Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for July 24th through August 20th.
The moon is new on Tuesday July 25th and will reach first quarter on Wednesday August 2nd. The full moon for the month of August will be on Wednesday the 9th. This full moon is called the Grain Moon and the Green Corn moon. The moon will be at third quarter phase on Wednesday August 16th.
Mars and Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo will still be close to one another low in the west shortly after sunset as we close out July. On the 26th, the very slim crescent moon will be below the pair and will be above the on the 27th. The moon will be below Jupiter on the night of August 1st. Jupiter is still the dominant planet in our evening skies and can be seen in the southwest at sunset in late July and early August.
For early risers, Mercury and Venus will pair up in the eastern skies before sunrise in the first half of August. The two will be at their closest on August 10th, when they will be about two degrees apart.
The Perseid meteor shower, one of the most regular and well known of the annual showers will be hampered by bright moonlight this year. The best time to look will be in the early hours of Sunday August 13th. The meteors will appear to come from a point in the constellation Perseus, which is fully above the horizon by about 1 a.m., although the radiant point of the shower will be visible all night.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights from 9 to 10:30 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 last Wednesday night viewing will be July 26th.
Public viewing at the Painter Hall telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 10:30 p.m. this summer. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe. Painter viewing will run through August 12th.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time on nights when star parties are cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.