WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-26 "A Distant Sun and Proximate Planets"
Air Dates July 1, 2013 - July 7, 2013



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

MARLENE: AND I'M MARLENE HIDALGO, SCIENCE TEACHER FROM MIAMI-DADE COUNTY FLORIDA.

JAMES: AND I'M JAMES ALBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE KIKA SILVA PLA PLANETARIUM IN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. 

MARLENE: BELIEVE IT OR NOT, OUR SUN APPEARS TO BE SMALLER THIS WEEK THAN AT ANY OTHER TIME OF THE ENTIRE YEAR. IT LOOKS SMALLER BECAUSE ON FRIDAY JULY 5TH AT 10 A.M. EASTERN TIME OUR EARTH IS AT ITS ABSOLUTE FARTHEST DISTANCE FROM THE SUN FOR THE YEAR, ABOUT 94 AND A HALF MILLION, MILES AWAY WHICH IS OVER 3 MILLION MILES FARTHER AWAY THAN IT WAS WHEN IT WAS AT ITS CLOSEST ON JANUARY 2ND WHEN IT WAS ONLY 91 AND A HALF MILLION MILES AWAY.

DEAN:  SO, IF WE'RE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE SUN IN JULY THAN IN JANUARY, WHY IS IT HOTTER IN JULY THAN IN JANUARY?

JAMES: LET'S SHOW YOU.

JAMES: IT'S WARMER IN JULY THAN JANUARY BECAUSE OUR EARTH'S AXIS IS TILTED 23 1/2 DEGREES TO THE PLANE OF ITS ORBIT AND IN JULY OUR NORTHERN HEMISPHERE IS TILTED MORE DIRECTLY TOWARD THE SUN AND THE SUN'S RAYS STRIKE OUR NORTHERN HEMISPHERE MORE DIRECTLY AND FOR A LONGER TIME THAN IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE WHICH IS NOW TILTED AWAY FROM THE SUN.

MARLENE: SO ITS WARMER IN JULY THAN IN JANUARY, EVEN THOUGH OUR EARTH IS 3 MILLION MILES FARTHER AWAY IN JULY. AND BE THANKFUL BECAUSE IF OUR EARTH WERE 3 MILLION MILES CLOSER IN JULY, SUMMERS IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY UNBEARABLE. SO WHEN YOU'RE OUT SWEATING IN THE HEAT THIS MONTH REMEMBER IT COULD BE A LOT WORSE.

JAMES: AND IF YOU'LL WATCH THAT SMALLEST, MOST DISTANT SUN OF THE YEAR SET NEXT WEEK, YOU'LL SEE A SLENDER SLIVER OF A 2 DAY OLD MOON DOWN AND TO THE LEFT OF BRILLIANT VENUS ON THE NIGHT OF WEDNESDAY THE 10TH. THE NEXT NIGHT THE 11TH A THREE DAY OLD CRESCENT MOON WILL BE JUST BELOW REGULUS, THE BRIGHT BLUE STAR IN LEO THE LION. WATCH OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS AND VENUS WILL FOLLOW THE MOON IN A CLOSE PASS BY REGULUS.

DEAN: AND NOW, SOMETHING FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE GETTING UP BEFORE SUNRISE, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE OUT CAMPING ON VACATION, WE HAVE THE  LARGEST PLANET JUPITER  SHINING IN THE EAST. SIMPLY LOOK EAST ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE ANY MORNING THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND YOU'LL SEE BRILLIANT 88 THOUSAND MILE WIDE JUPITER JUST ABOVE THE HORIZON AND GETTING HIGHER EACH DAY.

MARLENE: RIGHT NOW JUPITER IS JUST BEYOND THE HORNS OF TAURUS THE BULL. AND UP TO JUPITER'S RIGHT YOU CAN SEE THE RED PLANET MARS, ALTHOUGH MARS IS NOT REALLY VERY RED AND NOT EVEN VERY BRIGHT. MARS IS NOW BETWEEN THE ENDS OF THE HORNS OF TAURUS THE BULL.

