skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday July 26th through Sunday August 1st.

The full moon for the month of July occurred just after midnight on Monday morning going by Universal Time. This full moon is called the Hay Moon and the Thunder Moon. After the full moon Monday we will have a waning gibbous moon for the rest of the week.

This will be a great week to watch the line-up of evening planets that we've been seeing the western skies for the past few weeks. On Tuesday, look for Mercury and Regulus, the brightest star of the constellation Leo, just one third of a degree apart and low in the west shortly after sunset. Venus is the brightest of the evening planets and now appears about half lit if you view it in a telescope. Higher up and to the left of Venus are Mars and Saturn, which have been moving closer to one another over the past couple of weeks. On August 1st they will be a little less than two degrees apart.

Later in the evening, look for the moon and Jupiter to team up on the night of the 30th into the morning hours of the 31st. Uranus is also in the grouping, but you will need a telescope to see it.

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. Next Wednesday, August 4th, will be the final summer viewing for this telescope so we can do maintenance before the fall semester.

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. The final summer telescope viewing for Painter Hall will be Saturday August 14th.

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.