WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-19 "A Planetary Feast for May"
Air Dates May 13, 2013 - May 19, 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: AND 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. HEY JAMES, WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PLANET?

JAMES: UH, THAT'S A TOUGHIE. I LIKE SATURN FOR THE RINGS, JUPITER FOR ITS SIZE, VENUS FOR ITS BRILLIANCE, AND MERCURY BECAUSE IT MOVES SO FAST.

DEAN: SO THAT'S FOUR FAVORITE PLANETS?

JAMES: FOR STARTERS.

DEAN: WELL, I HAVE GREAT NEWS, BECAUSE ALL FOUR OF THOSE PLANETS WILL SOON BE VISIBLE IN THE EVENING SKY  WITH THREE OF THEM MAKING A NICE TRIANGLE ON MAY 26.

JAMES: OOH, I CAN'T WAIT.

DEAN: OKAY WE HAVE OUR SKY SET UP FOR MONDAY MAY 20TH FACING SOUTHEAST AT 10PM.I KNOW WE'RE TALKING PLANETS THIS WEEK, BUT LET'S NOT FORGET THE MOON. IT'S HIGH IN THE SOUTHERN SKY IN ITS WAXING GIBBOUS PHASE.

JAMES: AND THE MOON CAN OFTEN HELP US FIND PLANETS. FROM NIGHT TO NIGHT, THE MOON WILL WANDER ACROSS THE BACKGROUND STARS. HERE'S WHERE THE MOON WILL BE ON THE NEXT NIGHT, MAY 21ST, SAME TIME. JUST TO THE LEFT OF THE MOON THAT NIGHT, WILL BE THE BRIGHT BLUE STAR SPICA - THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE CONSTELLATION VIRGO.

DEAN: THEN LET'S ADVANCE ONE MORE DAY TO MAY 22ND . NOW THE ALMOST-FULL MOON WILL BE RIGHT NEXT TO A PLANET - THE PLANET SATURN.

JAMES: ALTHOUGH SATURN IS MOVING ACROSS THE BACKGROUND STARS LIKE THE MOON, IT'S MOVING SO SLOWLY THAT YOU CAN'T REALLY SEE A DIFFERENCE NIGHT TO NIGHT. SO WHILE THE MOON WILL MOVE AWAY ON MAY 23RD… AND MAY 24TH… SATURN WILL APPEAR IN ALMOST THE SAME PLACE.

DEAN: THIS MEANS, ONCE YOU GET TO KNOW SATURN'S POSITION, YOU CAN LOOK FOR IT ALL SPRING.

DEAN: NOW THE BIG PLANET FEAST WILL BE HAPPENING IN THE WESTERN SKY JUST AFTER SUNSET.

JAMES: AND WE MEAN JUST AFTER SUNSET. WE'RE FACING WEST AT 9 PM ON MAY 22ND, AND THERE'S STILL A NICE ROSY GLOW IN THE SKY. ONLY THREE THINGS ARE VISIBLE.

DEAN: AND ACTUALLY THOSE THREE THINGS, THE ONLY THREE THINGS YOU CAN SEE AT THAT TIME OF NIGHT, ARE PLANETS. VENUS IS THE BRIGHTEST OF THE THREE AND THE FIRST YOU'LL FIND AFTER SUNSET. JUPITER IS SECOND BRIGHTEST AND UP A LITTLE HIGHER IN THE SKY. AND MERCURY WILL BE THE DIMMEST AND TOUGHEST TO MAKE OUT.

JAMES: BUT THEY'RE NOT IN A TRIANGLE!

DEAN: NOT YET. PLANETS WILL WANDER AND WHEN WE ADVANCE THE DATE TO MAY 23RD, THEY'LL LOOK LIKE THIS… AND HERE IS MAY 24TH… MAY 25TH… AND MAY 26TH.

JAMES: WOW, THAT IS SO COOL! A PERFECT EQUILATERAL TRIANGLE OF PLANETS. LET'S GET A CLOSER LOOK. MARLENE SHOW US THE ZOOMED-IN VIEW.

