WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-36 "All Night With the Harvest Moon"
Air Dates September 9, 2013 - September 15, 2013



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
MARLENE:  HEY THERE STAR GAZERS. I'M MARLENE HIDALGO, SCIENCE TEACHER IN MIAMI, FLORIDA.

JAMES:  AND, 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. WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE SKY TONIGHT. THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 19TH IS THE OFFICIAL NIGHT OF THE HARVEST MOON.

MARLENE:  THAT'S RIGHT, FALL IS COMING AND IT'S TIME TO BRING IN THE CROPS.

JAMES:  THE HARVEST MOON REALLY HELPS OUT FARMERS SINCE IT RISES AT SUNSET AND LIGHTS UP THE ENTIRE NIGHT.  WE'RE GOING TO FOLLOW ITS PATH ALL NIGHT AND CHECK OUT THE SKY IN EARLY EVENING, AFTER MIDNIGHT, AND JUST BEFORE DAWN.

MARLENE:  I'LL COVER THE EVENING.

JAMES:  AND I'LL GET UP EARLY TO SHOW YOU THE MORNING SKY.

DEAN:  OH, SO I GET STUCK WITH THE MIDNIGHT SHIFT, EH?

MARLENE:  OF COURSE. ARENT YOU A NIGHT OWL? 

DEAN:  LETS SHOW YOU!

MARLENE:  OKAY WE HAVE OUR SKY SET UP FOR JUST AFTER SUNSET ON THE NIGHT OF SEPTEMBER 19TH FACING SOUTHWEST.  AS IT GETS DARK, TWO NIGHT LIGHTS WILL POP OUT, ONE OF THEM BEING REALLY BRIGHT.  THESE ARE THE PLANETS VENUS AND SATURN.  VENUS IS THE BRIGHTER OF THE TWO SINCE ITS A MERE 92 MILLION MILES AWAY. WHILE SATURN IS OVER 10 TIMES THAT DISTANCE - ABOUT 984 MILLION MILES AWAY. NOW LET'S TURN AND FACE EAST.  THE HARVEST MOON IS JUST RISING ABOVE THE HORIZON.  PEOPLE OFTEN ASK IF THE HARVEST MOON IS BIGGER THAN OTHER MOONS…SOMETIMES, BUT NOT ALWAYS.  THE MOON CHANGES ITS DISTANCE FROM US AND WE EXPERIENCED THE LARGEST FULL MOON OF 2013 IN JUNE. SO THIS HARVEST MOON SHOULD LOOK ABOUT AVERAGE. WHY IS THE MOON OFTEN ORANGE IN COLOR WHEN ITS LOW IN THE SKY LIKE THIS?  TO REACH YOUR EYES, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON HAS TO GO THROUGH MORE ATMOSPHERE.  THAT EXTRA AIR SHIFTS THE COLOR TO THE REDDISH SIDE JUST AS IT DOES TO THE SUN AT SUNSET.

DEAN:  WE NOW HAVE OUR SKY SET TO AROUND 1 A.M. - AND I'M GLAD I STAYED UP LATE!  WHEN YOU FACE EAST, YOU GET TO SEE THE STARS OF FALL, LIKE THE V-SHAPED FACE OF TAURUS THE BULL AND THE PLEIADES STAR CLUSTER JUST ABOVE IT, ALSO KNOWN AS THE SEVEN SISTERS. BUT FACING SOUTH, THE HARVEST MOON IS SO HIGH IN THE SKY, WE BETTER FLY UP THERE…AT THIS POINT, ITS ACTUALLY SEPTEMBER 20TH AND THE MOON IS PAST ITS FULL PHASE.  THAT MEANS THE NIGHT BEFORE, SEPTEMBER 18TH TO 19TH, THE MOON WAS PRETTY MUCH FULL AS WELL.  SO FOR SEVERAL NIGHTS IN A ROW, THIS BEACON WOULD SHINE DOWN ON YOUR FIELDS AND GIVE YOU ENOUGH LIGHT TO WORK BY. NOW THAT THE MOON IS HIGH IN THE SKY, THE REDDISH TINT IS GONE.  THROUGH A TELESCOPE LIKE THIS, IT'S SO BRIGHT THAT IT'S HARD TO SEE FINE DETAILS.  YOU CAN SEE THE DARK AREAS, CALLED MARIA, AND RAYS EXTENDING OUTWARD FROM THE LARGER CRATERS.  BUT IF YOU'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THE FULL MOON THROUGH A TELESCOPE, I'D RECOMMEND WEARING SUNGLASSES.  IT IS BRIGHT!

