WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-27 "Asterisms of the Summer Sky"
Air Dates July 8, 2013 - July 14, 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.  HEY DEAN, HAVE YOU SEEN THE BIG DIPPER THIS SUMMER?

DEAN: I HAVE.  AFTER ALL, IT'S MY FAVORITE… CONSTELLATION…HEH HEH HEH

JAMES: DEAN IS LAUGHING BECAUSE HE KNOWS DARN WELL THAT THE BIG DIPPER IS NOT A CONSTELLATION.

DEAN: I KNOW.  I KNOW.  I JUST LIKE MESSING WITH YOU JAMES.  THE BIG DIPPER IS ONLY PART OF A LARGER CONSTELLATION CALLED URSA MAJOR OR THE BIG BEAR.  SO IF IT'S NOT AN OFFICIAL CONSTELLATION, WHAT DO WE CALL IT?

JAMES: WE CALL IT AN ASTERISM.  AN ASTERISM IS BASICALLY JUST A SHAPE WE SEE IN THE STARS TO HELP US FIND OUR WAY AROUND.  THINK OF IT AS AN UNOFFICIAL CONSTELLATION.

DEAN: AND SUMMERTIME IS A GREAT TIME TO FIND MANY OF THE ASTERISMS IN THE SKY.

JAMES: EXACTLY.  WE'VE GOT THE SUMMER TRIANGLE, THE FISH HOOK, AND THE TEA POT.    

DEAN: LET'S SHOW YOU.

DEAN: OKAY WE HAVE OUR SKY SET UP FOR ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK FACING NORTH AFTER SUNSET.  NOW THAT WE'RE INTO JUNE, THE SUN SETS REALLY LATE SO USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO STAY UP PAST YOUR BEDTIME.

JAMES: DEFINITELY, BECAUSE WE WANT YOU TO FIND YOUR FIRST ASTERISM OF THE EVENING HIGH IN THE NORTHWESTERN SKY.  THERE IT IS, STANDING ON ITS HANDLE - THE BIG DIPPER.  THE FORMATION OF THOSE SEVEN BRIGHT STARS IS UNMISTAKABLE.

DEAN: FOUR STARS MAKE THE SCOOP OF THE BIG DIPPER AND THREE MORE MAKE UP THE HANDLE POINTING UP AND TO THE LEFT.  NOW WHERE'S THAT BIG BEAR THAT'LL TURN MY ASTERISM INTO A CONSTELLATION?

JAMES: URSA MAJOR, THE BIG BEAR TAKES UP A LOT OF SPACE IN THE SKY.  THE BIG DIPPER IS ONLY THE REAR END AND LONG TAIL OF THE BEAR, WHILE OTHER, FAINTER STARS MARK HIS HEAD AND FEET.  ASTRONOMERS DON'T JUST STOP THERE.  TO THEM EVERYTHING WITHIN THIS BOUNDARY - EVERY STAR, EVERY DEEP SPACE OBJECT IS PART OF THE CONSTELLATION URSA MAJOR. 

DEAN: WOW, THATS A BIG BEAR.

MARLENE: NOW WE'RE FACING EAST AND HERE YOU CAN FIND ANOTHER HUGE ASTERISM IN THE SKY.  I'LL GIVE YOU TWO HINTS - IT'S UP ALL SUMMER AND IT'S IN THE SHAPE OF A TRIANGLE.  YEP, WE CALL IT THE SUMMER TRIANGLE.  WHO SAID ASTRONOMY WAS TOUGH TO FOLLOW? 

MARLENE: BRIGHTEST, AND BLUEST OF THE THREE STARS IN THE SUMMER TRIANGLE, IS VEGA.  DOWN AND TO THE LEFT IS DENEB AND WAY OVER TO THE RIGHT IS ALTAIR.  EACH OF THESE STARS BELONGS TO ITS OWN CONSTELLATION.  VEGA IS PART OF LYRA THE HARP WHOSE STARS MAKE A LITTLE PARALLELOGRAM.  DENEB IS THE TAIL OF CYGNUS THE SWAN (OOH, I CAN ACTUALLY PICTURE A SWAN IN THOSE STARS!)  AND ALTAIR IS THE EAGLE EYE OF THE CONSTELLATION AQUILA THE EAGLE.  SO THIS ASTERISM, THE SUMMER TRIANGLE, REALLY INCORPORATES THE REGIONS OF THREE DIFFERENT CONSTELLATIONS. 

