WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-31 "Looking North and South in the Summer Sky"
Air Dates August 4, 2014 - August 10, 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.  THE SUN RISES IN THE EAST AND SETS IN THE WEST RIGHT?

DEAN: FOR THE MOST PART.

JAMES: AND THE MOON, PLANETS, AND STARS RISE IN THE EAST AND SET IN THE WEST TOO?

DEAN: UH HUH.

JAMES: SO HOW DO THE STARS MOVE IN THE NORTH AND SOUTH?

DEAN: OH, I SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING.  WE'RE GONNA DO SOME SPINNING IN THIS EPISODE AREN'T WE?

JAMES: YEP.  FIRST WE'RE GOING TO SHOW YOU THE STARS AND CONSTELLATIONS YOU CAN FIND IN THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN SKY.

DEAN: AND THEN WE'LL DEMONSTRATE HOW THE SKY SEEMS TO MOVE OVER THE COURSE OF THE NIGHT IN EACH DIRECTION.  HOLD ON TIGHT, LET'S GET SPINNING!

JAMES: OKAY WE HAVE OUR SKY SET TO 10PM FACING NORTH ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK.  WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE?

DEAN: THE BIG DIPPER, OF COURSE!  IT'S ABOUT HALFWAY UP IN THE NORTHWESTERN SKY.  FOUR BRIGHTER STARS MAKE A CUP AND THREE MORE MAKE A CURVED HANDLE.

JAMES: AND SINCE WE'RE FACING NORTH, THE NORTH STAR, OR POLARIS SHOULD BE HERE TOO.  IT'S NOT TERRIBLY BRIGHT BUT IT SHOULD BE AS BRIGHT AS THE BIG DIPPER STARS.  THERE IT IS, ABOUT HALFWAY UP IN THE SKY.

DEAN: THE NORTH STAR IS PART OF THE LITTLE DIPPER, BUT GOOD LUCK TRYING TO FIND THAT.  FOUR OF ITS SEVEN STARS ARE TOO FAINT TO SEE IN MOST CITIES. 

JAMES: BUT FINDING THE NORTH STAR IS SIMPLE WHEN YOU HAVE THE BIG DIPPER AROUND.  SIMPLY CONNECT THE DOTS ON THE TWO, OUTER SPOON STARS, CONTINUE THAT LINE OVER TO THE RIGHT, AND YOU WILL RUN SMACK DAB INTO THE NORTH STAR. 

DEAN: AND IF YOU CONTINUE THAT LINE, HOP OVER TO ANOTHER RECOGNIZABLE GROUP OF STARS. 

JAMES: THEY LOOK LIKE THE LETTER W

DEAN: YEP AND THIS IS THE CONSTELLATION CASSIOPEIA THE QUEEN.  I KNOW IT DOESN'T LOOK MUCH LIKE A QUEEN BUT THE W CAN BE HER CROWN.

JAMES: OOH, I CAN PICTURE THAT.  BUT THE CROWN LOOKS BENT ON ONE SIDE. 

DEAN: AH, I'LL SHOW YOU WHY AS WE GO FOR A SPIN.

DEAN: AS THE NIGHT MOVES ON THE STARS IN THE NORTH MOVE LIKE THIS.  NOTICE THEY SEEM TO ROTATE AROUND A CENTRAL POINT - THE NORTH STAR.  IT'S ALSO CALLED POLARIS BECAUSE IT'S OUR POLE STAR, THE STAR THAT JUST HAPPENS TO BE ABOVE OUR NORTH POLE. 

JAMES: YEAH, LIKE 432 LIGHT YEARS ABOVE OUR NORTH POLE.  BUT AS THE EARTH SPINS, THE STARS SEEM TO MAKE A COUNTER-CLOCKWISE CIRCLE AROUND THIS SPOT.  AS THE NIGHT ROLLS ON, THE BIG DIPPER GETS LOWER WHILE CASSIOPEIA RISES UP HIGHER. 

DEAN: AS DAYTIME COMES ON, THE STARS ARE STILL THERE.  WE JUST CAN'T SEE THEM WITH ALL THE SUNLIGHT.  BUT THEY CONTINUE TO MOVE AROUND POLARIS AND AS WE MOVE TOWARD AFTERNOON, THE BIG DIPPER IS HIGH IN THE SKY AND CASSIOPEIA… BONK!

