WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #13-43 "How to Spot a Planet in the Daytime"
Air Dates October 28, 2013 - November 3, 2013



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: HEY THERE STAR GAZERS. IíM JAMES ALBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE KIKA SILVA PLA PLANETARIUM IN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. 

DEAN: AND IíM DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FOR THE CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY.

JAMES: HEY DEAN HAVE YOU EVER SPOTTED A PLANET, DURING DAYTIME, BEFORE THE SUN GOES DOWN?

DEAN: OF COURSE, HASNíT EVERYONE?

JAMES: WELL NO, ITíS NOT THAT EASY, BUT IF WE SHARE A FEW TIPS, OUR FELLOW STAR GAZERS WILL BE ABLE TO FIND THE BRIGHTEST PLANET VENUS IN THE DAY TIME.

DEAN: AND NEXT WEEK THE MOON IS PERFECTLY PLACED TO MAKE IT EVEN EASIER. LETíS SHOW YOU.

JAMES: O.K. WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET UP FOR ABOUT AN HOUR AFTER SUNSET, TUESDAY NOVEMBER 5TH. AND IF YOUíLL LOOK SOUTH OF WEST A SKINNY CRESCENT MOON WILL BE ABOUT A FIST ABOVE THE HORIZON.

DEAN: AND TO THE LEFT OF THE MOON IS THE BRILLIANT PLANET VENUS. NOW VENUS IS THE BRIGHTEST POINT OF LIGHT OUT THERE. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT WISHING POEM FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD, ďSTAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT, FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHTÖ

JAMES: I WISH I MAY, I WISH I MIGHT, HAVE THE WISH I WISH TONIGHT. WELL ITíS EASY TO SEE WHY THAT ALMOST NEVER WORKS BECAUSE MOST OF THE TIME WEíRE WISHING ON THIS PLANET.

DEAN: AND THE FOLLOWING NIGHT, WEDNESDAY THE 6TH, THE MOON WILL BE EVEN CLOSER TO VENUS, LESS THAN HALF AS FAR AS IT WAS ON TUESDAY. THEN THURSDAY NIGHT THE MOON WILL BE PAST VENUS AND WILL BE ALMOST TWICE AS FAR AS IT WAS ON WEDNESDAY.

JAMES: LETíS LOOK AT THAT AGAIN BECAUSE ITíS THIS RAPID MOTION OF THE MOON FROM DAY TO DAY THAT MAKES THE MOON SO USEFUL AS A POINTER IN THE SKY. TUESDAY EVENING NOV 5TH, WEDNESDAY THE 6TH AND THURSDAY THE 7TH.

DEAN: ON EACH OF THOSE EVENINGS THE MOON WILL BE CLOSE ENOUGH TO VENUS TO HELP YOU FIND IT BUT YOU DONíT REALLY NEED THE MOONíS HELP TO LOCATE VENUS AFTER SUNSET BUT DURING THE DAY ITíS REALLY HARD TO DO IT WITHOUT THE MOONíS HELP.

DEAN: NOW IT MAY SURPRISE YOU TO HEAR THAT THE MOON AND VENUS ARE VISIBLE DURING THE DAYTIME BUT THEY ARE. THE SUNíS LIGHT DOESNíT MAGICALLY TURN OFF THE MOON OR VENUS, OR THE STARS FOR THAT MATTER, BUT THE SUN PUTS SO MUCH MORE LIGHT INTO THE DAYTIME SKY THAT THEY HAVE A HARD TIME COMPETING FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

JAMES: AND ITíS YOUR PERCEPTION THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT. BECAUSE THE MOON IS VISIBLE IN THE DAYTIME FOR MOST OF THE MONTH BUT FEW PEOPLE EVER SEE IT, MOSTLY BECAUSE THEY DONíT LOOK FOR IT.

DEAN: NOW THE KEY TO FINDING VENUS IN THE DAYTIME IS KNOWING WHEN THE MOON IS CLOSE ENOUGH TO VENUS TO SERVE AS A POINTER. AND NOVEMBER 5, 6, AND 7 ARE THREE SUCH DAYS. FIRST FIND A BUILDING ON YOUR SOUTHWESTERN HORIZON. YOUíRE GOING TO USE THE BUILDING AS A SHIELD TO BLOCK THE SUN.

JAMES: YOU HAVE TO STAND SO THE SUN IS BLOCKED BY THE BUILDING BUT NOT TOO MUCH.

DEAN: AHH GOLDILOCKS STRIKES AGAIN!

JAMES: YESSSS! ÖANYWAY THE BEST TIME TO TRY THIS IS BETWEEN 3 AND 5 IN THE AFTERNOON. STAND SO THE SUN IS BLOCKED BY THE BUILDING, ENOUGH SO YOU CAN LOOK AT THE SKY WITHOUT SQUINTING. THEN MENTALLY ESTIMATE WHERE THE SUN WOULD BE IF THE BUILDING WERENíT THERE AND THEN LOOK ABOUT 4 TO 5 FISTS TO THE LEFT OF THE SUN AND LOOK FOR THE 4 DAY OLD MOON.

DEAN: YOUíLL PROBABLY BE SURPRISED AT HOW BIG THE MOON WILL APPEAR TO BE. BUT FINDING THE MOON IS JUST THE FIRST STEP TO FINDING VENUS IN THE DAYTIME SKY.

JAMES: AFTER YOU HAVE LOCATED THE MOON HOLD YOUR FIST SO THE MOON IS JUST ABOVE YOUR THUMB. VENUS WILL BE JUST TO THE LEFT OF YOUR RING FINGER. VENUS WILL BE ABOUT 7 DEGREES BELOW THE MOON ON NOVEMBER 6TH SO THIS IS THE BEST DAY TO TRY IT BUT THE DAY BEFORE, THE 5TH, WILL WORK AND THE DAY AFTER, THE 7TH, WILL WORK TOO.

DEAN: LETíS LOOK AT THIS AT SAYÖ 3:30 AND THEN ABOUT AN HOUR AFTER SUNSET SO YOU CAN SEE HOW THE MOON AND VENUS SEEM TO TWIST AS THEY SET. HEREíS 3:30 AND THEN AN HOUR AFTER SUNSET.

JAMES: SO WE HAVE THE MOON AND VENUS IN THE DAYTIME AND THE MOON AND VENUS AFTER THE SUN HAS GONE DOWN ON NOV 5TH, 6TH AND 7TH .

DEAN: IS THE SUN REALLY GOING DOWN OR ARE WE TURNING AWAY FROM IT?

JAMES: THATíS SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT ASÖ

ALL: WE KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

 

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