WPBT2's Star Gazers

Episode #15-03 "All Hail The King"
Air Dates January 19, 2014 - January 25, 2015



FIVE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT

DEAN: WELCOME TO STAR GAZERS! I'M DEAN REGAS, ASTRONOMER FROM THE CINCINATTI OBSERVATORY.

JAMES: AND I'M JAMES ALBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE KIKA SILVA PLA PLANETARIUM IN GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. IF YOUR FAVORITE PLANET IS JUPITER, HAVE WE GOT A SHOW FOR YOU!

DEAN: THAT'S RIGHT, JAMES! JUPITER IS IN SUCH A GREAT LOCATION FOR VIEWING RIGHT NOW, WE'VE DEVOTED THIS EPISODE TO THE LARGEST PLANET IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM.

JAMES: PLUS, YOU'LL GET TO SEE JUPITER AT ITS BIGGEST AND BRIGHTEST IN JUST A FEW WEEKS! LET'S SHOW YOU!

(STOP AND DROP)

JAMES: OK, WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET FOR 9:00 PM, ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK. IF YOU LOOK TOWARD THE EAST, YOU'LL SEE JUPITER ABOVE WHAT LOOKS LIKE A BACKWARDS QUESTION MARK. THESE ARE THE STARS MARKING THE HEAD OF LEO THE LION.

DEAN: TO BE SURE YOU'VE FOUND LEO, SIMPLY LOOK TO THE NORTHEAST AND YOU'LL FIND THE FOUR STARS THAT MARK THE BOWL OF THE BIG DIPPER. USING MEGREZ AND PHECDA, THE TWO STARS OPPOSITE THE POINTER STARS, SHOOT AN ARROW FROM NORTH TO SOUTH, AND YOU'LL LAND SMACK-DAB ON THE HEAD OF LEO.

JAMES: JUPITER IS THE BRIGHT, NON-TWINKLING LIGHT JUST ABOVE THE HEAD OF LEO THE LION.

(STOP AND FLY)

JAMES: JUPITER IS NOT ONLY THE LARGEST PLANET IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, BUT ITS GRAVITY IS SO STRONG THAT IT'S SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS THE SOLAR SYSTEM'S VACUUM CLEANER.

DEAN: JUPITER'S GRAVITY ATTRACTS NEARBY ASTEROIDS AND OTHER SMALL SOLAR SYSTEM BODIES, AND IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO DRAMATICALLY CHANGE THE ORBITS OF INBOUND COMETS, WHICH CAN SHORTEN OR LENGTHEN THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES FOR THE COMET TO ORBIT THE SUN.

JAMES: IN JULY 1994, FRAGMENTS OF COMET SHOEMAKER-LEVY 9 COLLIDED WITH JUPITER, PROVIDING THE FIRST DIRECT OBSERVATION OF A COLLISION BETWEEN TWO SOLAR SYSTEM OBJECTS.

(STOP)

DEAN: THE PLANET JUPITER HAS BEEN OBSERVED IN THE SKY SINCE ANTIQUITY. THE ANCIENT ROMANS NAMED IT AFTER THE KING OF THEIR GODS, WHOM THE GREEKS REFERED TO AS ZEUS.

JAMES: BABYLONIAN ASTRONOMERS HAVE RECORDS OF JUPITER DATING BACK TO THE 7TH CENTURY B.C. IN HIS BOOK THE ALMAGEST, GREEK ASTRONOMER CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY USED JUPITER'S MOTION WITH RESPECT TO THE EARTH TO REFINE HIS EARTH-CENTERED MODEL OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM.

DEAN: BY DOING THIS, PTOLEMY SHOWED THAT JUPITER TOOK ALMOST 12 YEARS TO MAKE A COMPLETE CIRCUIT OF THE SKY, WHICH WE NOW KNOW AS THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES JUPITER TO ORBIT THE SUN.

JAMES: IN 1610, ITALIAN ASTRONOMER GALILEO GALILEI STUDIED JUPITER USING A TELESCOPE AND IS CREDITED WITH DISCOVERING THE FOUR LARGEST MOONS OF JUPITER; IO, EUROPA, GANYMEDE AND CALLISTO. THE MOTIONS OF THESE MOONS AROUND JUPITER PROVIDED GALILEO WITH AN EXAMPLE SUPPORTING NICHOLAS COPERNICUS' VIEW OF A SUN-CENTERED SOLAR SYSTEM, BECAUSE IF YOU LOOK AT JUPITER AND ITS MOONS, THEY DO LOOK LIKE A MINIATURE VERSION OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM.

