WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-13 "Twin Stars Hang Out With The Two Largest Planets"
Air Dates April 1, 2013 - April 7, 2013



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: HEY THERE STAR GAZERS. I'M DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FOR THE CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY.

JAMES: AND I'M JAMES ALBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE KIKA SILVA PLA PLANETARIUM IN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. FELLOW STAR GAZER, MARLENE HIDALGO, WILL JOIN US TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE SKY THIS WEEK.

DEAN: WE'VE BEEN WATCHING JUPITER ALL YEAR BLAZING AWAY IN THE EVENING SKY.

JAMES: NOW ANOTHER GAS GIANT PLANET IS COMING INTO VIEW EARLIER EACH NIGHT.

DEAN: IT'S SATURN, AND WE'LL GIVE YOU A PREVIEW OF WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE RINGED PLANET.

JAMES: PLUS, SINCE WE HAVE TWIN PLANETS, WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE TWIN CONSTELLATION -GEMINI.

DEAN: LET'S SHOW YOU.

DEAN: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKY SET UP FOR 10PM THIS WEEK FACING WEST. ORION THE HUNTER WITH HIS SNAZZY BELT OF THREE STARS IS LOWER IN THE SKY.

JAMES: UP ABOVE HIM IS THE CONSTELLATION OF THE GEMINI TWINS. SOMETIMES THEY'RE HARD TO PICTURE AND YOU CAN OUTLINE THE STARS A FEW WAYS. THE CLASSICAL OUTLINE MAKES THEM LOOK LIKE A TREE STUMP.

DEAN: BUT I REALLY LIKE THE WAY H.A. REY OUTLINED THE GEMINI TWINS IN HIS BOOK CALLED "THE STARS". THEIR TWO HEADS ARE MARKED BY THE TWO BRIGHT STARS CASTOR AND POLLUX. THEIR LEGS POINT DOWN TOWARD THE HORIZON AND THEY'RE STANDING ARM IN ARM.

JAMES: IT LOOKS LIKE THEY'RE STANDING ON ORION'S CLUB!

DEAN: I KNOW!

MARLENE: IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY, ONE OF THE GEMINI TWINS, CASTOR WAS MORTAL . AND THE OTHER GEMINI TWIN, POLLUX,  WAS THE IMMORTAL SON OF ZEUS. IT'S A VERY COMPLICATED FAMILY TREE.

DEAN: WHEN YOU LOOK AT THEIR HEAD-STARS CLOSELY, YOU'LL NOTICE THEY AREN'T IDENTICAL TWINS. POLLUX, ON THE LEFT, IS SLIGHTLY BRIGHTER AND ORANGER THAN THE STAR CASTOR.

MARLENE: POLLUX IS A GIANT STAR 9 TIMES THE DIAMETER OF OUR SUN. IT'S RELATIVELY CLOSE TO US AT ONLY 34 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. THE ORANGE COLOR TELLS US IT'S SLIGHTLY COOLER THAN OUR SUN.

DEAN: CASTOR TURNS OUT TO BE SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL. LONG AGO ASTRONOMERS DISCOVERED THAT CASTOR WAS REALLY TWO STARS ORBITING EACH OTHER - EACH STAR ABOUT TWICE THE SIZE OF OUR SUN.

MARLENE: BUT THEN WE DISCOVERED THAT EACH OF THOSE STARS HAS TINY DWARF STARS ORBITING THEM. MAKING THIS A QUADRUPLE SYSTEM.

DEAN: AND THEN WE FOUND ANOTHER PAIR OF DWARF STARS ORBITING THE ENTIRE SYSTEM - MAKING THIS A SIX STAR SYSTEM.

MARLENE: THAT'S RIGHT, WHEN YOU LOOK AT CASTOR YOU'RE REALLY SEEING THE COMBINED LIGHT OF SIX STARS! IF YOU LIVED ON A PLANET AROUND CASTOR YOU MIGHT NEVER EVER SEE A SUNSET!

