WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-19 "Two Queens in the Morning Light and Watch the Wanderers"
Air Dates May 12, 2014 - May 18, 2014



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

DEAN: AND, I’M DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FOR THE CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY.

JAMES: THE BRILLIANT PLANET VENUS HAS DOMINATED THE MORNING SKY FOR MOST OF THIS YEAR, AND SOON A SKINNY CRESCENT MOON IS GOING TO SNUGGLE RIGHT UP NEXT TO VENUS.

DEAN: BE SURE TO GET OUT BEFORE DAWN SUNDAY MAY 25TH AND LOOK EAST TO FIND THE MOON JUST ABOVE VENUS. IT'S A GREAT CHANCE TO USE THE MOON AS A FINDER FOR IDENTIFYING A PLANET.

JAMES: LET'S SHOW YOU.

JAMES: OK. WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET UP FACING EAST, BEFORE DAWN NEXT WEEK. AND ALMOST EXACTLY DUE EAST, ABOUT A FIST ABOVE THE HORIZON YOU'LL EASILY SPOT A VERY BRIGHT POINT OF LIGHT, THE PLANET VENUS.

DEAN: VENUS HAS BEEN IN THE MORNING SKY SINCE JANUARY. SHE REACHED HER PEAK BRIGHTNESS IN EARLY FEBRUARY AND HAS BEEN DIMMING SLOWLY EVER SINCE AS SHE STEADILY GETS FARTHER AND FARTHER AWAY FROM US.

JAMES: LET'S BACK UP TO EARLY FEBRUARY AND NOTICE WHERE VENUS WAS IN THE MORNING SKY BACK THEN. WE'RE SET UP TO ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE FEB 12TH. LOOK WHERE VENUS WAS, SHE WAS MUCH FARTHER TO THE RIGHT IN THE SOUTHEAST, ALMOST 40 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT OF EAST.

DEAN: LET'S GO FORWARD IN TIME, A MONTH, TO MARCH 12TH. VENUS HAS SHIFTED A LITTLE BIT TO THE NORTH, ABOUT 2 DEGREES. NOW ANOTHER MONTH TO APRIL 12TH AND THERE'S A BIG CHANGE, ALMOST 15 DEGREES MORE TO THE NORTH.

JAMES: LET'S DO IT AGAIN, ANOTHER MONTH TO MAY 12TH AND VENUS IS NOW ALMOST 20 DEGREES FARTHER NORTH. WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? HERE'S WHERE IT WAS, AT ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE IN FEBRUARY, THEN IN MARCH, THEN IN APRIL AND NOW IN MAY.

DEAN: AND WATCH HOW MUCH VENUS WILL MOVE OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS: MAY 14;

JAMES: MAY 16;

DEAN: MAY 18;

JAMES: MAY 20; HEY HERE COMES THE MOON

DEAN: MAY 22; MOON CLOSER

JAMES: MAY 24; CLOSER YET

DEAN: AND MAY 25TH A REALLY SKINNY, 26 DAY OLD MOON IS ABOUT TWO AND A HALF DEGREES ABOVE VENUS. THE MOON IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT THE SIDEWAYS MOVEMENT OF VENUS BECAUSE VENUS IS SHIFTING ITS POSITION NORTHWARD ABOUT ONE MOON WIDTH EACH DAY.

JAMES: ONE MOON WIDTH IS ABOUT HALF A DEGREE.

JAMES: VENUS IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE QUEEN OF THE PLANETS BUT THERE IS ANOTHER QUEEN IN THIS AREA OF THE SKY JUST ABOVE VENUS. LOOK UP AND TO THE LEFT OF VENUS IN THE PREDAWN SKY OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND YOU'LL EASILY PICK OUT THE ZIG ZAG W OF STARS THAT MARKS THE QUEEN CASSIOPEIA.

DEAN: NOW WHEN WE SAY THE WORD CASSIOPEIA WE CAN MEAN SEVERAL DIFFERENT THINGS. IT COULD REFER TO THESE 5 STARS MAKING A KIND OF W IN THE SKY…

JAMES: OR IT COULD MEAN THE ASTRONOMICAL CONSTELLATION CASSIOPEIA, WHICH IS A WEIRDLY SHAPED BOX IN THE SKY THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS. REMEMBER THAT ASTRONOMICAL CONSTELLATIONS ARE ARBITRARILY DEFINED AREAS OF THE SKY. THEY ARE NOT ALL THE SAME SHAPE OR SIZE AND CAN BE REALLY CONFUSING.

