: welcome to star gazers. Iím James Albury,

DEAN: and Iím Dean Regas,

MARLENE: and Iím Marlene Hidalgo

DEAN: Weíre here to help you be sure you know what youíre seeing in the night sky when you...

ALL: Look up.†

STOP AND DROP

DEAN: This Monday, March 26th, be sure to catch a gorgeous crescent moon paying a visit to the brightest planet in the night sky.

JAMES: Watch the sun set this coming Monday night and as the sky darkens look for a 4-day old slender crescent moon. It will appear well before it gets dark. And about two finger widths off to its right youíll see a bright spot of light in the gathering twilight.

DEAN: Thatís the planet Venus and it will show up well ahead of any other stars. Now some people might call this the evening star and might even make a wish upon it but star it is not. Itís a planet and shines by reflecting sunlight. And if you hold the top of your extended fist on Venus below your fist is another bright planet, the biggest of all the planets Jupiter.

MARLENE: Happy spring of the leaf and happy spring of the year! Because this Tuesday, March 20th, is official spring of the leaf day and spring of the year day. Know what I'm talking about? Well, they're both related to the vernal equinox which occurs Tuesday, March 20th, at 1:14 a.m. eastern daylight time or your local equivalent, which is more commonly known as the very first moment of spring. But have you ever wondered why we call spring, spring? Well, that word spring is simply short for the phrases spring of the leaf and spring of the year. Now spring of the leaf is pretty obvious because at this time of the year leaves literally do spring up out of branches and grass springs up out of the ground and that's why we call spring, spring. But what does spring of the year mean? Well, believe it or not, before 1752 in England and America, the new year officially began when spring began on March 25th. Or to put it quite simply the new year sprang up at the same time the leaves and grass did. In fact, when George Washington and Ben Franklin were young fellows, they and all the other American colonists wished each other happy new year and happy spring on the same day on March 25th until English parliament declared that beginning in 1752 the new year would no longer begin in March but would be celebrated on January 1st, a tradition begun by the Romans in 153 B.C.. most of the rest of Europe had made this change in the early 1500ís. This was a calendar change for political reasons, not having anything to do with nature.

JAMES: So letís not forget, the first day of spring is strictly speaking an astronomical event, which celebrates one of the two days when our sun is smack dab on the celestial equator, the other day being the first day of autumn. When this happens in September we call it the autumnal equinox and when it happens in March we call it the vernal equinox. And these are the only two days of the year when the sun rises exactly due east and sets due west.

MARLENE: Now although most people today don't keep track of the sun and its movements throughout the seasons like our ancestors did, nevertheless it's a lot of fun to watch the sun change its place on the horizon every day from equinox to equinox. In fact, starting this week, if you make note of where the sun rises and sets on the horizon each day using landmarks like trees or buildings for guides you will notice that the sun will rise just a little bit farther north of east each successive day and will set a little bit farther north of west each successive day and that it will continue moving northward week after week until June 20th the first day of summer, the day of the summer solstice when it will rise its farthest north of east and set its farthest north of west after which it will start to move southward week after week until once again it will rise due east and set due west on the autumnal equinox, the first day of autumn in September. So happy spring of the leaf and happy old fashioned new year!

ALL: keep looking up!

 

Episode #12-12 "Spring And A Crescent Moon"
Air Dates March 19 - March 25, 2012



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: Watch the sun set this coming Monday night and look above it for a slender crescent moon.† And off to its right youíll see a bright spot of light.

DEAN: Thatís the planet Venus. If you hold the top of your extended fist on Venus below your fist is another bright planet, the biggest of all the planets Jupiter.
marlene: †Tuesday March 20 spring officially began. But the first day of spring is an astronomical event, which celebrates one of the two days each year when our sun is smack dab on the celestial equator, the other day being the first day of autumn. When this happens in September we call it the autumnal equinox and when it happens in March we call it the vernal equinox. But do you know why we call spring, spring? Well spring is simply short for the phrase, "spring of the leaf." Spring of the leaf is obvious because leaves do literally spring up out of branches at this time. So happy spring and

ALL: Keep looking up!

 

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