WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-29 "Let Sagittarius Be Your Guide"
Air Dates July 22, 2013 - July 28, 2013



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

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

DEAN: AND I'M DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FROM THE CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY. IF YOU GO OUT ANY MOONLESS NIGHT, THIS SUMMER YOU WILL SEE AN ANCIENT CONSTELLATION POINTING THE WAY TO THE HEARTS OF TWO COSMIC WONDERS. LET'S SHOW YOU!

DEAN:  O.K., WE'VE GOT OUR SKIES SET UP FOR AROUND 10 P.M., FACING SOUTH WHERE YOU'LL SEE OUR TWO FAVORITE STAR PATTERNS OF SUMMER, THE CONSTELLATION WHICH LOOKS LIKE A FISH HOOK OR THE CAPITAL LETTER 'J', SCORPIUS, THE SCORPION AND DIRECTLY BEHIND IT SEVERAL BRIGHT STARS WHICH IF CONNECTED BY LINES LOOK LIKE A TEA POT.

JAMES:  NOW SCORPIUS IS OFFICIALLY CALLED A CONSTELLATION BUT THE TEAPOT IS NOT. IT'S WHAT WE CALL AN ASTERISM, WHICH MEANS THAT IT'S AN ADDITIONAL PATTERN MADE OF FAIRLY BRIGHT STARS WITHIN A CONSTELLATION. THE CONSTELLATION TO WHICH THE TEAPOT BELONGS IS A VERY LARGE PATTERN OF STARS NAMED THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO FOR A MYTHICAL CREATURE CALLED A CENTAUR; A CREATURE WHICH WAS HALF MAN AND HALF HORSE.

MARLENE:  NOW THIS PARTICULAR CENTAUR WAS NAMED SAGITTARIUS AND WAS KNOWN TO BE A GREAT MASTER WITH THE BOW AND ARROW, A CENTAUR ARCHER. HIS BOW IS MARKED BY 2 STARS OF THE TEAPOT'S LID AND THE STAR AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SPOUT; THE ARROW STARTS AT THE TOP STAR IN THE HANDLE WITH ITS TIP MARKED BY THE STAR AT THE TIP OF THE SPOUT.

DEAN:  AND YOU CAN SEE THAT IT'S AIMED AT THE RED STAR WHICH MARKS THE HEART OF THE SCORPION, ANTARES.  ANTARES IS A RED SUPERGIANT STAR 700 TIMES AS WIDE AS OUR SUN. BUT ON CLEAR MOONLESS NIGHTS, FAR FROM CITY LIGHTS, YOU'LL ALSO SEE THAT THE TIP OF SAGITTARIUS' ARROW IS EMBEDDED IN THE WIDEST AND DENSEST PART OF THE GREAT RIBBON OF LIGHT CALLED THE 'MILKY WAY'. THE MILKY WAY STRETCHES ALL THE WAY FROM THE SOUTHERN HORIZON UP TO THE ZENITH AND BACK DOWN TO THE NORTHEAST HORIZON.

JAMES:  IF YOU TAKE A PAIR OF BINOCULARS AND LOOK HERE OR ANYWHERE ALONG THE MILKY WAY, YOU WILL SEE THAT IT IS MADE UP OF MILLIONS OF PIN POINTS OF LIGHT; EACH ONE IS A DISTANT STAR. AND WHICH, ALONG WITH OUR SUN, ALL BELONG TO A GREAT COSMIC SPIRAL FAMILY OF 200 BILLION STARS WE CALL A GALAXY, THE MILKY WAY GALAXY.

MARLENE:  OUR SUN IS LOCATED ABOUT 2/3RDS OF THE WAY OUT FROM THE CENTER, SO WHEN WE LOOK AT SAGITTARIUS AND SCORPIUS, THE REASON THE MILKY WAY APPEARS THICKEST AND WIDEST HERE IS BECAUSE THE BULGING CENTER OF OUR GALAXY LIES IN THIS DIRECTION. IN FACT THE TIP OF SAGITTARIUS' ARROW IS POINTED DIRECTLY AT THE GALACTIC CENTER AS WELL AS AT ANTARES. SO YOU CAN FIND THESE TWO COSMIC WONDERS WITH THE HELP OF THE ANCIENT ARCHER.

