WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #14-48 "UFO Alert!! And Moon Of The Short Shadows"
Air Dates December 1, 2014 - December 7, 2014



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT

JAMES: HEY THERE STAR GAZERS. I'M JAMES ALBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE KIKA SILVA PLA PLANETARIUM IN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. GET READY FOR A UFO TO APPEAR IN THE WESTERN SKY JUST AFTER SUNSET OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR SO.

DEAN: AND I'M DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FOR THE CINCINNATI OBSERVATORY. WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE SKY TONIGHT. AND LOOK FOR THE UNUSUAL FULL MOON OF DECEMBER, WHICH OCCURS THIS SATURDAY THE 6TH. LET'S SHOW YOU.

JAMES: NOW MANY CIVILIZATIONS HAVE NAMES FOR EACH FULL MOON, BECAUSE EACH FULL MOON REPRESENTS SOMETHING PECULIAR OR SPECIAL TO THEM. FOR INSTANCE WE ALL KNOW THAT THE HARVEST MOON WAS SO NAMED BECAUSE IT CAME AT THE TRADITIONAL TIME OF HARVEST IN MID-EUROPEAN LATITUDES.

DEAN: CONVERSELY THE FULL MOON OF MAY WAS CALLED THE PLANTING MOON. SO WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FULL MOON OF DECEMBER SHOULD BE CALLED?

JAMES: THE CHRISTMAS MOON?

DEAN: THE LONG UNDERWEAR MOON?

JAMES: PERHAPS WE SHOULD CALL IT THE PLASTIC MOON FOR ALL THE OVER-EXTENDED CREDIT CARDS AT THIS TIME OF YEAR?

DEAN: NO, IT'S NOT CALLED ANY OF THOSE NAMES, ALTHOUGH CHRISTMAS MOON IS CLOSE BECAUSE ONE OF THE NAMES FOR THE FULL MOON OF DECEMBER IS THE MOON BEFORE YULE, WHICH IS VERY APPROPRIATE.

JAMES: BUT EQUALLY APPROPRIATE IS ONE OF ITS OTHER NAMES, THE LONG NIGHT MOON BECAUSE IT OCCURS SO CLOSE TO THE WINTER SOLSTICE, THE FIRST DAY OF WINTER. WE ALL KNOW THAT ON THE WINTER SOLSTICE DAYS ARE SHORTEST AND NIGHTS ARE LONGEST; SO, LONG NIGHT MOON.

DEAN: AND THIS WEEKEND ALSO MARKS THE TIME OF THE YEAR WHEN WE HAVE THE EARLIEST SUNSETS. BUT I THINK WE COULD GIVE THIS MOON YET ANOTHER NAME WHICH WOULD FURTHER DESCRIBE ITS UNIQUENESS: THE MOON OF THE SHORT SHADOWS. LET'S EXPLAIN.

JAMES: O.K., LET'S SET OUR SKIES UP FOR THE THIRD WEEK OF JUNE, THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, THE SUMMER SOLSTICE AND IF WE COULD SPEED UP TIME AND DIM THE SUN DOWN SO WE COULD WATCH IT ALL DAY, WE WOULD SEE THAT FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET IT TAKES AN EXTREMELY HIGH PATH ACROSS THE SKY.

DEAN: BUT IF WE WATCH THE FULL MOON OF JUNE ALL NIGHT LONG FROM MOONRISE TO MOONSET WE WOULD NOTICE THAT IT TAKES AN EXTREMELY LOW PATH ACROSS THE SKY. IN FACT THE FULL MOON CLOSEST TO THE SUMMER SOLSTICE IS THE LOWEST RIDING FULL MOON OF THE YEAR.

JAMES: AND IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN OUTSIDE UNDER THE FULL MOON OF JUNE, FAR FROM CITY LIGHTS YOU'VE PROBABLY NOTICED THAT THE JUNE FULL MOON CASTS VERY LONG SHADOWS. IN FACT, I REMEMBER AS A TEENAGER WALKING ALONG THE BEACH UNDER A JUNE MOON AND WATCHING MY LONG SHADOW STRETCH WAAAAY OUT IN FRONT OF ME.

