WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-35 "Star Hopping In the September Sky"
Air Dates September 2, 2013 - September 8, 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.  THIS WEEK WE'RE GOING TO SHARE A METHOD FOR IDENTIFYING STARS IN THE NORTHERN AND EASTERN SKY AFTER DARK. 

DEAN:  IT'S CALLED STAR HOPPING AND IT'S AN EASY WAY TO GO FROM A CONSTELLATION YOU KNOW TO OTHER CONSTELLATIONS YOU DONT KNOW.

JAMES:  LET'S GET HOPPING!

JAMES:  OKAY WE HAVE OUR SKY SET UP FOR AFTER SUNSET ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK FACING NORTH.  LET'S START OFF BY FINDING A LANDMARK IN THE SKY. DO YOU SEE THE BIG DIPPER?

DEAN:  YEP, THERE IT IS - HANGING IN THE NORTHWEST, LOOKING LIKE IT'S GOING TO SCOOP US UP!  THE BIG DIPPER IS ONE OF THE EASIEST THINGS TO FIND IN THE NIGHT SKY SINCE IT'S SO DISTINCTIVE.

JAMES:  AND IT'S VISIBLE IN THE SKY ALMOST ALL YEAR.

DEAN:  NOW LET'S GET STAR HOPPING!  WE'RE GONNA START BY USING THE TWO STARS ON THE END OF THE SPOON OF THE BIG DIPPER NAMED MERAK AND DUBHE.  CONNECT THE DOTS ON THESE TWO STARS AND CONTINUE THAT LINE UP AND TO THE RIGHT AND YOU'LL RUN SMACK DAB INTO A STAR OF SIMILAR BRIGHTNESS.  THIS IS THE MOST FAMOUS AND IMPORTANT STAR IN THE SKY - POLARIS, A.K.A. THE NORTH STAR.

JAMES:  THE NORTH STAR MARKS THE END OF THE MUCH FAINTER LITTLE DIPPER OR LITTLE BEAR CONSTELLATION, URSA MINOR.  THE ENTIRE LITTLE DIPPER IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE OUT IN A LIGHT POLLUTED SKY BUT AT LEAST YOU KNOW HOW TO HOP TO IT.

DEAN:  NOW WE'RE GOING TO MAKE ANOTHER HOP.  GO FROM DUBHE TO POLARIS AND THEN CONTINUE THAT LINE TO THE NEXT EQUALLY- BRIGHT STAR CALLED CAPH.  CAPH IS THE STAR AT THE TOP OF A W-SHAPED GROUP OF STARS MARKING THE QUEEN NAMED CASSIOPEIA.

JAMES:  I KNOW IT'S REALLY TOUGH TO PICTURE THESE STARS AS A QUEEN SO JUST LOOK FOR THE W SHAPE. I PICTURE THE STARS AS QUEEN CASSIOPEIA'S CROWN.

DEAN:  OH, I COULD SEE THAT!  AND DID YOU NOTICE THAT THE HOP WE MADE FROM DUBHE TO POLARIS IS THE SAME LENGTH AS THE HOP FROM POLARIS TO CAPH?

JAMES:  AHA!  THAT MAKES IT EASY FOR YOU TO TELL THAT YOU'RE ON THE CORRECT STAR.

DEAN:  NOW WE'VE TURNED TO FACE NORTHEAST.  POLARIS IS OVER THERE…CAPH AND CASSIOPEIA ARE THERE.  AND IF YOU CONTINUE THE LINE BETWEEN POLARIS AND CAPH AND KEEP GOING IT'LL RUN YOU INTO ANOTHER EQUALLY BRIGHT STAR.

JAMES:  THIS ONE IS CALLED ALPHERATZ AND IT'S A CORNER TO A GREAT SQUARE OF FOUR STARS THAT MARK THE BODY OF PEGASUS THE FLYING HORSE.

DEAN:  YEP, HE'S FLYING UPSIDE-DOWN.

JAMES:  ONCE AGAIN NOTICE THAT THE DISTANCE OF EACH HOP IS THE SAME. FROM POLARIS TO CAPH…AND CAPH TO ALPHERATZ.

