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StarGazer
Each week most PBS stations air Star Gazer with Jack Horkheimer, the world's first and only weekly TV series on naked-eye astronomy. The images on this page illustrate the show for the week of Monday, April 9, 2001.

The Horse On The Handle Of The Big Dipper

At this time of year, the Big Dipper is upside down in the hours after sunset. The second star from the end, Mizar, deserves a closer look.

A look through binoculars reveals that Mizar has a companion star, Alcor. Alcor is the smaller star "attached" to the upper left side of Mizar.

As we keep zooming in on Mizar, it splits again into two stars. If we had an even more powerful telescope we would eventually find that Mizar is made up of 5 separate stars!


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