skywatchers report

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

The moon was at first quarter on Sunday the 18th and won't reach full until Monday the 26th so we will see a waxing gibbous moon all of this week. Look for the moon near Antares in the heart of Scorpius on the night of Wednesday the 21st.

You can still see a line-up of four planets in the west shortly after sunset this week. Mercury is the lowest of the group with Venus up and to the left. Venus is the brightest and easiest to spot of the group. Mars and Saturn are to the upper left of Venus and will be slowly moving close to one another over the next couple of weeks. All four of the planets will set by 11:30 p.m. at midweek. Jupiter is rising at 11:45 p.m. at midweek and is visible the remainder of the night.

Now that we're into mid-July, the summer triangle of bright stars is now up fairly high in the east by 10 p.m. The triangle is comprised of the stars Vega in the constellation Lyra, Deneb in the constellation Cygnus and Altair in the constellation Aquila.

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.