WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-15 "Take the Seven-Day Star Gazer Challenge"
Air Dates April 15, 2013 - April 21, 2013



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: HEY THERE STAR GAZERS, I'M JAMES ALBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE KIKA SILVA PLA PLANETARIUM IN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA.

DEAN: I'M DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FOR THE CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY. FELLOW STAR GAZER, MARLENE HIDALGO, WILL JOIN US TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE SKY. I KNOW THAT OBSERVING THE NIGHT SKY CAN BE KINDA INTIMIDATING AT FIRST. WITH SO MANY STARS AND PLANETS OUT THERE, WHERE DO YOU BEGIN?

JAMES: THIS WEEK, WE WANT YOU TO GET TO KNOW THE MOON, TWO COLORFUL STARS, AND THE PLANET OF SPRING. WE CALL IT THE STAR GAZERS SEVEN-DAY CHALLENGE.

DEAN: WE GUARANTEE THAT IF YOU WATCH THE SKY EVERY NIGHT FOR SEVEN NIGHTS, YOU'LL NOT ONLY GET TO KNOW THE MAJOR STARS BUT SOME MINOR WORKINGS OF THE HEAVENS AS WELL.

JAMES: AND ONCE YOU GET A FOOTHOLD IN THE STARS, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT!

DEAN: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKY SET FOR THE NIGHT OF APRIL 22ND FACING EAST. LET'S START WITH THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THIS PART OF THE SKY, ORANGE-COLORED ARCTURUS.

JAMES: ARCTURUS IS THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE CONSTELLATION CALLED BOOTES. ALTHOUGH BOOTES LOOKS MORE LIKE A REALLY WIDE NECKTIE, THE ANCIENTS PICTURED A GUY CHASING AFTER THE BIG BEAR. WELL, WHERE'S THE BIG BEAR?

DEAN: YOU MIGHT BETTER RECOGNIZE IT AS THE BIG DIPPER WHICH APPEARS HIGH IN THE NORTHWEST. THE BIG DIPPER IS THE REAR END AND TAIL OFTHE BIG BEAR, URSA MAJOR. IN FACT, THE BIG DIPPER CAN HELP YOU FIND ARCTURUS IN THE SKY. JUST USE THE STARS OF THE BIG DIPPER'S HANDLE TO GUIDE YOU. FOLLOW THE ARC OF THE HANDLE TO ARCTURUS. PRETTY CATCHY, HUH?

JAMES: WE'RE NOT DONE YET. AFTER YOU FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS, CONTINUE AND STRAIGHTEN OUT THE LINE FROM ARCTURUS AND YOU'LL COME TO A BRIGHT BLUE STAR CALLED SPICA. SPICA IS THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE CONSTELLATION VIRGO THE MAIDEN. EVEN THOUGH VIRGO IS ONE OF THE LARGEST CONSTELLATIONS IN THE SKY, HER STARRY OUTLINE IS TOUGH TO IMAGINE.

DEAN: BUT SPICA MAKES UP FOR VIRGO'S OBSCURITY AS IT TWINKLES RADIANTLY IN THE SOUTHEAST. SO, TO FIND SPICA, START WITH THE BIG DIPPER AGAIN. FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS AND THEN HIT A SPIKE…TO SPICA. OKAY, THAT'S NOT QUITE AS CATCHY, BUT MAYBE IT'LL HELP ANYWAY.

JAMES: NOW WHAT ABOUT THAT PLANET OF SPRING?

DEAN: OH YEAH. MARLENE, TAKE US TO SATURN!

MARLENE: TO THE NAKED EYE BEAUTIFUL, RINGED SATURN SHINES WITH A STEADY YELLOW LIGHT, LOW IN THE EAST-SOUTHEAST. SATURN AND SPICA ARE ALMOST IDENTICAL IN BRIGHTNESS, WITH SATURN JUST BARELY EDGING OUT THE BIG BLUE STAR. SATURN HAS TO BE THE MOST AMAZING PLANETARY SYSTEM WE KNOW OF. WITH A DYNAMIC SURFACE FULL OF SWIRLING STORMS AND AURORAS, AT LEAST 62 KNOWN MOONS, AND OH, THOSE RINGS… THIS IS WHAT SATURN WOULD LOOK LIKE IN A GOOD TELESCOPE. ADD THIS TO YOUR CHALLENGE - YOU REALLY NEED TO SEE SATURN IN A TELESCOPE. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A TELESCOPE, VISIT YOUR LOCAL PLANETARIUM, OBSERVATORY, OR AMATEUR ASTRONOMY CLUB AND THEY'LL BE HAPPY TO SHOW YOU THIS AMAZING PLANET.

