Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for July 21st through the 27th.
The Moon is at third quarter phase in the morning hours of Monday July 21st.
Throughout the week observers can watch Mercury and Jupiter switch places in the sky low in the west just after sunset. Jupiter will start out as the higher of the two and will be less than half a degree from Mercury on the 25th. After that evening, Jupiter will sink lower and Mercury will scoot long the horizon more towards due west.
Mars continues to rise earlier and grow brighter as it heads towards its closest approach to the Earth in thousands of years. This week it is rising around 10:45 and over magnitude -2, making it the brightest object in the night skies other than the Moon.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 9:00 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 telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 9 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays for the general public from 9 to 11 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.
Please note that star party times change throughout the year. Please call this recording to check times before planning a visit to the telescopes.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.