WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-03 "A New Perspective on Orion"
Air Dates January 20, 2014 - January 26, 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. NOW THAT WE'RE IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, IT'S TIME FOR ONE CONSTELLATION TO REALLY SHINE.

DEAN: THAT'S RIGHT, ORION IS THE UNMISTAKABLE KING OF THE STARS THIS SEASON. YOU CAN FIND HIM BY HIS DISTINCTIVE THREE STARS IN A ROW THAT MARK HIS BELT AND SEVERAL OTHER STARS THAT MARK HIS BODY AND HEAD.

JAMES: FROM EARTH, THE OUTLINE OF ORION IS EASY TO IMAGINE. BUT WHAT IF YOU COULD TAKE A TRIP OFF THE EARTH AND SAIL AMONG THE STARS? WOULD ORION STILL LOOK THE SAME FROM ANOTHER SOLAR SYSTEM?

DEAN: LET'S SHOW YOU!

(STOP & DROP)

DEAN: THE STARS ARE ALL DIFFERENT DISTANCES FROM US IN SPACE. THE CLOSEST STAR IS CALLED ALPHA CENTAURI AND WE SHOULD REALLY CALL IT A SYSTEM INSTEAD OF A STAR. ALPHA CENTAURI IS ACTUALLY THREE STARS THAT ORBIT EACH OTHER. TWO YELLOW SUNS AND ONE LITTLE RED ONE.

JAMES: THE SYSTEM IS ABOUT 4.3 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. IN MILES THATS ABOUT 25 TRILLION MILES! SO EVEN THOUGH ALPHA CENTAURI IS CLOSER THAN THE OTHER STARS, IT'S NOT EXACTLY CLOSE.

DEAN: THE FARTHEST STAR YOU COULD SEE WITH THE NAKED EYE IS DENEB. IT MARKS THE TAIL OF THE SWAN CONSTELLATION CYGNUS.

JAMES: IT'S A WHOPPING 3000 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. SO THE DISTANCE TO STARS YOU SEE AT NIGHT CAN VARY A LOT!

(STOP)

MARLENE: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKY SET TO ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK FACING SOUTHEAST. AND BEHOLD! THERE HE IS, ORION IN ALL HIS GLORY.

JAMES: NO STARS TIE TOGETHER LIKE THOSE IN THE CONSTELLATION OF ORION. LET'S OUTLINE THE THREE STARS IN A ROW HE WEARS FOR A BELT. THEIR NAMES ARE, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, ALNITAK, ALNILAM, AND MINTAKA.

MARLENE: FROM THERE WE CAN OUTLINE THE REST OF HIS BODY TO SHOW HIM AS A MIGHTY HUNTER WITH HIS UPRAISED RIGHT ARM HOLDING A CLUB AND HIS OUTSTRETCHED LEFT ARM HOLDING A LION SKIN. AND HE HAS OTHER STARS THAT FORM A SWORD HANGING FROM HIS BELT.

JAMES: OKAY, I KNOW THAT TAKES A LOT OF IMAGINATION, BUT SEE IF YOU CAN SEE HIM IN THE STARS.

(STOP & ZOOM IN)

MARLENE: NOW LET'S LABEL ORION'S OTHER MAJOR STARS. WE HAVE BRIGHT BLUE RIGEL MARKING HIS FOOT AND THE REALLY RED STAR NAMED BETELGEUSE MARKING HIS ARMPIT.

DEAN: HIS OTHER SHOULDER IS A STAR CALLED BELLATRIX AND THE OTHER KNEE IS CALLED SAIPH. FINALLY HIS HEAD STAR, WHICH IS KIND OF DIM… IS CALLED MEISSA.

MARLENE: SO, YOU'RE CALLING ORION DUMB?