JAMES: NOW LET'S FACE SOUTH AND LOOK LOW ON THE HORIZON FOR TWO MORE DISTINCT ASTERISMS. 

DEAN: HERE WE FIND THE STARS I MOST ASSOCIATE WITH SUMMER LOOKING LIKE A LETTER "J" OR A BIG FISH HOOK.

JAMES: ADD IN THE FAINTER STARS AROUND THE FISH HOOK AND YOU'LL BE SEEING THE CONSTELLATION SCORPIUS THE SCORPION.  AT THE HEART OF THE SCORPION YOU'LL SEE THIS RED SUPERGIANT STAR CALLED ANTARES.  AS AN ADDED SPECIAL EFFECT, ANTARES IS OFTEN LOW IN THE SOUTHERN SKY AND APPEARS TO FLICKER LIKE A BEATING HEART THROUGH THE THICKER ATMOSPHERE. 

DEAN: NOW, TO THE LEFT OF THE FISH HOOK YOU CAN FIND THE TEA POT. 

JAMES: OR FOR YOU COFFEE DRINKERS, MAYBE IT'S A COFFEE POT.

DEAN: EITHER WAY THESE STARS ARE PART OF A LARGER CONSTELLATION CALLED SAGITTARIUS THE ARCHER.  HE'S A CENTAUR (HALF MAN - HALF HORSE) WITH HIS LEGS DOWN BELOW THE HORIZON FOR MOST PEOPLE IN THE NORTHERN U.S.  OTHER THAN THE TEA POT…

JAMES: OR COFFEE POT…

DEAN: THE REMAINING STARS IN SAGITTARIUS ARE TOUGH TO FIND.  BUT THE ASTERISM MARKS THE CENTAUR'S BODY AND STRETCHED-OUT BOW AND ARROW.  WHAT'S HE AIMING AT? 

JAMES: ANTARES, THE HEART OF THE SCORPION OF COURSE.  WATCH OUT SCORPIUS!

DEAN: SO FIND YOUR FAVORITE ASTERISM TONIGHT.  FROM THE BIG DIPPER IN THE NORTHWEST…

JAMES: TO THE SUMMER TRIANGLE HIGH IN THE EAST…

DEAN: TO THE FISH HOOK IN THE SOUTH NEXT TO THE TEA POT - OR COFFEE POT

JAMES: IT'S ALL THERE WHEN YOU… 

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #13-27 "Asterisms of the Summer Sky"
Air Dates July 8, 2013 - July 14, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: SUMMER IS A PERFECT TIME TO FIND THE BIG DIPPER, BUT IT IS NOT A CONSTELLATION

MARLENE: IT'S AN ASTERISM - ONE PART OF A LARGER CONSTELLATION.  LET'S SHOW YOU THE ASTERISMS OF SUMMER.

JAMES: IF YOU FACE NORTHWEST AFTER SUNSET THIS WEEK YOU'LL EASILY SPOT THE BIG DIPPER HIGH IN THE SKY.

MARLENE: THE BIG DIPPER IS ONLY PART OF THE LARGER CONSTELLATION URSA MAJOR, THE BIG BEAR.  THE BIG DIPPER MARKS THE REAR END AND TAIL WHILE OTHER, FAINTER STARS MARK THE HEAD AND PAWS. 

JAMES: NOW FACE SOUTH TO FIND TWO MORE ASTERISMS.  ONE LOOKS LIKE A FISH HOOK…

MARLENE: AND THE OTHER LOOKS LIKE A TEAPOT.

JAMES: THE FISHHOOK IS THE BODY AND TAIL OF SCORPIUS THE SCORPION

MARLENE: WHILE THE TEAPOT IS THE TORSO, BOW AND ARROW OF SAGITTARIUS THE ARCHER WHO IS HALF MAN, HALF HORSE.  HE HAS HIS ARROW FIRMLY AIMED AT THE BRIGHT RED STAR MARKING THE SCORPIONS HEART - ANTARES. 

JAMES: THESE ASTERISMS ARE SOMETIMES EASIER TO FIND THAN THE ENTIRE CONSTELLATIONS SO…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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