DEAN:  ALRIGHT!  LET'S SEE WHAT THE PLANETS ARE DOING THIS WEEK.

DEAN:  OK, WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET UP FOR JUST AFTER SUNSET NEXT WEEK AND IF YOU LOOK TOWARD THE WEST, YOU'LL SEE THE BRILLIANT PLANET VENUS OFF TO THE LEFT OF THE BRIGHT STAR REGULUS, THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN LEO THE LION. IF YOU MAKE A POINT OF VIEWING VENUS AT THE SAME TIME OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR SO, YOU'LL SEE VENUS SHIFT FARTHER SOUTH EACH NIGHT.

MARLENE:  LOOKING TOWARD THE SOUTHWEST, YOU'LL SEE THE RINGED PLANET SATURN IN THE CONSTELLATION OF VIRGO.  OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS YOU'LL SEE SATURN MOVING EVER SO SLOWLY IN THE DIRECTION OF LIBRA THE SCALES.  SATURN IS STILL FAIRLY CLOSE TO US AND STILL QUITE BRIGHT, SO DEFINITELY TAKE A LOOK AT IT THROUGH A TELESCOPE NEXT WEEK.

JAMES:  AND FOR YOU EARLY MORNING STAR GAZERS, WE HAVE A TREAT FOR YOU!  LOOK TOWARD THE EAST ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE AND YOU'LL SEE THE RED PLANET MARS, THE GIANT PLANET JUPITER AND THE MESSENGER OF THE GODS, MERCURY HAVING A CLOSE ENCOUNTER IN THE CONSTELLATION GEMINI THE TWINS.  AND… AS THE NIGHTS PASS, YOU'LL SEE THE GROUP SPREAD FURTHER AND FURTHER APART.

DEAN:  AND MAKE SURE YOU MARK YOUR CALENDAR!  NEXT MONTH ON AUGUST 2ND, A SLENDER, WANING CRESCENT MOON WILL CLOSE-IN ON THE TRIO AND ON SUNDAY MORNING AUGUST 4TH, WE'LL BE TREATED TO THE MOON, JUPITER, MARS AND MERCURY FORMING A DIAMOND-PATTERN IN THE SKY JUST BEFORE SUNRISE.

MARLENE:  AND IT'S ALL VISIBLE FROM YOUR BACKYARD IF YOU…

ALL:  KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #13-29 "Let Sagittarius Be Your Guide"
Air Dates July 22, 2013 - July 28, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
MARLENE:  IF YOU GO OUT ANY MOONLESS NIGHT THIS SUMMER, YOU WILL SEE AN ANCIENT CONSTELLATION POINTING THE WAY TO THE CENTER OF OUR GALAXY! LETS SHOW YOU!

JAMES:  O.K., WE'VE GOT OUR SKIES SET UP FOR AROUND 10 P.M., FACING SOUTH WHERE YOU WILL SEE OUR TWO FAVORITE STAR PATTERNS OF SUMMER, THE CONSTELLATION SCORPIUS THE SCORPION WHICH LOOKS LIKE A FISH HOOK, AND DIRECTLY BEHIND IT
SAGITTARIUS THE CENTAUR ARCHER, WHOSE 8 BRIGHT STARS, IF CONNECTED BY LINES, LOOK LIKE A TEA POT.

MARLENE:  BETWEEN THE SPOUT OF THE TEAPOT AND THE TAIL OF THE SCORPION LIES THE CENTER OF OUR GALAXY. ON CLEAR MOONLESS NIGHTS, FAR FROM CITY LIGHTS, YOU'LL SEE THAT THE WIDEST AND DENSEST PART OF THE MILKY WAY IS RIGHT BETWEEN THESE TWO STAR PATTERNS.

JAMES:  AND FOR YOU PLANET WATCHERS, RIGHT AFTER SUNSET WE HAVE VENUS VISIBLE IN THE WEST IN LEO AND SATURN VISIBLE TOWARD THE SOUTH IN VIRGO.

MARLENE:  AND JUST BEFORE SUNRISE WE HAVE MARS, JUPITER AND MERCURY FORMING A WONDERFUL TRIANGLE IN THE CONSTELLATION OF GEMINI.

BOTH:  KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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