WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-02 "Spica and Mars Sandwich the Moon"
Air Dates January 13, 2014 - January 19, 2014



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. DEAN, YOU'RE GOING TO LIKE THIS WEEK'S SHOW.

DEAN: WHY? DO WE HAVE AN ECLIPSE? A TRANSIT? AN OCCULTATION?

JAMES: NOPE. BUT WE HAVE TWO MOON-PLANET SCOOCHIES COMING UP AND BEST OF ALL, THEY HAPPEN REALLY LATE AT NIGHT.

DEAN: OOH, HOW LATE?

JAMES: 3 AM FOR ONE OF THEM AND 5 AM FOR THE OTHER.

DEAN: ALL-RIGHT! JUST WHEN I'M BRUSHING MY TEETH AND GETTING READY FOR BED. LET'S CHECK IT OUT!

(STOP)

DEAN: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKY SET TO MONDAY JANUARY 20TH FACING SOUTHEAST AT 3 IN THE MORNING. STOP YAWNING JAMES, WE HAVE THE WANING GIBBOUS MOON HIGH IN THE SKY AND TWO BRIGHT STARS DOWN AND TO THE LEFT OF IT.

JAMES: WOW, IT'S LATE… BUT IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY AT THE TWO STARS, THE ONE ON TOP IS DEFINITELY REDDER AND THE ONE ON THE BOTTOM IS DEFINITELY BLUER. THE RED PLANET MARS IS THE UPPER ONE AND THE BLUE STAR SPICA IS DOWN BELOW. NOW, WE WANT TO WATCH MARS AND SPICA OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF NIGHTS BECAUSE THE MOON IS GOING TO HEAD RIGHT FOR THEM.

DEAN: OOH, IS THE MOON GOING TO GO IN BETWEEN THEM?

JAMES: LET'S SEE. HERE IS THE SAME TIME OF NIGHT BUT ONE DAY FORWARD, JANUARY 21... HERE IS JANUARY 22... AND THEN JANUARY 23.

DEAN: WHAT? DID THE MOON JUST COVER OVER SPICA?

JAMES: NOT QUITE. - MARLENE, TAKE US IN FOR A CLOSER LOOK.

(STOP)

MARLENE: WE'RE ZOOMED IN NOW LIKE IF WE WERE LOOKING THROUGH A PAIR OF BINOCULARS. MARS IS ON THE TOP, SPICA AT THE BOTTOM AND THE MOON IS JUST ABOVE SPICA. WOW, THAT WAS A CLOSE CALL. OF COURSE SPICA IS WAY FARTHER AWAY THAN THE MOON AND THEY ARE ONLY APPEARING TO LINE UP. THE MOON IS JUST UNDER 240,000 MILES AWAY WHILE SPICA IS 263 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. EARLIER WE WATCHED HOW THE MOON MOVES FROM NIGHT TO NIGHT ACROSS THE SKY. NOW CHECK OUT HOW THE MOON MOVES FROM MINUTE TO MINUTE. WHEN WE ZOOM IN MORE WE'LL SEE THAT THE MOON IS JUST A HALF DEGREE FROM SPICA, WATCH WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE MOVE TIME FORWARD IN 30 MINUTE CHUNKS. HERE IS 3:30AM... 4AM... 4:30... AND 5AM. EVERY HOUR THE MOON SHIFTS ABOUT HALF A DEGREE - OR ITS OWN WIDTH. AND YOU CAN REALLY NOTICE THIS WHEN THE MOON GOES CLOSE TO A BRIGHT STAR LIKE SPICA.

(STOP)

JAMES: IN ADDITION TO THE MARS-MOON-SPICA SANDWICH ON JANUARY 23RD WE HAVE ANOTHER PLANETARY CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE MOON ALSO IN THE MORNING.

DEAN: I SEE IT'S NOW 5 AM ON JANUARY 23RD AND THE MOON IS STILL REALLY CLOSE TO SPICA. DOWN AND TO THE LEFT OF THE MOON IS ANOTHER PLANET, THE RINGED PLANET SATURN. THE MOON SHOULD HEAD SATURN'S WAY OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF NIGHTS.

