skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday July 5th through Sunday July 11th.

The new moon for the month of July is on Sunday the 11th. If you remember back to the full moon, we had a partial lunar eclipse, and things are still lined up, so we will see a solar eclipse with this new moon. Unfortunately, we won't see any of the solar eclipse here in Texas like we were able to with the lunar eclipse. The path of totality of the solar eclipse will run across the South Pacific, including some islands and the only continental land that will see the eclipse is the southern end of Chile and Argentina.

The evening line-up of planets in the west continues and now has a fourth member. The line stars with Mercury very low to the horizon, goes up to brilliant Venus, then up to Mars and finally Saturn high in the southwest. Mercury sets at 9:30 p.m., Venus sets at 11 p.m., followed by Mars setting shortly before midnight and finally Saturn sets at 12:30 a.m. Over in the east, Jupiter is rising as Saturn is setting.

Last week, NASA announced the planned launch dates for the final two scheduled space shuttle missions. The second to last mission will be Discovery's final flight and is scheduled for November 1. The shuttle Endeavour is due to lift off on the final space shuttle mission on February 26, 2011. Both missions will deliver parts to the International Space Station. You can keep up with all the NASA news at www.nasa.gov

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. this summer. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevator to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

Public viewing at the 9-inch refractor at Painter Hall is on Friday and Saturday nights from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. this summer. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe and is northeast of the UT Tower. To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the staircase through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.