DEAN: ASTRONOMERS GIOVANNI CASSINI AND ROBERT HOOKE BOTH NOTICED A LARGE RED SPOT ON JUPITER DURING THEIR TELESCOPIC OBSERVATIONS IN THE 1660'S. THIS SPOT, AFFECTIONATELY CALLED THE GREAT RED SPOT, IT IS SO LARGE THAT YOU COULD FIT THE PLANETS MECURY, VENUS, EARTH AND MARS INSIDE IT.

(STOP & DROP)

DEAN: SPEAKING OF SIZE, AS PLANETS GO, JUPITER IS ENORMOUS. IF JUPITER WERE HOLLOW, YOU COULD FIT OVER 1000 EARTHS INSIDE IT, AND IT HAS OVER 120 TIMES THE SURFACE AREA OF THE EARTH. IN MORE DOWN TO EARTH TERMS, IF JUPITER WERE THE SIZE OF A BASKETBALL, EARTH WOULD BE ABOUT THE SIZE OF A SMALL MARBLE.

JAMES: JUPITER ALSO SPINS VERY FAST. OF ALL THE PLANETS IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM, JUPITER HAS THE SHORTEST DAY, LASTING ONLY 9.8 HOURS. WHICH MEANS THAT WHEN JUPITER RISES AT SUNSET DURING THE WINTER MONTHS (WHEN THE SKY IS DARK FOR MORE THAN 12 HOURS), IN THE COURSE OF ONLY ONE NIGHT, YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE ENTIRE SURFACE OF THE PLANET.

DEAN: THIS RAPID SPINNING HAS CAUSED JUPITER TO TAKE ON AN M & M SHAPE AND BECAUSE JUPITER IS NOT A SOLID BODY, JUPITER'S ATMOSPHERE ACTUALLY SPINS FASTER AT THE EQUATOR THAN IT DOES AT THE POLES, MAKING THE CLOUDS FORM THE STRIPES WE'VE COME TO KNOW AND LOVE.

JAMES: AND LASTLY, OF ALL THE PLANETS, JUPITER HAS THE STRONGEST AND LARGEST MAGNETIC FIELD. THE JUNO SPACE PROBE IS ON ITS WAY TO JUPITER RIGHT NOW TO STUDY THE PLANET'S MAGNETIC FIELD AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE SOLAR WIND CAUSES THIS FIELD TO EXTEND AWAY FROM JUPITER TO ALMOST THE ORBIT OF SATURN!

(STOP) CLOSE UP

DEAN: SO, GET OUTSIDE AND GAZE UPON THE KING OF THE PLANETS.

JAMES: IT'S EASY TO DO WHEN YOU…

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

Episode #15-03 "All Hail The King"
Air Dates January 19, 2015 - January 25, 2015



ONE MINUTE EPISODE SCRIPT

DEAN: IF YOUR FAVORITE PLANET IS JUPITER, HAVE WE GOT A SHOW FOR YOU!

JAMES: THAT'S RIGHT, DEAN! JUPITER IS IN SUCH A GREAT LOCATION FOR VIEWING RIGHT NOW, WE'VE DEVOTED THIS EPISODE TO THE LARGEST PLANET IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. LET'S SHOW YOU!

(STOP AND DROP)

JAMES: OK, WE HAVE OUR SKIES SET FOR AROUND 9:00 ANY NIGHT THIS WEEK. IF YOU LOOK TOWARD THE EAST, YOU'LL

SEE JUPITER JUST ABOVE THE STARS MARKING THE HEAD OF LEO THE LION.

DEAN: TO FIND IT, SIMPLY LOOK TO THE NORTHEAST AND YOU'LL FIND THE FOUR STARS THAT MARK THE BOWL OF THE BIG DIPPER. USING THE TWO STARS OPPOSITE THE POINTER STARS, SHOOT AN ARROW FROM NORTH TO SOUTH, AND YOU'LL LAND SMACK-DAB ON THE HEAD OF LEO.

JAMES: THE PLANET JUPITER HAS BEEN OBSERVED IN THE SKY SINCE ANTIQUITY. THE ANCIENT ROMANS NAMED IT AFTER THE KING OF THEIR GODS, WHOM THE GREEKS REFERRED TO AS ZEUS.

DEAN: SO, GET OUTSIDE AND GAZE UPON THE KING OF THE PLANETS.

BOTH: KEEP LOOKING UP!

 

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