WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-27 "It's Just a Phase I'm Going Through - Part One"
Air Dates July 7, 2014 - July 13, 2014



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: WELCOME TO STAR GAZERS. I'M JAMES ALBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE KIKA SILVA PLA PLANETARIUM IN GAINESVILLE FLORIDA.

DEAN: AND I'M DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FROM THE CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY. WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE NIGHT SKY. HEY JAMES, IF THE MOON RISES AT NOON, WHAT PHASE IS IT IN?

JAMES: OH THAT'S EASY, IT WOULD BE AT FIRST QUARTER.

DEAN: VERY GOOD!

JAMES (BOWS): THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

DEAN:  NOW, YOU'RE PROBABLY SAYING TO YOURSELF, HOW COULD THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION BE THAT EASY?  WELL, WE'RE GOING TO SHOW YOU HOW YOU CAN TELL APPROXIMATELY WHAT TIME THE MOON WILL RISE, BY WHAT PHASE IT'S IN.

JAMES: SWEET!  LET'S SHOW YOU!

JAMES:  UNLIKE THE SUN, THE MOON DOES NOT GIVE OFF ITS OWN LIGHT.  IT SIMPLY REFLECTS LIGHT FROM THE SUN.  SO, AS THE MOON TRAVELS AROUND THE EARTH, WE SEE SUNLIGHT REFLECTING OFF THE DAYTIME SIDE OF THE MOON.  THE DARK PORTION THAT WE CAN'T SEE IS THE NIGHTTIME SIDE OF THE MOON, ALSO KNOWN AS THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.  THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON IS SOMETIMES CONFUSED FOR THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON, WHICH IS THE SIDE THAT ALWAYS FACES AWAY FROM THE EARTH.

DEAN:  THE CHANGING PATTERNS OF DAYLIGHT AND DARKNESS THAT WE SEE ON THE MOON ARE CALLED PHASES.  IT TAKES ABOUT A WEEK FOR THE MOON TO GO FROM ONE MAJOR PHASE TO THE NEXT.  FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN THE MOON IS BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SUN, WE ARE FACING THE NIGHTTIME SIDE, SO THE MOON'S SURFACE ISN'T VISIBLE TO US.  WE CALL THIS PHASE NEW MOON AND IT'S CONSIDERED THE BEGINNING OF THE MOON'S JOURNEY AROUND THE EARTH FOR ANY GIVEN CYCLE.  

JAMES:  A DAY OR SO LATER, THE MOON HAS MOVED A LITTLE FURTHER IN ITS ORBIT AND WE CAN NOW SEE A SMALL PART OF THE DAYTIME SIDE OF THE MOON.  THIS PHASE IS CALLED THE CRESCENT PHASE.  AS THE DAYS PASS, WE WILL SEE MORE AND MORE OF THE DAYTIME SIDE, AND LESS AND LESS OF THE NIGHTTIME SIDE.  WE REFER TO THIS AS WAXING.  WAXING MEANS GETTING LARGER, SO THIS PHASE IS MORE PRECISELY CALLED A WAXING CRESCENT. 

JAMES:  WHEN THE MOON HAS TRAVELED A QUARTER OF THE WAY AROUND THE EARTH, IT HAS REACHED A PHASE CALLED FIRST QUARTER. HERE'S HOW I WAS ABLE TO ANSWER DEAN'S QUESTION SO QUICKLY. IT'S BEEN A WEEK SINCE THE MOON WAS IN ITS NEW PHASE, SO IT'S NOW 90 DEGREES EAST OF THE SUN IN THE SKY. THEREFORE, WE CAN NOW SEE HALF OF THE DAYLIT SIDE AND HALF OF THE NIGHTTIME SIDE.

DEAN:   THAT'S RIGHT, JAMES. AS THE EARTH SLOWLY ROTATES, EVERYTHING IN THE SKY APPEARS TO RISE IN THE EAST AND SET IN THE WEST.  THE SUN REACHES ITS HIGHEST POINT IN THE SKY AT LOCAL NOON.  WE CALL THIS 'CROSSING THE MERIDIAN'.  SO, IF THE MOON IS 90 DEGREES EAST OF THE SUN,  AND IF THE SUN IS ON THE MERIDIAN AT NOON, THE MOON WOULD BE ON THE EASTERN HORIZON AT NOON.  IN OTHER WORDS, THE MOON WOULD BE RISING.

