WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-26 "The Dragon and the Scorpion"
Air Dates June 30, 2014 - July 6, 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 TONIGHT.  HEY DEAN, WHAT'S SCARIER? A DRAGON OR A SCORPION?

DEAN: WHAT?  SCORPION?  WHERE?

JAMES: OH RIGHT, I FORGOT ABOUT YOUR DEEP-SEATED FEAR OF SCORPIONS… HEH, HEH, WELL DON'T WORRY, THIS SCORPION IS HANGING OUT IN THE SUMMER STARS, UP THERE IN THE SOUTHERN SKY. 

DEAN: AH, AND THE DRAGON MUST BE THE CONSTELLATION DRACO THE DRAGON WHO FLIES HIGH IN THE NORTHERN SKY IN SUMMER. 

JAMES: YEP, PLUS WE'LL GET YOU PREPARED FOR THE MOON'S CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE RINGED PLANET ON JULY 7TH.

DEAN: LET'S SHOW YOU THE DRAGON AND THE…GULP, SCORPION.

JAMES: OKAY, WE HAVE OUR SKY SET FOR ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK AT 11PM FACING SOUTH.  SCORPIUS IS ONE OF THE FEW CONSTELLATIONS THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE ITS NAMESAKE.  YOU WON'T NEED TO STRAIN YOUR IMAGINATIONS TO SEE A SCORPION IN THESE STARS.     

DEAN: SCORPIUS SCUTTLES JUST ABOVE THE SOUTHERN HORIZON AS A LONG FISH-HOOK SHAPE OF STARS.  THE CURVE MARKS THE SCORPION'S TAIL AND STINGER.  YOU NEED MORE IMAGINATION TO SEE HIS BODY AND CLAWS BUT THERE'S HIS RED BEATING HEART - THE RED SUPERGIANT STAR ANTARES.

JAMES: ANTARES HAS INSPIRED OBSERVERS FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.  IT MEANS 'RIVAL OF MARS' BECAUSE IT'S SIMILAR IN COLOR TO THE RED PLANET.  BUT IT'S NOTHING LIKE MARS.  FIRST, ANTARES IS A STAR AND MARS IS A PLANET.  SECOND, ANTARES IS ONE OF THE LARGEST KNOWN STARS IN THE GALAXY. THIS IS WHAT ANTARES WOULD LOOK LIKE NEXT TO OUR SUN. MARS WOULD BE TOO SMALL TO SHOW ON THE SCREEN. YIKES, THAT'S A HUGE STAR!

DEAN: IN MYTHOLOGY, SCORPIUS WAS THE SLAYER OF ORION.  OF COURSE WE ALL KNOW ABOUT ORION'S BELT OF THREE STARS, BUT SCORPIUS HAS THREE STARS ALMOST IN A ROW.  YOU CAN FIND THEM AT THE HEAD OF THE SCORPION.  OKAY, THEY'RE NOT QUITE LINED UP LIKE ORION'S BELT, BUT STILL THEY'RE EASY TO FIND.  THEIR NAMES ARE GRAFFIAS ON THE TOP… DSCHUBBA IN THE MIDDLE… AND PI SCORPII ON THE BOTTOM.

JAMES: YOU JUST WANTED TO SAY DSCHUBBA DIDN'T YOU?

DEAN: IT'S DEFINITELY A FUN STAR TO SAY!  PLUS DSCHUBBA IS A VARIABLE STAR.  THAT MEANS IT CHANGES ITS BRIGHTNESS FROM TIME TO TIME.

DEAN: OKAY NOW LET'S LOOK TO THE NORTHERN SKY AND GO DRAGON-HUNTING!  DRACO THE DRAGON LURKS IN THE NORTH WITH HER TAIL BEGINNING BETWEEN THE BIG DIPPER ON THE LEFT AND THE NORTH STAR RIGHT THERE.

JAMES: IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING THE NORTH STAR, USE THE BRIGHTER STARS IN THE BIG DIPPER TO POINT THE WAY.  SHOOT AN ARROW FROM THE TWO STARS AT THE END OF THE BIG DIPPER'S SPOON AND CONTINUE THAT TO THE RIGHT AND BINGO! YOU'LL RUN INTO THE NORTH STAR.

