WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-16 "Follow the Arc to Arcturus and Hit a Spike to Spica"
Air Dates April 21, 2014 - April 27, 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. WE'RE GONNA DO A LITTLE STAR HOPPING THIS WEEK AND DISCOVER NEW STARS AND CONSTELLATIONS. OUR JUMPING-OFF POINT WILL BE THE BIG DIPPER.

DEAN: THE BIG DIPPER - THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE STAR PATTERN - VISIBLE MOST OF THE YEAR - WILL BE YOUR GUIDE TO THE HEAVENS. FIRST IT'LL POINT US TO THE NORTH STAR…

JAMES: THEN SHOW US THE WAY TO THE BRIGHT ORANGE STAR ARCTURUS…

DEAN: THEN LEAD US TO THE BRILLIANT BLUE STAR SPICA.

JAMES: AND WE'LL EVEN MEET A PLANET ALONG THE WAY.

DEAN: LET'S SHOW YOU!

JAMES: OK, WE HAVE OUR APRIL SKIES SET UP TO 10PM FACING NORTHEAST WHERE WE SEE THE BIG  DIPPER HIGH ABOVE THE NORTH STAR. IF ITS CUP WAS FULL OF WATER IT'D BE POURING RIGHT INTO THE LITTLE DIPPER AND OVERFLOWING ONTO THE GROUND BELOW.

DEAN: IF WE SHOOT AN ARROW THROUGH THE TWO STARS ON THE END OF THE BIG DIPPER'S CUP, AND CONTINUE THAT LINE, IT'LL RUN SMACK DAB INTO THE NORTH STAR.

JAMES: NOW LET'S USE THE BIG DIPPERS HANDLE TO FIND TWO MORE WONDERFUL STARS AND A PLANET. SIMPLY DRAW AN IMAGINARY LINE THROUGH THE HANDLE OF THE BIG DIPPER AND EXTEND IT OUT ALONG THE CURVE, OR ARC, AND YOU'LL ARC YOUR WAY TO THE BRIGHT STAR ARCTURUS.

DEAN: SO IN OTHER WORDS, REPEAT AFTER ME, FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS.

JAMES: FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS. HEY THAT'S PRETTY CATCHY.

DEAN: THANKS. ITS JUST A LITTLE SOMETHING I CAME UP WITH. ARCTURUS IS THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE CONSTELLATION BOOTES THE HERDSMAN.

JAMES: HIS OUTLINE LOOKS MORE LIKE A NARROW KITE.

DEAN: OR AN ICE CREAM CONE ON ITS SIDE.

JAMES:  LOOKOUT DEAN! THAT SCOOP OF ICE CREAM IS FALLING ON YOU!

JAMES: AFTER YOU ARC TO ARCTURUS KEEP GOING. STRAIGHTEN OUT THE ARC A BIT AND, TO THE RIGHT YOU WILL RUN INTO A BRIGHT BLUE STAR CALLED SPICA. SPICA IS THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE CONSTELLATION VIRGO THE MAIDEN. SHE'S STANDING UPRIGHT AND COVERS MOST OF THE EASTERN SKY. IS THERE A CATCHY SAYING TO FIND SPICA?

DEAN: OF COURSE. FIRST FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS.

JAMES: UH HUH.

DEAN: THEN HIT A SPIKE… TO SPICA!

JAMES: WOW, THAT'S A LOT LESS CATCHY…

DEAN: YEAH I KNOW, BUT MAYBE IT'S SO BAD THAT YOU'LL REMEMBER IT.

DEAN: LET'S COMPARE ARCTURUS AND SPICA TO OUR STAR - THE SUN. ARCTURUS IS RELATIVELY CLOSE TO US - ONLY 37 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. SPICA IS ABOUT 7 TIMES FARTHER - AT AROUND 261 LIGHT YEARS. THE SUN, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS ONLY 8 LIGHT MINUTES AWAY.

JAMES: NOW LET'S SIZE THESE THREE STARS UP. THE SUN IS ABOUT 865,000 MILES IN DIAMETER. THAT'S LARGE ENOUGH FOR 109 EARTHS TO STRETCH END TO END ACROSS ITS WIDTH.