DEAN:  SO NOW YOU CAN START WITH SOMETHING YOU KNOW - THE BIG DIPPER - AND HOP TO FIND THE LITTLE DIPPER, CASSIOPEIA, AND PEGASUS.  NOW LET'S CHECK OUT THE PLANETS FOR NEXT WEEK.

MARLENE:  WE'RE FACING SOUTHWEST AND IT'S NOW JUST AFTER SUNSET ON SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8TH.  THERE, A SLIM CRESCENT MOON APPEARS RIGHT NEXT TO A VERY, VERY BRIGHT STAR.  THAT BRIGHT STAR  ISN'T REALLY A STAR BUT IS ACTUALLY THE PLANET VENUS.  WHEN WE ZOOM INTO VENUS WE CAN SEE THAT IT IS NOT A PERFECT CIRCLE.  VENUS GOES THROUGH PHASES  AND WHILE THE MOON IS A CRESCENT, YOU CAN SEE A GIBBOUS VENUS IN A TELESCOPE ON SUNDAY.
UP AND TO THE LEFT OF THE MOON AND VENUS, YOU'LL SPOT A MUCH DIMMER STAR.  THIS IS NO STAR EITHER.  IT'S THE MAGNIFICENT RINGED PLANET SATURN.  IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE FINDING IT IN THE TWILIGHT, JUST WAIT ANOTHER 30 MINUTES FOR THE SKIES TO DARKEN AND IT'LL POP INTO VIEW LOW IN THE WEST. IF YOU'RE STILL HAVING TROUBLE, COME BACK OUT ON MONDAY NIGHT THE 9TH AND THE MOON WILL HAVE SHIFTED FARTHER TO THE LEFT AND HOPPED OVER SATURN.  NOW SATURN WILL APPEAR TO THE RIGHT OF THE WAXING CRESCENT MOON WITH VENUS DOWN LOWER.

DEAN:  SO TRY SOME STAR HOPPING TONIGHT. HOP FROM THE BIG DIPPER…

MARLENE:  TO THE LITTLE DIPPER…

JAMES:  TO CASSIOPEIA…

DEAN:  TO PEGASUS.

MARLENE:  AND LOOK FOR THE MOON HOPPING FROM VENUS ON SEPTEMBER 8TH OVER TO SATURN ON SEPTEMBER 9TH.

ALL THREE:  KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #13-35 "Star Hopping In the September Sky"
Air Dates September 2, 2013 - September 8, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES:  WE WANT TO SHARE A TIP FOR IDENTIFYING STARS IN THE NORTHERN AND EASTERN SKY AFTER DARK.

DEAN:  LET'S DO SOME STAR HOPPING!

DEAN:  FACING NORTH AFTER SUNSET LET'S FIND SOMETHING EASY. AHA!, THERE'S THE BIG DIPPER LOOKING LIKE IT'S GOING TO SCOOP US UP!

JAMES:  START YOUR STAR HOPPING!  CONNECT THE DOTS ON THE TWO STARS AT THE END OF THE BIG DIPPER'S SPOON AND CONTINUE THAT LINE UP AND TO THE RIGHT AND YOU'LL RUN INTO A STAR OF SIMILAR BRIGHTNESS.  THAT'S POLARIS, A.K.A. THE NORTH STAR.

DEAN:  THE NORTH STAR MARKS THE END OF THE MUCH FAINTER LITTLE DIPPER.  NOW MAKE ANOTHER HOP - OF THE SAME DISTANCE IN THE SKY - AND YOU'LL COME TO THE TOP STAR IN THE 'W' SHAPED CONSTELLATION, CASSIOPEIA THE QUEEN.

JAMES:  AND ONE MORE HOP BRINGS YOU TO THE CORNER OF A GIANT SQUARE OF STARS THAT MARKS PEGASUS THE FLYING HORSE.

DEAN:  FROM THE BIG DIPPER YOU CAN FIND A LOT BY STAR HOPPING ESPECIALLY IF YOU…

BOTH:  KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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