WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-17 "Astronomy Day and More"
Air Dates April 28, 2014 - May 4, 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. MARK SATURDAY, MAY 10TH ON YOUR CALENDAR AS NATIONAL ASTRONOMY DAY, A DAY WHEN MOST ASTRONOMY CLUBS, PLANETARIUMS AND SCIENCE CENTERS ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL BE CELEBRATING STARGAZING WITH ALL KINDS OF THINGS ASTRONOMICAL, INCLUDING LOOKING THROUGH TELESCOPES, AND USUALLY FREE OF CHARGE.

DEAN:  SINCE 1973 NATIONAL ASTRONOMY DAY HAS BEEN OBSERVED IN APRIL OR MAY ON THE SATURDAY CLOSEST TO THE 1ST QUARTER MOON, WHICH WILL BE ON THE 6TH THIS YEAR. NOW WHY DO THEY DO THAT? WELL, 1ST QUARTER MOONS ARE ALWAYS HIGH IN THE SKY AND EASILY VISIBLE IN EARLY EVENING AND THEY'RE MUCH MORE INTERESTING TO OBSERVE THROUGH TELESCOPES FOR ASTRONOMY DAY.

JAMES: AND THEY DON'T BRIGHTEN THE SKY SO MUCH THAT OTHER THINGS LIKE PLANETS ARE WASHED OUT. SO A SATURDAY CLOSE TO A 1ST QUARTER MOON IN MAY, WHEN THE WEATHER IS TURNING NICE JUST FITS THE BILL.

DEAN: SO CALL YOUR LOCAL PLANETARIUM, SCIENCE CENTER OR ASTRONOMY CLUB TO SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING FOR ASTRONOMY DAY AND CHECK OUR WEBSITE STARGAZERSONLINE.ORG FOR MORE INFO.

JAMES: AND AS THEY HAVE FOR MANY YEARS, ASTRONOMY MAGAZINE AND CELESTRON TELESCOPES ARE ONCE AGAIN SPONSORING ASTRONOMY DAY ACTIVITIES ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH CELESTRON PROVIDING TELESCOPES AS DOOR PRIZES AND A GRAND PRIZE WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN FROM ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR A SPECIAL TELESCOPE PRIZE.

DEAN: NOW JUST COINCIDENTALLY THERE ARE THREE PLANETS AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING JUST AFTER SUNSET AND THE MOON WILL HELP YOU FIND THEM. LET'S SHOW YOU.

JAMES: O.K., WE'VE GOT OUR SKIES SET UP FOR MAY 3RD ABOUT AN HOUR AFTER SUNSET, FACING WEST WHERE YOU'LL SEE THE BRIGHT PLANET JUPITER WHICH HAS BEEN PROVIDING A SPECTACULAR SKY SHOW FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS.

DEAN: JUST ABOVE JUPITER YOU'LL FIND CASTOR AND POLLUX THE BRIGHT TWIN STARS IN GEMINI. AND BELOW JUPITER A WAXING 5 DAY OLD CRESCENT MOON. THEN ON SUNDAY THE 4TH A SLIGHTLY FATTER CRESCENT MOON WILL BE JUST TO THE LEFT OF JUPITER. ONCE AGAIN, THE 3RD AND THE 4TH.

JAMES: IF YOU KEEP ON WATCHING JUPITER EACH NIGHT OVER THE NEXT TWO MONTHS YOU'LL SEE SOMETHING REALLY UNUSUAL. LET'S LOOK AT JUPITER AND CASTOR AND POLLUX ONCE MORE. THEY MAKE A NICE RIGHT TRIANGLE, DON'T THEY?

DEAN: BUT OVER THE NEXT TWO MONTHS JUPITER WILL RAPIDLY MOVE EASTWARD IN THE SKY EACH NIGHT AND BY THE END OF JUNE AS JUPITER IS DISAPPEARING IN THE GLOW OF EVENING TWILIGHT CASTOR, POLLUX AND JUPITER WILL ALMOST BE IN A STRAIGHT LINE. ONCE AGAIN - RIGHT TRIANGLE EARLY IN MAY, STRAIGHT LINE AT THE END OF JUNE.

