WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-33 "A Busy Day in the Sky at the End of August"
Air Dates August 18, 2014 - August 24, 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 MOON CAN ECLIPSE THE SUN.  BUT CAN IT GO IN FRONT OF A PLANET? 

DEAN: YOU BET IT CAN.  WE DON'T CALL THIS AN ECLIPSE.  ITS AN OCCULTATION.  THESE ARE SO RARE, THAT I'VE SEEN WAY MORE ECLIPSES THAN OCCULTATIONS. 

JAMES: ON AUGUST 31ST, THE MOON WILL APPEAR NEAR MARS AND SATURN.  THE MOON IS CLOSE TO COVERING A PLANET, BUT NOT QUITE. 

DEAN: BUT EARLIER IN THE DAY ON AUGUST 31ST, YOU JUST MAY SEE THE MOON OCCULT ONE OF THOSE PLANETS.  WHICH ONE?  AND HOW CAN YOU MAYBE, POSSIBLY, SEE IT IF YOU'RE REALLY LUCKY?  LET'S SHOW YOU.

JAMES: OKAY WE HAVE OUR SKY SET UP FOR MONDAY AUGUST 25TH AT 9:15PM FACING SOUTHWEST.  TWO BRIGHT STARS ONLY ABOUT 20 DEGREES ABOVE THE HORIZON SHOULD GRAB YOUR ATTENTION.

DEAN: THEY WILL APPEAR ALMOST EQUAL IN BRIGHTNESS - BUT LOOK CLOSELY.  THEY ARE DIFFERENT COLORS.  MARS IS THE LOWER, ORANGER ONE, AND SATURN IS THE HIGHER YELLOWER ONE. 

JAMES: ALTHOUGH THEY APPEAR CLOSE TOGETHER, MARS AND SATURN ARE REALLY FAR FROM EARTH AND FROM EACH OTHER.  MARS IS OVER 120 MILLION MILES FROM US AND SATURN IS OVER 940 MILLION MILES AWAY. 

JAMES: NOTICE THERE IS ANOTHER BRIGHT STAR,  LOW IN THE WEST.  THAT'S SPICA, THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE CONSTELLATION VIRGO THE MAIDEN. 

DEAN: NOW LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE ADVANCE THE TIME DAY BY DAY.  HERE IS THE 26TH… THE 27TH… THE 28TH…  EACH NIGHT THE PLANETS SPREAD OUT A LITTLE MORE AND SPICA GETS LOWER IN THE SKY. 

JAMES: THEN HERE IS AUGUST 29TH AT 9:15 PM.  WOW, THE SLENDER WAXING CRESCENT MOON IS RIGHT NEXT TO SPICA. 

DEAN: NOW LET'S GO FORWARD TO AUGUST 30TH.  THE MOON IS LIT UP A LITTLE MORE AND CLOSER TO OUR PLANETS.  AND HERE IS AUGUST 31ST.  COOL!  THAT'LL DEFINITELY BE A NICE SIGHT TO SEE, BUT THE MOON DIDN'T BLOCK OUT ANY PLANETARY LIGHT.  OR DID IT? 

JAMES: IT DID, BUT IT HAPPENED EARLIER IN THE DAY.

JAMES: LIKE AN ECLIPSE, TO SEE THE MOON OCCULT A PLANET, YOU HAVE TO BE AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.  IN THIS CASE, WE'RE WATCHING THE SKY FROM WASHINGTON D.C. AT 1 OCLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON.  THE WAXING CRESCENT MOON HAS JUST RISEN IN THE EASTERN SKY.  IT WILL BE VERY LOW IN THE SKY AND TOUGH TO SEE THROUGH THE GLOW OF DAYTIME. 

DEAN: BUT LET'S DIM DOWN THE GLARE OF THE SUN AND ZOOM IN WITH A TELESCOPE TO SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING.  JUST TO THE LEFT OF THE MOON WE CAN SEE THE UNMISTAKABLE SHAPE OF MY FAVORITE RINGED PLANET, SATURN. 