JAMES:  GOOD MORNING EVERYONE.  IT'S NOW 6: 30AM AND WE'RE FACING SOUTHEAST.  ABOUT HALFWAY UP IN THE SKY YOU'LL FIND THE THREE DISTINCT STARS MARKING ORIO'S BELT.  DOWN TO THE LEFT IS THE REALLY BRIGHT DOG STAR, NAMED SIRIUS.  AND UP TO THE LEFT OF THAT IS THE EVEN BRIGHTER PLANET JUPITER.  GETTING UP BEFORE SUNRISE LIKE THIS, ALLOWS YOU TO GET A PREVIEW OF THE STARS FOR THE NEXT SEASON.  ORION AND SIRIUS WILL BE VISIBLE IN THE WINTER EVENINGS, BUT FOR NOW, YOU CAN CATCH THEM IN THE EARLY MORNINGS. AT 6: 30 AM THE HARVEST MOON IS NOW OVER IN THE WEST AND SINKING LOWER AND LOWER IN THE SKY.  AS WE MOVE FORWARD TO 7 AM THE MOON BEGINS TO TURN ORANGER AGAIN JUST LIKE IT DID WHEN IT ROSE HALF A DAY AGO.  AND BY 7: 30 THE SUN WILL HAVE RISEN IN THE EAST AS THE MOON SETS IN THE WEST.  SO DURING A HARVEST MOON, YOU EXPERIENCE 12 HOURS OF DAYLIGHT FROM THE SUN AND 12 HOURS OF MOONLIGHT FROM THE MOON.  MY QUESTION IS, WITH ALL THIS LIGHT TO HELP THEM HARVEST, WHEN DID FARMERS SLEEP?

MARLENE:  SO LOOK FOR THE HARVEST MOON ON THE NIGHTS OF SEPTEMBER 18 AND 19.

DEAN:  STAY UP LATE TO WATCH IT LIGHT UP THE NIGHT.

JAMES:  OR GET UP EARLY TO SEE IT SET AS THE SUN RISES.

ALL THREE:  KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #13-36 "All Night With the Harvest Moon"
Air Dates September 9, 2013 - September 15, 2013



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES:  SEPTEMBER 19TH IS THE OFFICIAL NIGHT OF THE HARVEST MOON.

DEAN:  THE HARVEST MOON RISES AT SUNSET AND LIGHTS UP THE ENTIRE NIGHT.  LET'S FOLLOW ITS PATH IN EARLY EVENING, AFTER MIDNIGHT, AND JUST BEFORE DAWN.

JAMES:  WE'RE LOOKING EAST JUST AFTER SUNSET ON SEPTEMBER 19TH.  THERE YOU'LL FIND THE HARVEST MOON JUST RISING WITH AN ORANGE TINT.

DEAN:  NOW LET'S MAKE IT 1 A.M., WHEN THE HARVEST MOON REACHES ITS HIGHEST POINT ABOVE THE SOUTHERN HORIZON.  ZOOMED IN THROUGH A TELESCOPE LIKE THIS, IT IS BRIGHT! I'D RECOMMEND WEARING SUNGLASSES.

JAMES:  BEFORE DAWN, LOOK WEST AND SEE THE HARVEST MOON SETTING.  AS IT GETS LOWER THE MOON BEGINS TO TURN ORANGER AGAIN JUST LIKE IT DID WHEN IT ROSE HALF A DAY AGO.  AND THEN THE SUN WILL RISE IN THE EAST AS THE MOON SETS IN THE WEST.

DEAN:  SO DURING A HARVEST MOON, YOU EXPERIENCE 12 HOURS OF DAYLIGHT FROM THE SUN AND 12 HOURS OF MOONLIGHT FROM THE MOON.

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