DEAN: SO WE HAVE A SITUATION IN SUMMER WHERE THE SUMMER SUN RIDES HIGH ACROSS THE SKY BUT THE SUMMER FULL MOON RIDES LOW. AND GUESS WHAT?

JAMES: YOU'VE GOT IT. JUST THE OPPOSITE OCCURS AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE. AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE THE SUN TAKES AN EXTREMELY LOW PATH ACROSS THE SKY AND THE FULL MOON TAKES A VERY HIGH ONE. INDEED, THE HIGHEST PATH OF ANY FULL MOON OF THE YEAR, WHICH MAKES EVERYBODY'S SHADOW EXTREMELY SHORT. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME, SEE FOR YOURSELF.

DEAN: GO OUTSIDE THIS WEEKEND AROUND MIDNIGHT WHEN THE MOON IS AT ITS VERY HIGHEST AND SEE JUST HOW SHORT YOUR MOON SHADOW REALLY IS. AND DO YOU KNOW WHY WE CAN SEE THE FULL MOON LONGER IN WINTER THAN WE CAN IN SUMMER? SIMPLE. NIGHTS ARE LONGER IN WINTER.

JAMES; AND WHAT ABOUT THAT UFO WE WERE TALKING ABOUT EARLIER?

DEAN: UFO?? UFO?? OH YEAH, LOOK SOUTHWEST JUST AFTER SUNSET OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR SO AND A SHINY BRIGHT LIGHT THAT WASN'T THERE LAST WEEK IS GONNA POP INTO VIEW.

JAMES; IN FACT IF YOU LOOK CAREFULLY AND BLOCK OUT THE SUN YOU MAY SEE IT EVEN BEFORE SUNSET. IT'S NOT REALLY A UFO. THE BRILLIANT PLANET VENUS IS COMING BACK INTO VIEW FROM THE FAR SIDE OF ITS ORBIT AROUND THE SUN AND CLIMBING HIGHER INTO THE EVENING SKY. VENUS SPENT MOST OF THIS PAST YEAR IN THE MORNING SKY, REMEMBER?

DEAN: AND THE RED PLANET MARS IS STILL OVER THERE IN THE WEST WELL ABOVE VENUS. SO KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR A STRANGE LIGHT THAT WILL APPEAR IN THE WEST AFTER SUNSET.

JAMES: AND GET OUTSIDE SOME NIGHT THIS WEEKEND WHEN THE FULL MOON WILL BE AT ITS HIGHEST FOR THE YEAR AND YOUR MOON SHADOW WILL BE AT ITS SHORTEST. ISN'T IT FUN TO

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #14-48 "UFO Alert!! And Moon Of The Short Shadows"
Air Dates December 1, 2014 - December 7, 2014



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT

JAMES: GET READY TO LOOK FOR THE HIGH RIDING FULL MOON OF DECEMBER, THIS SATURDAY THE 6TH.

DEAN: AND LOOK FOR THE SHORTEST MOON SHADOWS OF THE YEAR. LET'S EXPLAIN.

JAMES: O.K., LET'S SET OUR SKIES UP FOR THE SUMMER SOLSTICE AND IF WE DIM THE SUN DOWN SO WE COULD WATCH IT ALL DAY, WE WOULD SEE THAT IT TAKES AN EXTREMELY HIGH PATH ACROSS THE SKY.

DEAN: BUT IF WE WATCH THE FULL MOON OF JUNE WE WOULD NOTICE THAT IT TAKES AN EXTREMELY LOW PATH ACROSS THE SKY.

JAMES: AND JUST THE OPPOSITE OCCURS AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE. THE SUN TAKES AN EXTREMELY LOW PATH ACROSS THE SKY AND THE FULL MOON A VERY HIGH ONE. INDEED, THIS IS THE HIGHEST PATH OF ANY FULL MOON OF THE YEAR, WHICH MAKES EVERYBODY'S SHADOW EXTREMELY SHORT. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME, SEE FOR YOURSELF.

DEAN: GET OUTSIDE SOME NIGHT THIS WINTRY WEEKEND WHEN THE FULL MOON WILL BE AT ITS HIGHEST FOR THE YEAR AND YOUR MOON SHADOW WILL BE AT ITS SHORTEST. ISN'T IT FUN TO

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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