DEAN: BUT THAT'S NOTHING COMPARED TO SPICA WHICH IS OVER 7 TIMES WIDER THAN OUR SUN AND ARCTURUS WHICH IS OVER 25 TIMES WIDER.

DEAN: THIS ARC-TO-ARCTURUS AND SPIKE-TO-SPICA TRICK WORKS EVERY SPRING, BUT THIS YEAR WE HAVE SOMETHING EXTRA. YOU'RE PROBABLY WONDERING ABOUT THAT EXTRA POINT OF LIGHT ABOVE SPICA - ITS REALLY BRIGHT AND A LITTLE RED. SO LETS FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS… SPIKE TO SPICA… AND THEN MOTOR UP TO MARS.

JAMES: AH, THE RED PLANET! YOU'VE PROBABLY NOTICED MARS IN THE EVENING SKY RISING IN THE EAST AFTER SUNSET. NOT ONLY DOES IT HAVE A DISTINCTIVE COLOR BUT IT DOESN'T TWINKLE AS MUCH AS THE STARS DO. EARLIER THIS MONTH, MARS WAS AT ITS CLOSEST POINT TO THE EARTH BUT NOW THE EARTH IS SLOWLY LEAVING MARS BEHIND. EVEN THOUGH MARS IS ALMOST 60 MILLION MILES AWAY, YOU WILL STILL BE ABLE TO SEE IT IN THE EVENING SKIES FOR THE REST OF 2014.

DEAN: SINCE MARS IS A PLANET, IT WANDERS AROUND THE BACKGROUND STARS. IT JUST HAPPENS TO BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE THIS YEAR TO CRASH OUR ARC-TO-ARCTURUS AND SPIKE-TO-SPICA PARTY AND ADDS A LITTLE EXTRA SPICE TO YOUR EVENING STAR GAZING.

JAMES: SO THIS SPRING GET OUTSIDE AND LET THE BIG DIPPER BE YOUR GUIDE.

DEAN: THE TWO STARS ON THE END OF THE SPOON WILL TAKE YOU TO THE NORTH STAR.

JAMES: AND THE CURVED STARS ON THE HANDLE WILL LET YOU ARC TO ARCTURUS

DEAN: HIT A SPIKE TO SPICA!

JAMES: AND MOTOR UP TO MARS.

DEAN: AND AS YOU SPIN AROUND THE GALAXY THIS WEEK, REMEMBER TO…

ALL: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-16 "Follow the Arc to Arcturus and Hit a Spike to Spica"
Air Dates April 21, 2014 - April 27, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: APRIL IS A GREAT MONTH TO PLAY THE ARC-TO-ARCTURUS AND SPIKE-TO-SPICA GAME.

JAMES: IN OTHER WORDS, THE BIG DIPPER WILL POINT US TO TWO VERY COOL STARS.

DEAN: AND WE'LL EVEN MEET A PLANET ALONG THE WAY.

JAMES: WE HAVE OUR APRIL SKIES SET TO 10PM FACING NORTHEAST WHERE WE SEE THE BIG DIPPER HIGH ABOVE THE NORTH STAR.

DEAN: NOW DRAW AN IMAGINARY ARC THROUGH THE HANDLE OF THE BIG DIPPER AND EXTEND IT OUT UNTIL YOU RUN INTO THE BRIGHT ORANGE STAR ARCTURUS.

JAMES: FOLLOW THE ARC TO ARCTURUS!

DEAN: HEY, THAT'S PRETTY CATCHY. THEN IF YOU KEEP GOING, AND STRAIGHTEN OUT THE ARC A BIT, OVER TO THE RIGHT YOU'LL FIND THE BRIGHT BLUE STAR CALLED SPICA.

JAMES: HIT A SPIKE TO SPICA.

DEAN: YEAH, THAT'S NOT QUITE AS CATCHY.

JAMES: I KNOW. BUT IT WORKS. PLUS, THIS SPRING THE RED PLANET MARS WILL BE ABOVE SPICA.

DEAN: COOL! SO THIS MONTH REMEMBER TO ARC TO ARCTURUS,

JAMES: SPIKE TO SPICA, AND

DEAN: MOTOR UP TO MARS.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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