WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #12-35 "Viva Las Vega"
Air Dates August 27 - September 2, 2012



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: Welcome to Star Gazers. Iím James Albury.

MARLENE: And Iím Marlene Hidalgo.

DEAN: And Iím Dean Regas, and weíre here to help you be sure you know what youíre seeing in the night sky when youÖ

ALL: Look up!

JAMES: Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what direction we're headed? I mean, all the stars are flying through space at different speeds.

DEAN: Yes, and since our sun is a star too, itís also flying through space. So, what direction are we headed?

MARLENE: Well, believe it or not, we know, and we'd like to show you.

(STOP & DROP)

MARLENE: OK, we've set up our skies for any clear night next week, just after sunset, and if you look almost overhead you will see a very bright star near the zenith. That bright star is the fifth brightest star we can see from earth and its name is Vega.

DEAN: Vega is the brightest of the three bright stars that make up the summer triangle and itís the star farthest to the west; the next brightest star is Altair in Aquila the Eagle and the third brightest, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan.

JAMES: Ah, but the one that really grabs your attention is Vega, because it glistens with a sharp, crisp, blue- white light. In fact itís so bright and obvious, that when it's overhead, it has been called the arc light of summer nights.

MARLENE: And its blue-white color tells us that it is much hotter than our own yellow-orange sun. In fact, compared to our sun's temperature of 10 thousand degrees Fahrenheit, Vega blazes away at a fierce 17 thousand degrees Fahrenheit!

DEAN: And Vega is considerably larger, for while our sun is a little under a million miles wide, Vega is almost Three million miles in diameter, which makes it easy to understand that if we could place our sun and Vega side by side, Vega would shine 58 times brighter than the sun.

(STOP & DROP)

JAMES: Now although Vega is far away from Polaris, the north star of our time, Vega actually was the north star 14 thousand years ago, due to a wobbling motion our earth makes that we call precession.

MARLENE: Precession causes our earthís rotational axis to trace out a cone in the night sky, and this motion regularly causes our earth's axis to point in the direction of Vega. However, itís a motion thatís so slow, you wouldnít notice it in your lifetime; only 1 degree of movement every 72 years. Ancient civilizations noticed the effects of precession because their observations of the night sky spanned hundreds of years. So, if you lived long enough, youíd notice that Vega would become our north star once every 26 thousand years.

DEAN: So, 12 thousand years from now, Vega, which was the north star of our cave man ancestors, will once again be the north star of our descendants. By now you've probably guessed that Vega is the bright star in whose direction our sun and all its planets, are headed.

JAMES: Indeed, our sun and earth are racing at the incredible speed of 12 miles per second towards Vega, and even though Vega is only 25 light years away, at this speed it would still take our sun almost 500 million years to reach Vega.

MARLENE: Alright, letís see what the planets are doing this week.

(STOP & DROP)

MARLENE: OK, we have our skies set for just after sunset any night next week, and if you look low on the western horizon youíll see a nice grouping of the star Spica with two of our favorite planets, mars and Saturn.

DEAN: Mars is the reddish light on the left and Saturn is the tan colored light on the right. These two planets form a nice right triangle with the star Spica and over the next few nights, watch Mars as it gradually moves away from Saturn, causing the triangle to get longer and longer.

JAMES: And, for those of you who like to do your star gazing before sunrise, we have some nice planets to show you. Remember the winter football we talked about back in January? Well, itís back! But this time it has two bright planets running interference.

MARLENE: The giant planet Jupiter will be just to the left of Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the bull. At the bottom of the winter football, near the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, youíll see our sister planet, Venus.

DEAN: So, any night next week, go out after sunset and look almost overhead and imagine that our earth and all of us on it are zooming through space toward the bright star, Vega.

MARLENE: And make sure you check out mars and Saturn at sunsetÖ

JAMES: And the return of the winter football with Venus and Jupiter in the morning.

ALL: Keep looking up!

 

 

Episode #12-35 "Viva Las Vega"
Air Dates August 27 - September 2, 2012



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what direction we're headed?

DEAN: Our sun is flying through space with all the other stars, but where are we going? Well, believe it or not, we know, and we'd like to show you.

(STOP & DROP)

JAMES: OK, we've set up our skies for just after sunset next week and if you look almost straight overhead you will see the bright star Vega.

DEAN: Absolutely, and itís the brightest of the three bright stars that make up the summer triangle. Our sun and earth are racing at the incredible speed of 12 miles per second towards Vega, and even though Vega is only 25 light years away, at this speed it would still take our sun almost 500 million years to reach Vega.

JAMES: Now, if you want to do some planet watching, check out mars and Saturn right after sunset, and Jupiter and Venus in the winter football just before sunrise

BOTH: Keep looking up!

 

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