JAMES: OKAY WE'RE BACK LOOKING AT THE WESTERN HORIZON ON THE NIGHT OF APRIL 12. THERE'S A SLIM CRESCENT MOON JUST ABOVE THE HORIZON AND BRIGHT JUPITER HIGHER UP. LET'S CHECK OUT THE SKY THE NEXT TWO NIGHTS, SAME TIME. SO HERE'S APRIL 13TH… AND APRIL 14…

DEAN: BY JOVE! THE MOON WILL BE HAVING A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH JUPITER THAT NIGHT. THEY'LL BE A LITTLE UNDER 4 DEGREES APART SO IF YOU HOLD OUT TWO FINGERS AT ARM'S LENGTH, THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO FIT IN BETWEEN THE TWO. TRY IT OUT.

JAMES: NEXT WEEK THE MOON WILL CONTINUE MOVING AWAY FROM JUPITER. HERE IT IS ON THE 15TH… AND THE 16TH . WELL, WELL, WELL, THAT MEANS NEXT TUESDAY APRIL 16 THE MOON WILL BE AT THE FEET OF THE GEMINI TWINS.

DEAN: NOW, TURN AROUND AND FACE EAST. THERE YOU'LL FIND THE OTHER GAS GIANT PLANET, THE SECOND LARGEST IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, AND THE LORD OF THE RINGS - SATURN. IT'S DEFINITELY NOT AS BRIGHT AS JUPITER AND IS FAINTER THAN THE BRIGHT STAR ARCTURUS UP TO THE LEFT.

MARLENE: TO THE NAKED EYE, SATURN LOOKS LIKE AN ORDINARY STAR. BUT HERE'S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE THROUGH A MODERATELY GOOD TELESCOPE. AHH, THOSE RINGS! NOW, IF WE COMPARE SATURN TO JUPITER WE CAN SEE THAT JUPITER IS THE BIGGER PLANET, BUT SATURN HAS THIS HUGE RING SYSTEM THAT'S HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MILES ACROSS. AND JUST TO MAKE US ALL FEEL TINY, THAT IS HOW BIG THE EARTH WOULD BE NEXT TO THE TWO GIANT PLANETS IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM.

MARLENE: SATURN IS GETTING CLOSER TO US EVERY DAY  AND IT'LL RISE SLIGHTLY EARLIER EVERY DAY. SATURN'S CLOSEST APPROACH WILL BE ON APRIL 28TH SO GET READY.

DEAN: IN THE MEANTIME SAY HI TO THE GEMINI TWINS, POLLUX AND CASTOR.

JAMES: AND WATCH GIANT JUPITER SET IN THE WEST AND RINGED SATURN RISE IN THE EAST.

ALL: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #13-13 "Twin Stars Hang Out With The Two Largest Planets"
Air Dates April 1, 2013 - April 7, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: OUR TWO GIANT PLANETS, JUPITER AND SATURN SHINE IN THE EVENING SKY

DEAN: AND THE TWIN CONSTELLATION, GEMINI, IS IN A GREAT POSITION TO VIEW THIS WEEK.

JAMES: WE'RE OUTSIDE AT 10 PM, FACING WEST AND HIGH UP IN THE SKY YOU'LL SEE THE TWIN STARS OF POLLUX AND CASTOR.

DEAN: THESE MARK THE HEADS OF THE CONSTELLATION, GEMINI THE TWINS. HEY THEY KINDA LOOK LIKE THEY'RE STANDING ON ORION'S CLUB.

JAMES: POLLUX IS AN ORANGE GIANT STAR 9 TIMES THE DIAMETER OF OUR SUN.

DEAN: AND CASTOR IS ACTUALLY THREE PAIRS OF STARS - SIX ALTOGETHER ORBITING EACH OTHER IN SPACE.

JAMES: THE PLANET JUPITER IS ALSO IN THE WEST. EVEN THOUGH JUPITER IS MOVING AWAY FROM US, IT'S STILL THE BRIGHTEST NIGHTTIME OBJECT (OTHER THAN THE MOON).

DEAN: NOW, TURN AROUND AND FACE EAST. THERE YOU'LL FIND SATURN JUST ABOVE THE HORIZON. SATURN WON'T BE SUPER BRIGHT LIKE JUPITER BUT WE WILL BE SEEING MORE OF SATURN IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS AS JUPITER RIDES OFF INTO THE SUNSET.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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