WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #12-45 "Two Frogs Hopping"
Air Dates November 5 - November 11, 2012



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

DEAN: And I'm Dean Regas, astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory. Hey James: I'm really excited to see the planet Jupiter return to the night sky.

JAMES: I know, plus for you morning Star Gazers, the planet Venus will be making a special rendezvous with the star Spica next week.

DEAN: And we have two frogs in the sky!

JAMES: What?  Frogs?

DEAN: Let's show you!

(STOP DROP) 

DEAN: Okay, we're in the pre-dawn skies facing east-southeast on Saturday November 10th.  There's the waning crescent moon and stunning Venus.  Now we want to watch how things move from morning to morning and our reference point will be something really, really far away.  The blue star Spica will be perfect since its 260 light years away and will only move with the background stars day to day.

JAMES: Now let's fast forward one day to the morning of Sunday November 11th.  The moon has shifted closer to Venus and Venus has shifted a little closer to Spica.  Then, check this out; here is the sky, same time on November 12th.  The moon is now below the horizon and moving toward its new phase.  And here is the 13th… the 14th… the 15th…and the 16th… 

DEAN: This wandering, along with its dazzling beauty made Venus an object of awe and wonder.  It led ancient peoples to dream of explanations for this movement and create models of the entire universe.

JAMES: On November 17th, Venus will appear closest to Spica.  And then every day after that will start wandering away.  Here is the 18th… the 19th…and the 20th…

(STOP)

DEAN: Now let's shift to the evening sky and find the giant planet Jupiter.  We're facing east at 8 p.m. and there it is, the brightest star-like object in the evening sky.  To the naked eye, Jupiter looks like a bright, cream-colored torch that barely flickers.  This month it's hanging out with the bull - Taurus the bull that is.  You can see the orange, bull's eye star Aldebaran just to the right of Jupiter.

JAMES: With a pair of binoculars you can make out the four largest moons as little dots to the left or right of the planet.  And through a telescope, that's where Jupiter comes alive!  You can see the horizontal cloud bands running parallel with the four moons - Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.  And maybe, just maybe, if you have a steady night and a big enough telescope, you can spy the great red spot.

DEAN: Jupiter is huge.  Side by side, it would dwarf the earth with a diameter of 88,000 miles - -11 times our width.  The great red spot, by itself, is larger than our entire planet.  2 ½ earths could fit inside of that red cyclonic storm.

JAMES: we'll be seeing Jupiter in the night sky for months to come.  It will be closest to earth around December 3 but from now until spring, Jupiter can be your bright night light.

(STOP)

JAMES: So Dean, tell me about these frogs.

DEAN: Okay, there are no official frog constellations, but the Arabic astronomers had froggy nicknames for two stars you can see in the southern sky.  We now have our sky set to 9 p.m. this week facing south.  There you'll see the bright, first-magnitude, and fun-to-pronounce star, Fomalhaut.  Officially, Fomalhaut is the brightest star in the cute constellation Piscis Australis, the southern fish. 

JAMES: Aww, it looks a little like a goldfish to me.

DEAN:  But the Arabic nickname for this star was the first frog.  The second frog would be the star to the left, or east, of Fomalhaut, the star called Deneb Kaitos. 

JAMES: Officially, Deneb Kaitos is the tail star of the not-so-cute constellation Cetus the sea monster. 

DEAN: But unofficially, this was the second frog that rises after Fomalhaut and trails behind the brighter star as they complete their nightly journey.  When we set the earth in motion, the stars seem to move from east to west.  Look at them hop across the sky! 

(CUE DAILY MOTION OF THE STARS)   

DEAN: So every morning, look for stunning Venus wandering closer to the blue star Spica in the eastern sky.

JAMES: Then at night, herald the return of the king - Jupiter shining in the evening almost as brightly as Venus in the morning.

DEAN: And finally, find the two frog-stars low in the south, Fomalhaut and Deneb Kaitos.

BOTH: Keep looking up!

 

Episode #12-45 "Two Frogs Hopping"
Air Dates November 5 - November 11, 2012



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: Jupiter's back in the evening sky, and Venus shines on in the morning.

DEAN: And we have two frogs in the sky!

JAMES: What? Frogs?

(STOP DROP)

JAMES: In the pre-dawn skies facing east you'll find stunning Venus near the star Spica.

DEAN: Let's fast forward day by day and watch Venus shift closer and closer to Spica until on November 17 when they're less than four degrees apart.

(STOP)

JAMES: In the evening sky you'll find giant Jupiter. We're facing east at 8 p.m. and there it is, the brightest star-like object in the evening sky. This month it's hanging out with the bull - Taurus the bull that is. You can see Aldebaran just to the right of Jupiter.

(STOP)

DEAN: There are no official frog constellations, but the Arabic astronomers had froggy nicknames for two stars in the southern sky. Fomalhaut is the first frog with dimmer Deneb Kaitos trailing behind as the second frog. As the night goes on you can watch them hop.

BOTH: Keep looking up!

 

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