DEAN IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE OFFICIAL CONSTELLATIONS THAT ASTRONOMERS USE WERE DEVELOPED FOR MAPPING THE SKY AND WERE NOT DEFINED UNTIL 1930.

JAMES: OR THE WORD CASSIOPEIA COULD REFER TO THE MYTHOLOGICAL FIGURE OF A QUEEN OF ANCIENT ETHIOPIA. AT LEAST THAT'S HOW THE GREEKS SAW THIS SECTION OF THE SKY. MANY OF THE CONSTELLATIONS PREDATE THE GREEKS AND ARE THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD. JUST ABOUT EVERY CULTURE THROUGHOUT HISTORY CREATED THEIR OWN MYTHOLOGICAL FIGURES AND SELECTED STAR PATTERNS WHICH THEY USED TO MARK THEM OUT IN THE SKY.

DEAN: HOW ABOUT THE EVENING SKY? DO WE HAVE ANYTHING INTERESTING GOING ON AFTER SUNSET?

JAMES: ACTUALLY WE DO.  IN THE EVENING SKY, JUPITER WILL SHOW YOU HOW IT MOVES OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

DEAN: WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET UP FACING WEST JUST AFTER IT STARTS TO GET DARK. JUPITER IS THE BRIGHTEST LIGHT OUT THERE WITH THE BRIGHT GEMINI TWINS, CASTOR AND POLLUX ABOVE IT.

JAMES: WE'LL START ON MAY 18TH AND ADVANCE A WEEK AT A TIME. MAY 25TH, JUNE 1ST, A 4 DAY OLD MOON IS NEARBY, JUNE 8TH, JUNE 15TH,

DEAN: NOTICE THAT JUPITER IS RAPIDLY MOVING EASTWARD IN THE SKY, FROM BELOW POLLUX ON MAY 18TH TO NEARLY IN-LINE WITH THE STARS BY JUNE 21ST AND EVEN CLOSER BY JUNE 28TH.

JAMES: KEEP WATCHING EACH NIGHT AS JUPITER AND GEMINI WILL SOON BE LOST IN THE GLARE OF THE SETTING SUN AS YOU…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-19 "Two Queens in the Morning Light and Watch the Wanderers"
Air Dates May 12, 2014 - May 18, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES:  VENUS HAS DOMINATED THE MORNING SKY FOR MOST OF THIS YEAR

DEAN: BE SURE TO GET OUT BEFORE DAWN SUNDAY MAY 25TH AND LOOK EAST TO FIND THE MOON JUST ABOVE VENUS.

JAMES: OK. WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET UP FACING EAST, BEFORE DAWN NEXT WEEK. AND ABOUT A FIST ABOVE THE HORIZON YOU'LL EASILY SPOT A VERY BRIGHT POINT OF LIGHT, THE PLANET VENUS.

DEAN: VENUS HAS BEEN IN THE MORNING SKY SINCE JANUARY. AND IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE QUEEN OF THE PLANETS BUT THERE'S ANOTHER QUEEN IN THIS AREA OF THE SKY JUST ABOVE VENUS.

JAMES: LOOK UP AND TO THE LEFT OF VENUS IN THE PREDAWN SKY OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND YOU'LL EASILY PICK OUT THE ZIG ZAG W OF STARS THAT MARKS THE QUEEN CASSIOPEIA.

DEAN: WE NOW HAVE OUR SKIES SET UP FACING WEST JUST AFTER IT STARTS TO GET DARK. JUPITER IS THE BRIGHTEST LIGHT OUT THERE WITH THE BRIGHT GEMINI TWINS, CASTOR AND POLLUX ABOVE IT.

JAMES: KEEP WATCHING EACH NIGHT AS JUPITER AND GEMINI WILL SOON BE LOST IN THE GLARE OF THE SETTING SUN AS YOU…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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