WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-25 "A Very Special Sky for the 5th of July"
Air Dates June 23, 2014 - June 29, 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 HERE TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE SKY.  THE 4TH OF JULY IS COMING UP.

DEAN: I KNOW, AND I LOVE LYING BACK IN THE GRASS, WATCHING THE FIREWORKS, AND SEEING ALL THE STARS ON A WARM SUMMER EVENING.

JAMES: WELL, EACH JULY EVENING YOU CAN LOOK FOR THE CONSTELLATION SCORPIUS THE SCORPION.

DEAN: AND THIS JULY YOU CAN SEE THE RED PLANET MARS NEXT TO THE BLUE STAR SPICA.

JAMES: BUT FOR AN ENCORE TO THE FIREWORKS, WE WANT YOU TO GO OUT ON JULY 5TH AS WELL.

DEAN: EXACTLY, BECAUSE THE MOON WILL BE HAVING A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH MARS.

JAMES: LET'S SHOW YOU!

JAMES: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET FOR EARLY JULY LOOKING SOUTH AT 11PM.  LET'S START WITH THE SCORPION.  THERE IT IS - JUST ABOVE HORIZON - THE CONSTELLATION SCORPIUS. 

DEAN: SCORPIUS IS ONE OF THE FEW CONSTELLATIONS THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE ITS  NAMESAKE.  YOU WON'T NEED TO STRAIN YOUR IMAGINATION TO SEE A SCORPION IN THESE STARS.  LOOK FOR A LONG, FISHHOOK SHAPE OF STARS AND YOU'VE FOUND HIS TAIL AND STINGER. 

JAMES: THE STARS IN THIS REGION OF THE SKY TIE TOGETHER SO NICELY THAT, WITH JUST A LITTLE IMAGINATION, I CAN ALSO MAKE OUT, HIS BODY, HIS HEART AND EVEN HIS TWO CLAWS.  ONE CLAW IS NEXT TO THE PLANET SATURN THIS MONTH.

DEAN: AS THE NIGHT MOVES ON, THE SCORPION APPEARS TO MOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, OR WESTWARD, CREEPING ALONG THE SOUTHERN HORIZON.  THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN SCORPIUS IS A BEAUTIFUL RED SUPERGIANT NAMED ANTARES.  ITS NAME MEANS, RIVAL OF MARS, BECAUSE OF ITS SIMILAR COLOR TO THE RED PLANET. 

JAMES: ANTARES IS ONE OF THE LARGEST STARS IN OUR GALAXY.  IF ANTARES TOOK THE PLACE OF OUR SUN, IT WOULD REACH PAST THE ORBIT OF MARS.  IF ANTARES WAS OUR SUN, WE'D BE DEEP INSIDE IT. 

DEAN: WITH ITS FLICKERING RED FLAME, ANTARES IS WELL PLACED TO BE THE BEATING HEART OF THE SINUOUS SCORPION.  BUT WATCH OUT FOR HIS STINGER!

JAMES: AT THE END OF THE FISHHOOK SHAPE, YOU'LL SPY TWO STARS THAT SEEM ALMOST ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.  THE BRIGHTER ONE IS CALLED SHAULA AND THE DIMMER ONE IS LESATH.  TOGETHER THEY WERE KNOWN AS, 'THE STING' IN ANCIENT ARABIC AND ARE THE BRIGHTEST STARS TO APPEAR SO CLOSE TOGETHER IN THE NIGHT SKY.

JAMES: AT 11PM ON THE 4TH OF JULY, RIGHT AFTER THE FIREWORKS, THIS IS WHAT YOU WOULD SEE LOOKING SOUTH  SOUTHWEST.  THE FIRST QUARTER MOON WILL BE TO THE RIGHT OF TWO BRIGHT NIGHT LIGHTS.

DEAN: THE BRIGHTER AND REDDER OF THE TWO IS THE PLANET MARS.  THE BLUER AND DIMMER ONE, OVER TO THE LEFT OF MARS, IS THE STAR NAMED SPICA IN THE CONSTELLATION VIRGO THE MAIDEN.