JAMES: NOW LET'S ADVANCE TIME MINUTE BY MINUTE.  AT ABOUT 1:15 PM, THE MOON WILL SLIDE IN FRONT OF SATURN, FIRST, BLOCKING OUT ONE SIDE OF THE RINGS, THEN THE  PLANET, AND THEN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RINGS.  POOF!  SATURNS GONE!

DEAN: BUT NOT FOR LONG.  THE MOON WILL CONTINUE TO SHIFT IN ITS ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH AND AFTER LESS THAN AN HOUR, POP!, SATURN WILL POP ITS RINGS OUT THE OTHER SIDE.  THAT IS AN OCCULTATION. 

DEAN: NOW I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING? 

JAMES: THAT I WANT SOME M&MS?

DEAN: YOU'RE ALWAYS THINKING THAT.  BUT NO, YOU'RE THINKING, HOW CAN YOU SEE ALL OF THIS IN THE DAYTIME? 

JAMES: OH YEAH, HOW CAN I SEE ALL OF THIS IN THE DAYTIME?

DEAN: YOU PROBABLY CAN'T.  BUT IT IS POSSIBLE IF YOU HAVE A TELESCOPE.

JAMES: AND YOU HAVE AMAZINGLY CLEAR SKIES LOW IN THE EAST.

DEAN: YOU CAN FIND PLANETS IN THE DAYTIME WITH A TELESCOPE IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK.  THE DAYTIME MOON IS A HUGE HELP.  AIM THE TELESCOPE AT THE MOON AND FISH AROUND FOR THE PLANET.

JAMES: THEN YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING, DO I HAVE TO BE IN WASHINGTON DC TO SEE THIS?  NO.  YOU MAY TECHNICALLY BE ABLE TO SEE THIS FROM MOST LOCATIONS IN THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE US.  IN GAINESVILLE I'LL BE ABLE TO SEE THE WHOLE THING  IF THE CLOUDS COOPERATE. MIAMI, FLORIDA IS IN GOOD SHAPE TO SEE IT TOO.

DEAN: NOTICE THE DIFFERENT PATH THAT SATURN TAKES BEHIND THE MOON: MIAMI, WASHINGTON, AND CINCINNATI. FROM CINCINNATI, OHIO IT'S TOUGHER BUT POSSIBLE.  BUT FROM ST. LOUIS, SALT LAKE CITY, AND SEATTLE… SORRY YOU'RE OUT OF LUCK. 

JAMES: NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, CHECK OUT THE SKIES AT THE END OF AUGUST FOR OUR TWO PLANETS, MARS AND SATURN. 

DEAN: AND LOOK FOR THE MOON JOINING THE FUN ON AUGUST 31. IT'S ALL THERE WHEN YOU…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-33 "A Busy Day in the Sky at the End of August"
Air Dates August 18, 2014 - August 24, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT
JAMES: WHEN THE MOON BLOCKS THE SUN IT'S AN ECLIPSE.

DEAN: WHEN THE MOON BLOCKS A PLANET IT'S AN OCCULTATION.

JAMES: ON AUGUST 31ST YOU CAN FIND THE MOON NEAR TWO PLANETS.

DEAN: AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE CATCH IT OCCULT ONE OF THEM.

JAMES: ON AUGUST 29TH THE WAXING CRESCENT MOON WILL BE LOW IN THE WEST AT DUSK NEAR THE STAR SPICA.  ON THE 30TH, IT'LL BE NEARING THE TWO PLANETS, MARS AND SATURN.

DEAN: AND ON THE 31ST, THE MOON WILL BE AROUND 3 DEGREES AWAY FROM EACH OF THEM.  THAT WILL MAKE AN AMAZING SIGHT, BUT THE MOON DIDN'T OCCULT
ANYTHING.  OR DID IT? 

JAMES: IT DID…EARLIER IN THE DAY.

DEAN: IF YOU LIVE IN THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE COUNTRY, AND YOU HAVE A TELESCOPE THIS IS WILL HAPPEN BETWEEN ABOUT 1-2PM.

JAMES: THE MOON WILL GO IN FRONT OF SATURN.  THIS IS A RARE OCCULTATION.  AND THEN SATURN WILL POP! OUT THE OTHER SIDE.

DEAN: EVEN IF YOU CAN'T SEE IT, REMEMBER TO…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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