DEAN: NO, JUST… DIM. ANYWAY, FROM EARTH THESE 8 STARS FORM A NICE, NEAT PATTERN THAT OUR IMAGINATIONS CAN TURN INTO A GIANT HUNTER. THEY LOOK LIKE THEY'RE THE SAME DISTANCE FROM US, BUT…

(STOP)

JAMES: THE CLOSEST OF THE EIGHT STARS IS BELLATRIX AT ABOUT 244 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. THAT MEANS THE LIGHT WE SEE SHINING FROM THIS STAR LEFT IT 244 YEARS AGO.

DEAN: NEXT IS BIG, BAD BETELGEUSE WHO IS ABOUT 624 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. SO ORION'S ARMPIT IS NOWHERE NEAR HIS OTHER SHOULDER.

MARLENE: SAIPH IS A LITTLE FARTHER, AT AROUND 650 LIGHT YEARS AND RIGEL MEASURES ABOUT 772 LIGHT YEARS AWAY.

JAMES: SO, ORION'S HEAD AND BELT ARE HIS FARTHEST STARS. BELT STAR ALNITAK IS ABOUT 800 LIGHT YEARS AWAY AND MINTAKA LIES 916 LIGHT YEARS AWAY.

DEAN: HEAD STAR MEISSA IS 1042 LIGHT YEARS AWAY AND…

MARLENE: ALNILAM IS A WHOPPING 1342 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. THAT MEANS THAT, BECAUSE WE CAN SEE ALNILAM AS A BRIGHT STAR, AT SUCH A VAST DISTANCE, IT MUST BE HUMONGOUS.

JAMES: THAT'S RIGHT, THE DIAMETER OF ALNILAM IS 30 TIMES THAT OF OUR SUN.

(STOP)

JAMES: SO WHAT IF WE LAUNCH OFF THE EARTH AND TRAVEL FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT TO GAIN A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON THE STARS OF ORION?

DEAN: WHEN WE COME AROUND TO THE SIDE OF THESE 8 STARS WE CAN SEE BELLATRIX FAR AWAY FROM THE REST AND ALNILAM WAY OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE. CAN YOU SEE ORION IN THE STARS NOW?

JAMES: DEFINITELY NOT FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE.

DEAN: LET'S HEAD BACK HOME SINCE I PREFER OUR EARTHLY VIEW.

(STOP)

MARLENE: SO LOOK FOR ORION THIS WEEK AND THINK ABOUT THE VAST DISTANCES TO THE STARS.

JAMES: AND THE VAST EMPTINESS BETWEEN THE STARS.

DEAN: STARGAZING CAN DEFINITELY TAKE YOUR MIND ON SOME INCREDIBLE JOURNEYS AS YOU…

ALL THREE: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-03 "A New Perspective on Orion"
Air Dates January 20, 2014 - January 26, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
MARLENE: NOW THAT IT'S WINTER, ORION IS THE UNMISTAKABLE KING OF THE STARS. FROM EARTH, HIS OUTLINE IS EASY TO IMAGINE.

DEAN: BUT WHAT IF YOU COULD TAKE A TRIP OFF THE EARTH AND SAIL AMONG THE STARS? WOULD ORION STILL LOOK LIKE ORION?

(STOP & DROP)

DEAN: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKY SET TO ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK FACING SOUTHEAST. AND THERE HE IS! ORION IN ALL HIS GLORY.

MARLENE: LOOK FOR THE THREE STARS IN A ROW FOR A BELT PLUS TWO SHOULDER STARS AND TWO KNEE STARS. I CAN EASILY PICTURE A HUNTER IN THOSE STARS.

DEAN: ALL OF THE STARS ARE DIFFERENT DISTANCES AWAY FROM US SO LET'S ZOOM INTO ORION AND LOOK AT HIM FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.

(STOP)

MARLENE: IF WE LAUNCH OFF THE EARTH AND TRAVEL FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT WE CAN COME AROUND TO THE SIDE OF HIS 8 MAIN STARS. THE SHAPE IS ALL CHANGED! EVEN HIS BELT STARS ARE SPREAD OUT.

DEAN: WOW! ITS A WHOLE NEW CONSTELLATION FROM A WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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