JAMES: BONKS HER HEAD ON THE GROUND.  AAH, THAT'S WHY HER CROWN IS BENT. 

DEAN: EXACTLY!  

JAMES: NOW LET'S FACE SOUTH.  IT'S 10PM AND WE HAVE TWO GREAT SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS JUST ABOVE THE HORIZON.  SCORPIUS IS ON THE RIGHT AND SAGITTARIUS IS ON THE LEFT. 

DEAN: YOU CAN RECOGNIZE SCORPIUS BY THE BRIGHT RED, SUPERGIANT STAR CALLED ANTARES.  ANTARES CAN BE REALLY TWINKLY WHEN IT'S LOW IN THE SKY AND THUS STANDS IN FOR THE SCORPION'S BEATING HEART. 

JAMES: CHASING THE SCORPION IS THE CONSTELLATION SAGITTARIUS THE ARCHER.  HE'S A CENTAUR, HALF MAN, HALF HORSE, WITH AN ARROW NOTCHED IN HIS BOW.  IN REALITY, THE STARS YOU CAN SEE LOOK MORE LIKE A TEA POT THAN A CENTAUR. 

DEAN: HE'S CHASING THE SCORPION BECAUSE THIS IS HOW THE STARS MOVE OVER THE NIGHT.  IN THE SOUTHERN SKY, CONSTELLATIONS APPEAR TO CREEP ALONG THE HORIZON.  SO SAGITTARIUS FOLLOWS SCORPIUS, AND ANOTHER CONSTELLATION, CAPRICORNUS FOLLOWS SAGITTARIUS.  CAPRICORNUS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SEA-GOAT, HALF GOAT, HALF FISH, BUT I'D SAY IT LOOKS MORE LIKE A GOOFY GRIN OR MAYBE UNDERPANTS. 

JAMES: UNDERPANTS??? ANYWAY, THESE MOTIONS IN THE NORTH AND SOUTH ARE CAUSED BY ONE THING - THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH.

JAMES: SO IN THE SOUTH LOOK FOR SCORPIUS, FOLLOWED BY SAGITTARIUS, FOLLOWED BY CAPRICORNUS. 

DEAN: AND IN THE NORTH LOOK FOR THE BIG DIPPER, POLARIS, AND CASSIOPEIA.  HEY JAMES, CAN WE SPIN THE EARTH REALLY FAST JUST FOR FUN?

JAMES: AND SHOW DAYS AND NIGHT FLY BY?

DEAN: UH HUH.

JAMES: OKAY, HOLD ON…

BOTH: AAAAH!

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-31 "Looking North and South in the Summer Sky"
Air Dates August 4, 2014 - August 10, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
DEAN: IF THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS RISE IN THE EAST AND SET IN THE WEST, WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NORTH AND SOUTH?

JAMES: LET'S GO FOR A SPIN!

(STOP DROP)

DEAN: WE'RE FACING NORTH AT 10PM.  THERE, YOU CAN SEE THE BIG DIPPER AND THE W SHAPE OF CASSIOPEIA THE QUEEN. 

JAMES: AS THE NIGHT MOVES ON, THE STARS APPEAR TO MOVE IN A COUNTER CLOCKWISE CIRCLE AROUND ONE POINT.

DEAN: THAT'S THE NORTH STAR ALSO KNOWN AS POLARIS AND IT HAPPENS TO BE 432 LIGHT YEARS ABOVE OUR NORTH POLE.

(STOP)

JAMES: NOW FACE SOUTH AT 10PM AND YOU'LL FIND THE BODY AND CURVED TAIL OF SCORPIUS THE SCORPION, AND THE TEAPOT SHAPE OF STARS WITHIN SAGITTARIUS THE ARCHER.

DEAN: AS THE NIGHT MOVES, THEY MOVE LIKE THIS - CREEPING LOW ALONG THE HORIZON.  THESE MOTIONS IN THE NORTH AND SOUTH ARE CAUSED BY ONE THING - THE ROTATION OF THE EARTH.

JAMES: SO WATCH THE STARS TONIGHT AND SEE THE EARTH MOVE.

(SPIN STARS)

BOTH: AAAH!

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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