skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday July 27th through Sunday August the 2nd.

The moon is at first quarter on the night of Tuesday the 28th.

Mercury is in the western skies at sunset and is setting at 9:30 p.m. Saturn is low in the western skies at sundown and is setting at 10:30 p.m. at midweek. Jupiter is rising in the east-southeast at 9:15 p.m. at midweek. The Hubble Space Telescope, which is in the middle of checking out the new systems installed by shuttle astronauts earlier this year, was able to image the new dark smudge on Jupiter which was confirmed to have been an impact by a comet or asteroid.

In the hour before dawn, look to the east for Mars, near the Hyades open star cluster in Taurus, and Venus, near the winter constellation of Orion.

The International Space Station will be making several passes over Austin this week. To get the times, durations and brightness of the passes, check out heavens-above.com and set your location.

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. 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. 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.