skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday July 28th through Sunday August 3rd.

The moon is new early in the morning hours of Friday August 1st. This new moon will also be part of a total solar eclipse, which unfortunately won’t be visible in our skies here in central Texas. The path of totality runs from the Canadian Arctic, across part of Greenland, northern Russia, and ends in Mongolia and China. If you want to see the eclipse though, you can tune in to one of several webcasts scheduled to cover the event live. Logon to sunearthday.nasa.gov/2008eclipse for links to some of the webcasts.

Mars and Saturn are still in the western skies after sunset, with Saturn dropping quickly into the twilight glare. Meanwhile Venus is climbing out of the glare a little more each night. Look for a day-old moon to join Venus on Saturday evening skies.

Jupiter is rising at about 7 p.m. and is shining brightly in the southeast as the sky darkens after sunset. Mercury is in superior conjunction with the sun on Tuesday and will be moving from the morning to the evening.

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. Next week, August 6th, will be the final Wednesday night star party for the summer.

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. Painter Hall viewing will run through August 16th this summer.

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.