skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 1st through Sunday August 7th.

The new moon for the month of August is on Tuesday the 2nd and we'll have a waxing crescent moon in the early evening skies for the remainder of the week.

With good planning, you can glimpse all five of the naked eye planets this week, starting with Venus low in the west shortly after sunset.  Venus is setting a little less than an hour after the sun, so you might be able to see it with a good view of the western horizon.

Mercury is to the upper left of Venus and is setting at 9:40 p.m. Jupiter is now low in the west and continues the string of planets, setting at 10:20 p.m. Look for the thin crescent moon right next to Jupiter on Friday the 5th.

Mars is just a little west of due south as the sky darkens after sunset and is setting at 1:35 a.m. Saturn rounds out the bunch, high in the south at sunset and is setting at 2:25 a.m.

In space anniversaries this week, Friday August 5th marks 5 years since the launch of the Juno spacecraft that entered orbit around Jupiter last month. You can follow the mission online at www.nasa.gov/juno

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.

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.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Next week will be the final week of public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the summer session. Fall semester viewing will start in a few weeks. Please check back for details on starting dates and times.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.