WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #12-24 "Join Us In Our Annual Day Star Day Celebration"
Air Dates June 11 - June 17, 2012

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 every year on the summer solstice we ask you to experience a great star rise over our earth's horizon. A star so huge we could fit over one and a quarter million earths inside it.

JAMES: It sounds simple enough but few people ever pay close enough attention to ever really experience the rising of the only star we can see in the day time, the star we call our sun, a star I like to call our Day Star.

DEAN: This year we're suggesting that you celebrate "Day Star Day" on the day of the summer solstice, which is Wednesday June 20th. But if thatís not convenient, doing your day star watch a few days before or after wonít make much difference. Just be sure you do it.

JAMES: Now Iíll bet that some of you are thinking that were talking about a sunrise and that you've seen thousands of them. But believe it or not, although you may think youíve seen thousands of sunrises very few people have ever taken the time to completely experience what's happening all around them as the sun rises because sunrise involves a complex series of steps as night slowly turns into dawn and finally into day.

DEAN: And believe me, if you follow our simple instructions you'll be amazed at what you've missed because you'll experience one of the grandest events in nature which most people ignore.


DEAN: To participate, here's all you have to do. Simply get up fifteen minutes before twilight begins while it is still dark out on the day you've chosen and whether you live in the heart of a city or out in the country -- makes no difference because it's not the sun itself you're going to observe but the effects of sunrise on everything around you as your part of the world slowly turns from night into day.

JAMES: It is better to be outside but if not, just sit by an open window. Now for the rules, which are absolutely essential: no radio, no television, no doing your normal wake up routine. All distractions must be eliminated. Simply sit quietly inside or outside and when you see the sky slowly start to brighten look, listen and feel what happens all around you because a sunrise is more than visual. Watch the delicate interplay of light, color and shadow, but also listen and you will hear the sounds of our world and its creatures waking up. You'll feel the wind change, the temperature change and much, much more.


DEAN: when you get out before dawn next week you'll surely notice two bright lights low on the eastern horizon. The upper one is the biggest planet in the solar system, Jupiter. The brighter of the two, Venus, is about seven degrees lower. They will continue to get higher each morning and closer together over the next few weeks.†

JAMES: Just above Jupiter you'll spot a familiar little group of stars. It wasn't that long ago that we were enjoying them in the evening sky. Remember what they're called? That's right, the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. On the morning of July 15th they'll be joined by a thin crescent moon giving us one of the most spectacular planet-moon scootchies of the summer. We're giving a month of advance warning so be sure to get up in time to see it.

DEAN: Another thing to look for while you're waiting for the sun to rise is the Big Dipper. Look north and you'll see the Dipper low on the horizon at the bottom of its path around the North Star. This will only work for those of you who live far enough north. James and the other folks in Florida are just out of luck.


JAMES: Keep track of all the subtle changes you notice and record your observations on paper or into a voice recorder. Then read or listen to your observations a few days later. Believe me, if you've never done this before you'll be absolutely amazed at what a star rise over a small planet can do for you.

DEAN: Of course remember to never look directly at the sun at any time, as you can do permanent eye damage before you feel any real pain. Only observe the effects of the sunrise on the world around you. I truly think that many of you will gain a whole different perspective of your place on this planet and our planet's place in the universe, a perspective that you may find life altering. Happy "Day Star Day", my friends, and

BOTH Keep looking up!


Episode #12-24 "Join Us In Our Annual Day Star Day Celebration"
Air Dates June 11 - June 17, 2012

DEAN: On this year's summer solstice, Wednesday june 20th, we invite you to celebrate the rising of our local star, the sun, because most people have never really experienced a sunrise.


JAMES: Get up before twilight begins to observe not the sun itself but the incredible effects of a sunrise on everything all around you. Sit quietly and tune in with all your senses. The bright planets Venus and Jupiter will be in the eastern sky before dawn so you'll have something to watch as you wait.

DEAN: Listen to the different sounds of nature as our earth wakes up. Feel the wind and temperature change and watch the delicate interplay of light, color and shadow. We call our sun our 'Day Star' because it is the only star we can see in the daytime and if you've never paid really close attention to a sunrise you'll be amazed at what you've missed.

JAMES: So celebrate Day Star Day with us Wednesday June 20th.

BOTH: Keep looking up!


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