DEAN: YOU'LL NEED A DARK SKY TO SEE THE DRAGON'S TAIL THAT COILS AROUND THE LITTLE DIPPER, SO LET'S ZOOM INTO THE DRAGON'S HEAD WHICH HOLDS THE BRIGHTEST STARS IN THIS MONSTER CONSTELLATION. 

DEAN: THREE SEMI-BRIGHT STARS MARK HIS HEAD IN A NEAT TRIANGLE - THEY ARE, IN ORDER OR BRIGHTNESS ELTANNIN…RASTABAN…AND GRUMIUM…AND IF YOU'RE IN A DARKER SKY, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE OUT A FOURTH.

JAMES: YOU JUST WANTED TO SAY RASTABAN DIDN'T YOU? 

DEAN: YEP.  I LIKE MY QUIRKY STAR NAMES.

JAMES: TO THE BABYLONIANS, DRACO WAS THE SHE-DRAGON TIAMAT.  SHE'S SAID TO HAVE HAD A BODY SEVEN MILES LONG AND A MOUTH AS BIG AS THE SKY.  ALONG CAME A GOD NAMED MARDUK WHO SLEW THE GREAT BEAST WITH A BOW AND ARROW.  MARDUK THEN SLICED THE DRAGON IN HALF - ONE HALF BECOMING THE EARTH, AND THE OTHER BECOMING THE HEAVENS ABOVE.

DEAN: OKAY, SO NOW WE'VE FAST FORWARDED IN TIME TO THE NIGHT OF JULY 7 AND THE MOON IS JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE SCORPION'S CLAWS.

JAMES: CAN I PRONOUNCE THE STAR NAMES THIS TIME?

DEAN: SURE, THEY'RE DEFINITELY SOME GOOD ONES.

JAMES: ABOVE THE MOON IS ZUBENESCHEMALI AND BELOW IT IS ZUBENELGENUBI.

DEAN: YES!  AND RIGHT NEXT TO THE MOON IS THE RINGED PLANET SATURN.

JAMES: WOW, THEY'LL BE REALLY CLOSE TOGETHER THAT NIGHT.

DEAN: THEY'LL BE ABOUT ONE DEGREE APART ON JULY 7TH AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE YOU CAN SEE BOTH THE MOON AND SATURN AT THE SAME TIME IN A SMALL TELESCOPE.  SO GET OUT AND SEE THE ACTION IN THE SKY THIS WEEK.

JAMES: AND DON'T FORGET TO LOOK FOR SCORPIUS IN THE SOUTHERN SKY - NOT AT YOUR FEET!

DEAN: AAH!  DON'T DO THAT!

JAMES: AND SEE DRACO IN THE NORTHERN SKY.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-26 "The Dragon and the Scorpion"
Air Dates June 30, 2014 - July 6, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: THIS WEEK THE DRAGON FLIES HIGH IN THE NORTHERN SKY… 

JAMES: AND THE SCORPION SCUTTLES LOW ACROSS THE SOUTHERN SKY…

DEAN: PLUS THE MOON SKIMS PAST SATURN ON JUNE 7TH.

JAMES: WHEN YOU FACE NORTH ANY EVENING THIS WEEK AT 11PM, LOOK HIGH IN THE SKY FOR SOME SEMI-BRIGHT STARS THAT MARK THE HEAD OF DRACO THE DRAGON.  YOU'LL NEED A LITTLE IMAGINATION AND A DARKER SKY TO SEE HIS BODY COILING DOWN AND BETWEEN THE BIG AND LITTLE DIPPER.  BUT THE HEAD STARS ARE QUITE DISTINCT.

DEAN: THEN TURN SOUTH AND YOU'LL FIND THE CONSTELLATION SCORPIUS THE SCORPION LOW IN THE SKY. LOOK FOR HIS RED BEATING HEART-STAR CALLED ANTARES.  BUT WATCH OUT FOR HIS STINGER - THE STRING OF STARS THAT CURL DOWN AND TO THE LEFT THAT END WITH TWO STARS RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER.

JAMES: AND GET READY FOR THE NIGHT OF JULY 7. THE MOON WILL BE JUST TO THE RIGHT OF THE SCORPION'S CLAWS AND WITHIN 2 DEGREES OF A YELLOW STAR.

DEAN: BUT THAT'S NO STAR ITS SATURN!

ALL: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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