MARLENE: VENUS, MERCURY, AND JUPITER ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PART OF THE SKY. THEY LOOK LIKE THEY'RE CLOSE TOGETHER, BUT EACH IS REALLY FAR APART IN SPACE. STRANGELY ENOUGH MERCURY IS THE CLOSEST OF THE THREE TO US THAT NIGHT - ABOUT 106 MILLION MILES AWAY. VENUS IS ACROSS THE SOLAR SYSTEM AT OVER 152 MILLION MILES. BUT THAT'S NOTHING COMPARED TO JUPITER - WHO IS ABOUT 564 MILLION MILES AWAY.

MERCURY AND VENUS ARE SMALLER, ROCKY PLANETS LIKE THE EARTH. MERCURY IS ABOUT 3,032 MILES IN DIAMETER AND VENUS IS 7,520 MILES ACROSS. THE BRIGHTNESS OF A PLANET IS INFLUENCED BY ITS SIZE, DISTANCE, AND REFLECTIVITY. MERCURY IS THE FAINTEST BECAUSE IT'S THE SMALLEST PLANET AND ITS SURFACE DOESNT REFLECT A LOT OF SUNLIGHT. VENUS OUTSHINES JUPITER BECAUSE, ITS ATMOSPHERE IS HIGHLY REFLECTIVE AND PLUS IT'S A LOT CLOSER. JUPITER'S ATMOSPHERE IS ALSO PRETTY REFLECTIVE, AND IT'S A HUGE PLANET. IF IT WAS CLOSER TO US,  IT WOULD BE SUPER BRIGHT!

JAMES: IT WILL ONLY TAKE A FEW DAYS TO BREAK UP THIS TRIANGLE. ADVANCING TIME TO MAY 28TH,VENUS AND MERCURY APPEAR HIGHER ABOVE THE WESTERN HORIZON WHILE JUPITER SINKS LOWER.

DEAN: BUT THIS IS THE NIGHT WHERE THE TWO BRIGHTEST PLANETS IN THE SKY (VENUS AND JUPITER) WILL BE IN CLOSEST CONJUNCTION.

JAMES: VERY COOL! SO BELLY-UP TO THE UP-COMING PLANET FEAST.

DEAN: FIND SATURN IN THE SOUTHEASTERN SKY AFTER SUNSET ALL MONTH. AND ESPECIALLY LOOK FOR IT NEXT TO THE MOON ON MAY 22.

JAMES: THEN FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE PLANETARY TRIANGLE OF MERCURY, VENUS, AND JUPITER COMING TOGETHER JUST AFTER SUNSET ON MAY 26.

DEAN: SO, NOW I THINK I HAVE FOUR FAVORITE PLANETS TOO.

JAMES: THEY'RE ALL THERE WHEN YOU…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #13-19 "A Planetary Feast for May"
Air Dates May 13, 2013 - May 19, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: PLANET FANS, HAVE WE GOT GREAT NEWS FOR YOU!

JAMES: FOUR PLANETS WILL SOON BE VISIBLE IN THE EVENING SKY WITH THREE OF THEM MAKING A NICE TRIANGLE ON MAY 26.

DEAN: LET'S SHOW YOU.

DEAN: WE HAVE OUR SKY SET TO MAY 20TH FACING SOUTHEAST AT 10 PM. THE NEXT NIGHT, THE MOON WILL SLIDE OVER NEXT TO THE BLUE STAR CALLED SPICA.

JAMES: AND ON THE 22ND IT WILL BE NEXT TO SATURN.

DEAN: NOW THE BIG PLANET FEAST WILL BE HAPPENING IN THE WESTERN SKY JUST AFTER SUNSET.

JAMES: AND WE MEAN JUST AFTER SUNSET. WE'RE FACING WEST AT 9 PM ON MAY 24TH AND THERE'S STILL A ROSY GLOW IN THE SKY.

DEAN: THE ONLY THREE THINGS YOU CAN SEE AT THAT TIME OF NIGHT ARE PLANETS. VENUS IS THE BRIGHTEST, FOLLOWED BY JUPITER, AND MERCURY.

JAMES: WHEN WE ADVANCE TO MAY 25TH, THEY'LL LOOK LIKE THIS… AND ON MAY 26TH…

DEAN: WOW! A PERFECT EQUILATERAL TRIANGLE OF PLANETS.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP

 

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