Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for August 1st through the 21st.
The new moon for the month of August is on the night of the 4th and it will be at first quarter on the night of the 12th. The full moon for the month of August will be on the night of the 19th. This full moon is called the Grain Moon or the Green Corn moon. Like in July, this full moon occurs close to lunar perigee, so high tides are expected.
The moon will be next to Venus on the evening of the 7th and below Jupiter on the 9th. Mars is rising at midnight mid-month and has brightened to magnitude -0.6.
The August event that a lot of skywatchers look forward to is the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on the 12th. Observers should plan to look on both the night of the 11th and the 12th, since the shower could be active both nights. The meteors appear to come from a point near the top of the constellation Perseus, called the radiant, which is high enough to start viewing around 11 p.m. although the he shower should be most active from midnight to dawn each day. This year the moon is in a favorable phase to give a long dark night for meteor watching. The Perseids are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and tend to produce long, persistent streaks.
Public viewing at the Painter Hall Telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 11 p.m. this summer. Painter Hall is located on the corner of 24th and Inner Campus Drive, about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe, and just north of the UT Tower. The final star party at Painter Hall this summer will be on August 13th. Fall viewing will resume in September.
There will be no Wednesday night viewing at Robert Lee Moore Hall this summer due to roof construction.
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 only on nights when star parties are cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.