skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for July 19th through the 25th.

The moon will be at first quarter late in the evening of Sunday the 25th.

Mars and Mercury are barely above the horizon along with a slim crescent moon Monday evening. The moon will be below Jupiter in the west on Tuesday and above it on Wednesday.

Tuesday the 20th is the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. A special feature on the mission is on the main NASA homepage this week at www.nasa.gov.

On the heels of the successful Mars Rovers and Cassini mission to Saturn, NASA is preparing to launch on August 2 Messenger, the first spacecraft set to orbit Mercury. Messenger will be the first spacecraft to study Mercury up close since the flybys of the Mariner 10 mission in 1974 and 75. Messenger will fly by the innermost planet three times and will eventually enter orbit around Mercury in 2011.

For more skywatching tips for the week, check out stardate.org

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open on Wednesdays from 9 to 11 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevators to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

The Painter Hall telescope is open to the public on Fridays from 9 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.