WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #12-44 "Cassiopeia, You're So Vain!"
Air Dates October 29 - November 4, 2012



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

DEAN:  And I'm Dean Regas, and we're here to help you be sure you know what you're seeing in the night sky when you…

ALL:  Look up!

JAMES:  It's that time of year again, when our old friend the Big Dipper gives up its role as an easy, early-evening indicator of north, because if you happen to live toward the south, the Big Dipper is barely visible above the northern horizon in early evening.

DEAN:  But fear not my friends! The Big Dipper's position high above the North Star is replaced by a fascinating ancient constellation, Cassiopeia the queen; and she has quite a story. Let's show you!

(STOP & DROP)

DEAN:  OK, if you go out any night around 9 p.m. you'll see the five bright stars of Cassiopeia which, if we connect with imaginary lines, trace out the letter 'M'. But, you might well ask, how could anyone imagine seeing a queen in this simple 'm' shape?

JAMES:  Well, around two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks had no problem identifying this modern 'M' as the queen named Cassiopeia. And if we speed up time a few hours, to about 6 a.m., you can understand how our ancestors imagined a queen here. What they saw was a queen, sitting majestically on her throne. and if we use one extra star in this constellation and draw lines between it and the middle star of the 'M' we have the seat of a throne. The two stars above it make up the back of the throne and two additional lines make up the legs of the throne. And all you have to do is imagine someone like a great queen sitting in it.

DEAN:  But as everyone knows, because our earth turns on its axis every 24 hours the stars change their positions in the sky, circling endlessly around the North Star. And at 6 a.m. any morning this week, queen Cassiopeia sits upright and very nicely on her throne. But as the hours go by she slowly wheels around the North Star even as the earth turns during the day, so that by evening time, once again Cassiopeia would have to be wearing an extra strong seatbelt to keep her from falling off her queenly throne.

JAMES:  But why, you might ask, would our ancestors want to see a favorite queen of theirs, who was said to be the most beautiful woman of her time, in such a precarious position? Well, it is precisely because of this ever changing position of Cassiopeia's throne that she was placed in the sky in the first place. You see, Cassiopeia was placed in the heavens as on object lesson against personal vanity.

(STOP AND DROP)

DEAN:  20 centuries ago, the story was told that Cassiopeia was not only extremely beautiful, but extremely vain and that one day she made the dreadful mistake of boasting that she was even more beautiful than the Nereids, the sea nymphs, who were considered to be the hottest stuff of their time. Well, they complained to their father, Poseidon, the god of the sea, and it is said that among the punishments he rendered the royal family, he condemned queen Cassiopeia to ride endlessly around the North Star on her throne; sometimes comfortably right side up and then later on, uncomfortably upside-down, where she'd have to hang on for dear life.

JAMES:  This precarious position was designed as a punishment for Cassiopeia. And ever since, mere mortals have known that physical beauty always comes with a price. Something that Dean and I know all too well, right Dean?  Now of course, we wouldn't want Cassiopeia to think this show was all about her, so… let's see what the planets are doing this week.

(STOP AND DROP)

JAMES:  OK, we have our skies set up for just before sunrise  next week, and if  you look a third of the way up you'll see the dazzling planet Venus in the constellation Virgo. About 8 degrees below Venus you'l see the star Spica. And as the week passes, the moon will get closer and closer to Venus and if you go out on the morning of November 11th, you'll see the moon and Venus cozy up to one another..

DEAN: And while you're watching the moon and Venus , you can find the giant planet Jupiter high in the sky almost due south in the constellation of Taurus the bull., so get outside and do some star gazing this week.

JAMES:  And whatever you do, remember to…

ALL:  Keep looking up!

 

Episode #12-44 "Cassiopeia, You're So Vain!"
Air Dates October 29 - November 4, 2012



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: It's that time of year again, when the Big Dipper gives up its role as an easy, early-evening indicator of north.

DEAN: But fear not my friends! The Big Dipper's position high above the North Star is replaced by Cassiopeia the Queen. Let's show you!

(STOP & DROP)

DEAN: OK., if you go out any night this week around 9 p.m. you'll see the 5 bright stars of Cassiopeia which, if we connect with imaginary lines,  trace out the letter 'M'.

JAMES: And if we speed up time a few hours, you can see the queen, sitting majestically on her throne, as she cruises around the North Star.

DEAN: For you planet watchers, we have a treat for you as well. Just before sunrise on the morning of November 11th, an extremely thin crescent moon will have a close encounter with the planet Venus.

JAMES: You can also find the giant planet Jupiter high in the southwestern sky, and the ringed planet Saturn low in the eastern sky.

BOTH: Keep looking up!

 

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