JAMES: LET'S GET BACK TO THE MOON AND THE OTHER PLANETS. IF YOU WATCH EVERY NIGHT NEXT WEEK YOU'LL SEE THE MOON MOVE FARTHER TO THE EAST EACH EVENING. AND ON SATURDAY MAY 10, ASTRONOMY DAY, A FAIRLY PUDGY 11 DAY OLD MOON WILL BE ABOUT 6 DEGREES WEST OF MARS. AND THE NEXT NIGHT MAY 11TH THE MOON WILL BE EAST OF MARS.

DEAN: AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE A TELESCOPE MOST ASTRONOMY CLUBS, PLANETARIUMS AND SCIENCE CENTERS WILL BE SHOWING YOU JUPITER AND MARS AND THE MOON THROUGH THEIR TELESCOPES ON ASTRONOMY DAY.

JAMES: NOW WE SAID THERE WERE THREE PLANETS THAT THE MOON WOULD BE SHOWING YOU. LET'S TURN TO THE SOUTHEAST AFTER ENJOYING MARS, AND THE RINGED PLANET SATURN WILL BE CLIMBING HIGHER IN THE SKY. SATURN IS BRIGHTER THAN IT WAS AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR, IN FACT IT'S BRIGHTER THAN IT HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST SEVEN YEARS. BUT WHY?

DEAN: LET'S START BY REMEMBERING THE BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STARS AND PLANETS. STARS PRODUCE THEIR OWN LIGHT, LOTS OF IT, WHILE WE SEE PLANETS ONLY BECAUSE THEY REFLECT THE LIGHT OF ONLY ONE STAR, THE SUN. PLANETS LIKE SATURN ARE REALLY DINKY WHEN IT COMES TO SHOWING LIGHT IN THE SKY. BUT SINCE THEY'RE REALLY CLOSE SOME OF THE PLANETS CAN APPEAR TO BE REALLY BRIGHT.

JAMES: NOW SATURN'S RINGS ARE A BIG PART OF THE REFLECTING SURFACE THAT SENDS LIGHT FROM THE SUN BACK OUR WAY HERE ON EARTH. THE RINGS DO NOT LOOK THE SAME ALL THE TIME. IN 2009 SATURN'S RINGS WERE EDGE ON TO US AND REFLECTED VERY LITTLE, AND FOR A SHORT TIME, NO LIGHT. BUT THAT WAS OVER FOUR YEARS AGO, WE'LL BE TALKING MORE ABOUT THE CHANGING BRIGHTNESS OF SATURN IN AN UPCOMING EPISODE OF STAR GAZERS.

JAMES: AT ANY RATE ENJOY ALL THE FREE EVENTS AND FREE TELESCOPIC VIEWING ON NATIONAL ASTRONOMY DAY.

DEAN: IT'LL BE A GREAT OUTING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-17 "Astronomy Day and More"
Air Dates April 28, 2014 - May 4, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: SATURDAY, MAY 10TH IS NATIONAL ASTRONOMY DAY, WHEN MOST ASTRONOMY CLUBS AND PLANETARIUMS WILL BE CELEBRATING STARGAZING WITH ALL KINDS OF THINGS ASTRONOMICAL, INCLUDING LOOKING THROUGH TELESCOPES.

JAMES: PLUS THERE WILL BE THREE BRIGHT PLANETS VISIBLE ON ASTRONOMY DAY. LET'S SHOW YOU.

JAMES: O.K., WE'VE GOT OUR SKIES SET UP FOR ASTRONOMY DAY, SATURDAY MAY 10TH JUST AFTER SUNSET, FACING WEST WHERE YOU'LL SEE THE BRIGHT PLANET JUPITER WHICH HAS BEEN PROVIDING A SPECTACULAR SKY SHOW FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS.

DEAN: JUST ABOVE JUPITER YOU'LL ALSO SEE  GEMINI.

JAMES: IF YOU LOOK INTO THE SOUTH ON ASTRONOMY DAY YOU'LL EASILY SPOT THE MOON.  THE RED PLANET MARS WILL BE EAST OF THE MOON ON SATURDAY NIGHT, AND WEST OF THE MOON ON SUNDAY NIGHT.

DEAN: LET'S TURN TO THE SOUTHEAST AND THE RINGED PLANET SATURN WILL BE CLIMBING HIGHER IN THE SKY. SATURN IS BRIGHTER THAN IT WAS LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME. BUT WHY?

JAMES: ENJOY THREE EVENING PLANETS AND THE MOON ON NATIONAL ASTRONOMY DAY.

ALL: KEEP LOOKING UP

 

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