DEAN: AS PART OF THE CHALLENGE, NOTE THE POSITION OF THE MOON EACH NIGHT. FOR THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO YOU'LL SEE IT AFTER SUNSET.  HERE'S THE MOON ON APRIL 22ND.

JAMES: FROM NIGHT TO NIGHT THE MOON WILL SHIFT EVER EASTWARD ACROSS THE STARS. SO ON THE NEXT NIGHT, APRIL 23RD THE MOON WILL APPEAR HERE…AND ON APRIL 24TH, AT THE SAME TIME IT'LL BE HERE.

DEAN: WOW, THE MOON WILL BE RIGHT NEXT TO SPICA!

JAMES: WELL, IT'LL LOOK LIKE IT'S RIGHT NEXT TO SPICA. THE MOON IS A MERE ONE AND A QUARTER LIGHT SECONDS AWAY, WHEREAS SPICA IS 263 LIGHT YEARS AWAY!

DEAN: IN MILES, THE MOON ON APRIL 24TH WILL BE 225,000 MILES AWAY AND SPICA… GULP…WILL BE OVER 1500 TRILLION MILES AWAY.

JAMES: BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. IF WE MOVE OUR SKY TO APRIL 25TH, THE NIGHT OF THE FULL MOON, LOOK WHAT'S RIGHT NEXT TO IT.

DEAN: SATURN! THAT'LL BE A GREAT WEEK TO VIEW!

JAMES: SO FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS AND HIT A SPIKE TO SPICA TONIGHT AND YOU'LL SEE TWO SUPER SPRING STARS.

MARLENE: AND SENSATIONAL SATURN IS NEARBY TO FORM A SKINNY TRIANGLE WITH ARCTURUS AND SPICA.

DEAN: THEN DURING THE WEEK, WATCH THE MIGRATING MOON EVERY NIGHT. IF YOU DO THIS FOR SEVEN STRAIGHT NIGHTS YOU'LL COMPLETE OUR CHALLENGE AND BE FOREVER HOOKED ON STAR GAZING.

ALL: KEEP LOOKING UP

 

Episode #13-15 "Take the Seven-Day Star Gazer Challenge"
Air Dates April 15, 2013 - April 21, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: DEAN AND I WOULD LIKE TO ISSUE YOU A CHALLENGE.

DEAN: YOUR MISSION IS TO WATCH THE SKIES EVERY NIGHT FOR THE NEXT SEVEN NIGHTS AND WE GUARANTEE YOU'LL NOT ONLY GET TO KNOW TWO MAJOR STARS AND ONE PLANET BUT YOU'LL GET HOOKED ON WATCHING THE HEAVENS.

JAMES: LET'S GET STARTED.

DEAN: THE MOON WILL BE VISIBLE IN THE EVENING SKY EACH NIGHT FOR THE NEXT WEEK. WATCH IT MOVE FROM NIGHT TO NIGHT UNTIL…

JAMES: ON APRIL 24TH IT'LL BE RIGHT NEXT TO THE BLUE STAR CALLED SPICA. SPICA IS ONE CORNER OF A SKINNY TRIANGLE WITH A BRIGHT ORANGE STAR ON THE FAR LEFT (CALLED ARCTURUS) AND A THIRD THING THAT'S NOT A STAR.

DEAN: IT'S ACTUALLY A PLANET! LET'S ZOOM IN WITH A SMALL TELESCOPE TO REVEAL THE MAGNIFICENT RINGS OF SATURN! AND FOR AN EVEN BETTER VIEW CHECK OUT SOME PICTURES TAKEN BY NASA'S CASSINI SPACECRAFT IN ORBIT AROUND SATURN. SIMPLY AMAZING!

JAMES: ACCEPT OUR CHALLENGE AND WATCH THE SKY EVERY NIGHT THIS WEEK. IN OTHER WORDS…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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