JAMES:  TA-DA!

DEAN:  WELL DONE, JAMES.

JAMES:  THANK YOU!  A DAY OR SO LATER, THE MOON HAS NOW ENTERED A PHASE WE CALL GIBBOUS.  GIBBOUS IS A MIDDLE-ENGLISH WORD MEANING HUMPED, SO THE MOON APPEARS A LITTLE ROUNDED ON THE SIDE FARTHEST FROM THE SUN AND PERFECTLY ROUNDED ON THE SIDE CLOSEST TO THE SUN.  THIS IS ALSO CONSIDERED A WAXING PHASE AS THE DAY LIT SIDE OF THE MOON IS STILL GETTING LARGER, SO WE CALL THIS A WAXING GIBBOUS MOON.

DEAN:  TWO WEEKS AFTER THE MOON WAS IN ITS NEW PHASE, IT WILL HAVE REACHED THE HALF-WAY POINT IN ITS ORBIT, AND THE ENTIRE DAY LIT SIDE OF THE MOON WILL BE VISIBLE.  WE CALL THIS PHASE FULL MOON.  NOW THAT THE MOON IS FULL, IT IS 180 DEGREES AWAY FROM THE SUN IN THE SKY, SO WHEN THE SUN SETS, THE FULL MOON RISES. 

JAMES (LOOKING AT HIS WATCH):  THAT'S RIGHT, DEAN.  THE MOON TRAVELS ALMOST 2300 MILES PER HOUR IN ITS ORBIT.  THIS WEST TO EAST MOVEMENT OF THE MOON CAUSES THE MOON TO RISE ALMOST AN HOUR LATER EACH DAY.  SO IF THE MOON RISES AT 7:00 PM WHEN ITS FULL, IT WILL RISE AT ALMOST 8:00 PM THE FOLLOWING EVENING.

JAMES:  SPEAKING OF WHICH, WE'RE ALMOST OUT OF TIME. SO HOW ABOUT PICKING UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF ON THIS TOPIC IN TWO WEEKS?

DEAN:  SOUNDS GOOD, JAMES. AND IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN PRACTICE FINDING THE MOON AND WHERE IT IS WITH RESPECT TO THE SUN.

JAMES:  AND IT'S ALL EASY AS PIE IF YOU...

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-27 "It's Just a Phase I'm Going Through - Part One"
Air Dates July 7, 2014 - July 13, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN:  HEY JAMES, IF THE MOON RISES AT NOON, WHAT PHASE IS IT IN?

JAMES:  OH THAT'S EASY, IT WOULD BE AT FIRST QUARTER.

DEAN: VERY GOOD!

JAMES:  NOW, YOU'RE PROBABLY SAYING TO YOURSELF, HOW COULD THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION BE THAT EASY?  LET'S SHOW YOU!

DEAN:  AS THE MOON TRAVELS AROUND THE EARTH, WE SEE SUNLIGHT REFLECTING OFF THE DAYTIME SIDE OF THE MOON.  THE DARK PORTION THAT WE CAN'T SEE IS THE NIGHTTIME SIDE OF THE MOON.

JAMES:  WHEN THE MOON IS BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SUN, WE ARE FACING THE NIGHTTIME SIDE, SO THE MOON'S SURFACE ISN'T VISIBLE TO US.  WE CALL THIS NEW MOON.

DEAN: A WEEK LATER, THE MOON HAS TRAVELED A QUARTER OF THE WAY AROUND THE EARTH AND IT HAS REACHED A PHASE CALLED FIRST QUARTER.  SO IT'S NOW 90 DEGREES EAST OF THE SUN IN THE SKY.

JAMES: SO IF THE SUN IS ON THE MERIDIAN AT NOON, THE MOON MUST BE ON THE EASTERN HORIZON AT NOON.  IN OTHER WORDS, THE MOON WOULD BE RISING.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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