WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #12-16 "Astronomy Day Promises Plenty Of Planets"
Air Dates April 16 - April 22, 2012



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: Welcome to Star Gazers. I'm James Albury, director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville, Florida. 

DEAN: And I'm Dean Regas, outreach astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory.  Were both here to help you be sure you know what you're seeing in the night sky when you...

BOTH: Look up. 

JAMES: Let me remind you that Saturday April 28 is National Astronomy Day all across the U.S., which means that planetariums, science centers and astronomy clubs will be hosting all sorts of stargazing events for amateurs, including fascinating shows, lectures, demonstrations, telescope observing of the sun in the day time and the stars and planets at night

DEAN :  And again this year Astronomy magazine and Celestron will provide all sorts of door prizes including a Celestron telescope. Go to our website stargazersonline.org for more info and a listing of astronomy clubs near you. And now let's show you some fascinating things you'll be able to see right after sundown.

STOP AND DROP

DEAN: We'll start by looking west Monday the 23rd just after sunset. Be sure to get out right at sunset because a very skinny young moon will be about 15 degrees above giant Jupiter. Next week will probably be your last chance to see Jupiter in the evening sky until next fall. Look each night just after sunset and notice which night you can no longer see Jupiter. This will also be a great chance to watch how far the moon moves in the sky each night.

JAMES: Monday night the moon will be just to the left of the Pleiades and almost exactly half way between Jupiter and the even brighter planet Venus above it.

DEAN: The next night Tuesday, Jupiter will be a bit lower and the moon will be a lot higher. Then Wednesday the moon will be higher again and Jupiter even lower. Can you still see it?

JAMES: Let's put the moon back in for each of the three nights and see what we get. You can easily see that the moon moves about the same distance across the sky from night to night. The average is about 13 degrees. If you watch carefully, you can see that the moon actually moves its own diameter against the background of stars in about an hour.

DEAN: Next month on May 20th, there will be a great opportunity to see this hourly movement of our moon across the sky as the moon will actually pass across the face of the sun in an annular, or ring, solar eclipse.

JAMES: And once again all you east coast folks are out of luck as this annular solar eclipse won’t be seen much beyond Lubbock Texas. So go to our stargazersonline.org website for more info and make your plans now to travel out west to see this wonder of nature. Your next chance to see a good solar eclipse in the U.S. won't be until August of 2017.

DEAN: Now Jupiter and Venus are not the whole planet story next week. The ringed planet Saturn is at its best for viewing for the entire year. Saturn was just at opposition, which means it's closer, bigger and brighter than usual. Now Saturn is small enough that you need to look through a good telescope to see it well. And, guess what? Astronomy Day is coming up Saturday, April 28th and some of the best telescopes along with some of the best telescope people are going to be very happy to help you get a great view of the ringed planet.

JAMES: Astronomy magazine and Celestron telescopes will be sponsoring Astronomy Day events at science museums, planetariums and astronomy clubs all over the country. Go to our stargazersonline.org website for more info.

DEAN: But Venus, Jupiter and Saturn aren't alone in the night sky. The planet Mars was at its closest to earth in early March, and Mars is still closer and brighter than it usually is.  Mars will be high in the south in the early evening next week. Mars will be a bright ruddy gold spot of light. Yeah, I know Mars is called the Red Planet, but a bright ruddy gold color is what it really is.

JAMES:  To Mars' right you'll see a bright blue star named Regulus in the constellation Leo the Lion. Mars has been going backward in the sky since late January. On April 15, it stopped close to Regulus and is now going forward in the sky and over the next month Mars will double its distance from Regulus and give you a rare chance to see planetary motion with just your unaided eye.  Mars was here on April 15, and this is what you’ll see on May 15.

DEAN: So Astronomy Day April 28th promises to have an abundance of planets, and make plans now to see the solar eclipse on May 20th.

BOTH: Keep looking up!

 

Episode #12-16 "Astronomy Day Promises Plenty Of Planets"
Air Dates April 16 - April 22, 2012



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: Get out your calendars, because we're going to prepare you for one of the rarest celestial events.

JAMES: Let me remind you that Saturday April 28 is National Astronomy Day all across the U.S. go to our website stargazersonline.org for more info.

DEAN: Now let's show you some fascinating things you'll be able to see right after sundown.

STOP AND DROP

DEAN: Look west Monday the 23rd just after sunset. A skinny young moon will be just to the left of the Pleiades and almost exactly half way between Jupiter and the even brighter planet Venus above it.

JAMES: The next night Tuesday, Jupiter will be a bit lower and the moon will be a lot higher. Then Wednesday the moon will be higher again and Jupiter even lower.

DEAN: The planet Mars will be a bright ruddy gold spot of light high in the south in the early evening next week.

JAMES: And Saturn will be in the eastern sky and absolutely gorgeous through a good telescope.

DEAN: So Astronomy Day, April 28th promises to have an abundance of planets for your viewing pleasure.

BOTH: Keep looking up!

 

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