WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #12-20 "Venus And Four Bright Stars In The Evening Sky"
Air Dates May 14 - May 20, 2012



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: Welcome to Star Gazers. I'm James Albury,

DEAN:† And I'm Dean Regas,

MARLENE:† And I'm Marlene Hidalgo

DEAN: We're here to help you be sure you know what you're seeing in the night sky when you... Look up. †

MARLENE: Next week we will see the moon making a close pass by Venus in the evening sky

DEAN: Yeah, just two days after it did a hit-and-run over the sun.

JAMES: Oh, you mean the solar eclipse on Sunday May 20th? The moon sure does get around, doesnít it? Letís show you.

STOP AND DROP

MARLENE: Look low in the west about 45 minutes after sunset Tuesday night and you'll see a gorgeous slender sliver of a two-day old moon just to the left of brilliant Venus.

JAMES: Try not to miss this last great evening moon-Venus scootchie. There will be no more of them until about this time next year. The moon will climb higher and get fatter each night all next week as it heads closer to the red-gold planet Mars. The first quarter moon will be just below Mars on May 28th.

DEAN: Mars is worth getting to know better because it'll be visible in the western sky at sunset all summer long, while Venus won't. Venus will drop lower each night as it gets closer to us. And remember that Venus will soon cross the face of the sun on June 5th for the U.S. - this transit of Venus is a very rare celestial event that has been seen only 6 times before. And after this one, there won't be any more until 2117. So don't wait until next time.

MARLENE: †If you have a small telescope, get it out and take a look at Venus in the evening sky. Venus is super bright so you should be able to find it easily. Venus will look just like a thin crescent moon and for the exact same reason. Most of the daytime, sunlit portion of Venus will be facing away from us here on the earth, just the same as when we see a thin crescent moon; most of its sunlit side is facing away from us. Remember that when we see the moon or any of the planets we are really seeing reflected light from the sun.

STOP

DEAN: Let's take a look at four of the bright stars in this part of the evening sky. We'll mark them c, c and p, p. Now most of us live in brightly lit cities so we don't get to see most of the faint stars but the bright stars still show up even in our light polluted skies. The c star to the right is the brightest of the four and is named Capella in the constellation Auriga.

MARLENE: Capella is the same temperature and color as our sun but is about 14 times as wide. Capella is the farthest of the four at about 42 light years away.

JAMES: The next brightest is the p star at the left. Procyon is in Orion's Little Dog.

DEAN: Maybe the p is for pooch?

MARLENE: Procyon is a bit hotter than the sun and about Twice as big. Procyon is the closest of the four, only 11 light years away.

DEAN: Look above Procyon for Mars and you'll see they are the same brightness. Mars will dim rapidly though and in a month will be only half as bright as it is now. The next in brightness is another p star, -- Pollux in the Gemini twins is less than half as bright as Capella but still puts on a good show in the evening sky.

MARLENE: Pollux is about the same temperature as the sun but is ten times bigger and its light takes three times as long as the light from Procyon, 34 years, to get here.

JAMES: The dimmest of the four and our final c star is ironically the hottest of the four but Castor is also the most distant at 52 light years away.

MARLENE: Castor is a multiple star system and has at least 6 stars making up what you see as the single starry point of Castor.

STOP

DEAN: †So let's see what the two c's and the two p's are again; from brightest to dimmest: Capella, Procyon, Pollux and Castor.

JAMES: And be sure to catch the skinny crescent moon close to Venus just after sunset on Tuesday the 22nd.

MARLENE: And if you can't see the solar eclipse on May 20th in person, be sure to go to stargazersonline.org to see a webcast or a rerun if you missed it.

THREE: Keep looking up!

 

Episode #12-20 "Venus And Four Bright Stars In The Evening Sky"
Air Dates May 14 - May 20, 2012



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
MARLENE: Next week on the 22nd we'll see the moon make a close pass by Venus in the evening sky

DEAN: Yeah, just two days after it eclipses the sun on Sunday May 20th. Let's show you.

STOP AND DROP

MARLENE: Look low in the west after sunset Tuesday night and you'll see a slender moon just to the left of brilliant Venus. It won't happen again until this time next year.

DEAN: There are four bright stars above the moon and Venus. The star to the right is named Capella in the constellation Auriga.

MARLENE: The next brightest is the star to the left, Procyon in Orionís little dog.

DEAN: The next in brightness is Pollux in Femini. And the dimmest of the four is Castor, the other Gemini twin.

MARLENE: And if you can't see the solar eclipse on May 20th in person, be sure to go to stargazersonline.org to see a webcast or a rerun if you missed it.

BOTH: Keep looking up!

 

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