JAMES: AND BEYOND MARS YOU CAN SPOT TAURUS' BRIGHTEST STAR, THE GIANT RED STAR ALDEBARAN WHICH MARKS HIS FIERCE EYE. AND ALTHOUGH ALDEBARAN LOOKS MUCH, MUCH DIMMER THAN JUPITER IT'S ONLY BECAUSE IT IS SO MUCH FARTHER AWAY.

 

DEAN  IN FACT, ALDEBARAN IS MUCH BRIGHTER THAN JUPITER. IT'S SO HUGE IT COULD HOLD 38 MILLION JUPITERS OR 64 MILLION SATURNS BECAUSE IT IS ALMOST 44 TIMES AS WIDE AS OUR SUN AND IS OVER 400 TIMES BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN.

JAMES: AND IF YOU HAVE REALLY DARK SKIES AND LOOK BEFORE IT STARTS TO GET LIGHT OUT, YOU MAY EVEN BE ABLE TO SEE THE 7 DAUGHTERS OF ATLAS RIDING ON THE SHOULDER OF TAURUS, THE STARS WE CALL THE PLEIADES, THE SEVEN SISTERS. TO FIND THEM, JUST LOOK STRAIGHT UP FROM ALDEBARAN ABOUT A FIST AND A HALF.

MARLENE: AND MARS IS GOING TO RAPIDLY CLOSE IN ON JUPITER OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. HERES THE 10TH, 12TH, 14TH, 16TH, 18TH, 20TH, AND WILL APPARENTLY PASS VERY CLOSE TO JUPITER ON JULY 22ND.

JAMES IN REALITY MARS WILL PASS BETWEEN EARTH AND JUPITER AND WILL BE 335 MILLION MILES CLOSER, BUT AS SEEN FROM EARTH THEY'LL LOOK VERY CLOSE.

DEAN: AND IF YOU HAVE A TELESCOPE WHY NOT USE IT SOME SUMMER MORNING TO SHOW AN EXCITED CHILD THE WONDER OF THE PLEIADES CLOSE UP, OR THE DARK BANDS AROUND JUPITER'S EQUATOR OR THE ICE CAPS ON THE RED PLANET MARS. A SIGHT YOU AND YOUR CHILD WILL NEVER FORGET. SO, CHECK  OUT THESE JULY SKIES AND ENJOY THE FACT THAT EVEN THOUGH IT'S HOT OUT, IT WOULD BE A HECK OF A LOT HOTTER IF WE WERE AS CLOSE TO THE SUN RIGHT NOW AS WE WERE LAST JANUARY.

ALL: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #13-26 "A Distant Sun and Proximate Planets"
Air Dates July 1, 2013 - July 7, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
MARLENE: OUR SUN APPEARS TO BE SMALLER THIS WEEK THAN AT ANY OTHER TIME OF THE YEAR.  ON FRIDAY JULY 5TH AT 10 A.M. EASTERN TIME OUR EARTH IS AT ITS FARTHEST DISTANCE FROM THE SUN, OVER 3 MILLION MILES FARTHER AWAY THAN IT WAS WHEN IT WAS AT ITS CLOSEST ON JANUARY 2ND.

DEAN:  SO, IF WE'RE FARTHER AWAY FROM THE SUN IN JULY THAN IN JANUARY, WHY IS IT HOTTER NOW THAN IN JANUARY? LET'S SHOW YOU.

MARLENE: IN JULY OUR NORTHERN HEMISPHERE IS TILTED MORE DIRECTLY TOWARD THE SUN AND THE SUN'S RAYS STRIKE OUR NORTHERN HEMISPHERE MORE DIRECTLY AND FOR A LONGER TIME THAN IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE WHICH IS NOW TILTED AWAY FROM THE SUN.

DEAN: AND IF YOU'LL WATCH THAT SMALLEST, MOST DISTANT SUN OF THE YEAR SET NEXT WEEK YOU'LL SEE A SLENDER SLIVER OF A 2 DAY OLD MOON DOWN AND TO THE LEFT OF BRILLIANT VENUS ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT THE 10TH.

MARLENE: AND WE HAVE THE LARGEST PLANET JUPITER SHINING IN THE EAST JUST BEFORE SUNRISE.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Star Gazers Home Page Back to WPBT2.org Miami Science Museum Kika Silva Pla Planetarium | Santa Fe College The Cincinnati Observatory Support Star Gazes with your donation