JAMES: EXACTLY. HERE IS JANUARY 24TH... AND JANUARY 25TH.

DEAN: WOW, THAT'S ANOTHER CLOSE ONE!

JAMES: THE MOON WILL BE JUST A LITTLE OVER ONE AND A HALF DEGREES TO THE RIGHT OF SATURN

DEAN: CAN WE ZOOM IN?

JAMES: OF COURSE.

(STOP)

MARLENE: HERE WE HAVE SATURN AND THE MOON IN THE SAME FIELD OF VIEW. SATURN IS OVER 900 MILLION MILES AWAY, THAT'S ALMOST 4000 TIMES FARTHER THAN THE MOON. WE CAN SEE SATURN AT THAT DISTANCE BECAUSE IT'S SO HUGE. YOU COULD FIT OVER 33 MOONS ACROSS THE DIAMETER OF SATURN AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE THE RINGS. THE SUNLIGHT REFLECTS OFF SATURN'S MASSIVE SURFACE AND THE GORGEOUS RINGS AND BOUNCES ALL THE WAY BACK TO YOUR EYES.

(STOP)

DEAN: WHILE WE'RE UP THIS LATE, HOW ABOUT ONE MORE?

JAMES: AREN'T YOU TIRED YET?

DEAN: NO WAY, NOT WITH ALL THIS ACTION IN THE SKY. IT'S NOW 6 AM AND WE'RE FACING SOUTHEAST. THE MOON AND SATURN ARE STILL NEXT TO EACH OTHER, BUT LOOK OVER THERE, LOW IN THE SKY.

MARLENE: THAT BRIGHT OBJECT IS VENUS AND IT HAS NOW BECOME THE "MORNING STAR."

DEAN: IF WE GO FORWARD A FEW MORE DAYS, WILL THE MOON GET CLOSE TO IT?

MARLENELET'S SEE. HERE'S JANUARY 26...JANUARY 27...AND JANUARY 28.

DEAN: AHA, WHEN YOU WATCH THE SKIES LONG ENOUGH, YOU START TO FIGURE IT OUT.

JAMES: AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, CAN I GO TO BED NOW?

MARLENE SURE, IT'S ALL THERE WHEN YOU

ALL THREE: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-02 "Spica and Mars Sandwich the Moon"
Air Dates January 13, 2014 - January 19, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: THE MOON WILL HEAD BETWEEN THE PLANET MARS AND THE STAR SPICA.

DEAN: THAT'S RIGHT WE'LL HAVE A PLANET, MOON, STAR SANDWICH ON
JANUARY 23RD.

(STOP)

JAMES: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKY SET TO JANUARY 21ST FACING SOUTHEAST AT 3 IN THE MORNING. WE HAVE A WANING GIBBOUS MOON UP AND TO THE RIGHT OF TWO BRIGHT LIGHTS.

DEAN: THE RED PLANET MARS IS THE UPPER ONE AND THE BLUE STAR SPICA IS DOWN BELOW. IF WE GO FORWARD TO THE NEXT TWO NIGHTS - SAME TIME OF NIGHT…

JAMES: HERE IS JANUARY 22...AND THEN JANUARY 23.

DEAN: WHAT? DID THE MOON JUST COVER OVER SPICA?

JAMES: LET'S ZOOM IN AND SEE.

(STOP)

JAMES: MARS IS ON THE TOP, SPICA AT THE BOTTOM AND THE MOON IS JUST ABOVE SPICA.

DEAN: WOW,  THAT WAS A CLOSE CALL. OF COURSE SPICA IS WAY FARTHER AWAY THAN THE MOON AND THEY ONLY APPEAR TO LINE UP. THE MOON IS JUST UNDER 240,000 MILES AWAY WHILE SPICA IS 263 LIGHT YEARS AWAY.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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