JAMES: SATURN IS FARTHER TO THE LEFT  AND NEXT TO THE CLAW-STAR OF THE SCORPION, THE STAR WITH THE FUNNY NAME, ZUBENELGENUBI.  WHILE ANTARES, THE HEART OF THE SCORPION, IS EVEN FARTHER TO THE LEFT, FLICKERING RED, LOW IN THE SOUTHERN SKY.  

DEAN: SO WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE 5TH OF JULY?  WELL, LET'S SKIP AHEAD IN TIME ONE DAY AND SEE THE SKY AT 11PM ON JULY 5TH.  WOW! DID THE MOON JUST GO IN FRONT OF MARS?

JAMES: ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE.  FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE THE MOON ALMOST PERFECTLY LINES UP WITH MARS.  TO SEE THEM SEPARATED WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ZOOM IN. 

DEAN: OKAY, WE'RE NOW ZOOMED IN TO SEE SPICA, THE MOON, AND MARS WITH A LOT OF STARS IN THE BACKGROUND.  THIS IS ABOUT THE VIEW YOU'LL GET LOOKING THROUGH A GOOD PAIR OF BINOCULARS. 

JAMES: YOU CAN SEE THAT THE MOON DIDN'T CROSS IN FRONT OF MARS BUT IS LESS THAN ONE DEGREE AWAY.  FOR EXAMPLE, YOUR PINKIE HELD AT ARM'S LENGTH TAKES UP MORE THAN 1 DEGREE OF THE SKY.  TO THE NAKED EYE, YOU'D BARELY BE ABLE TO SEPARATE THE TWO. 

DEAN: THE GLARE OF THE MOON MAY MAKE IT HARD TO SEE MARS AT FIRST, BUT MARS IS BRIGHT ENOUGH THAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE A LITTLE DOT ABOVE THE LUNAR SURFACE.  IT'LL MAKE AN AMAZING SIGHT ON THE 5TH OF JULY!

JAMES: SO LOOK FOR THE SCORPION IN THE SOUTHERN SKY ALL MONTH…

DEAN: AND THEN SEE THE SKY ON THE 5TH OF JULY FOR THE CLOSE CONJUNCTION OF THE MOON AND MARS. 

JAMES: IT'S ALL THERE WHEN YOU…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-25 "A Very Special Sky for the 5th of July"
Air Dates June 23, 2014 - June 29, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: AFTER THE FIREWORKS ON THE 4TH OF JULY STAY UP A LITTLE LATER TO WATCH THE STARS PUT ON A GRAND FINALE IN THE HEAVENS

JAMES: AND ON THE 5TH OF JULY THE MOON, PLANET MARS, AND STAR SPICA HAVE A CLOSE ENCOUNTER.

DEAN: WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET FOR JULY 4TH AT 11PM LOOKING SOUTHWEST.  THE FIRST QUARTER MOON WILL BE TO THE RIGHT OF REDDISH MARS AND BLUEISH SPICA.

JAMES: BUT IF WE GO FORWARD ONE MORE NIGHT, TO JULY 5TH, THE MOON WILL HAVE SHIFTED TO WITHIN 1 DEGREE OF MARS. 

DEAN: WOW, THAT IS A CLOSE ENCOUNTER.

JAMES: NOW WE'RE FACING SOUTH AT MIDNIGHT ANY NIGHT IN EARLY JULY.  THERE YOU'LL FIND THE STARS OF SCORPIUS THE SCORPION LOOKING LIKE A LETTER J WITH A RED STAR NAMED ANTARES MARKING HIS HEART.

DEAN: ANTARES, OFTEN BEATS WITH AN OMINOUS RED COLOR WHICH IS FITTING SINCE ITS NAME MEANS, RIVAL OF MARS.  COMPARE ANTARES TO MARS THIS JULY AND SEE WHICH IS REALLY REDDER.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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