skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday August 3rd through Sunday the 9th.

The full moon for the month of August is on the night of Wednesday the 5th. The full moon for August is known as the Grain Moon and the Green Corn Moon. The alignment of the moon, sun and Earth is close enough to give us a penumbral lunar eclipse with this full moon, but because that means that the moon is going through the outermost part of the earth’s shadow, it will be nearly impossible to detect with the naked eye.

Mercury can be seen very low in the west after sunset and it setting around 9:30 p.m. with Saturn following at about 10:15 p.m. Jupiter is rising a little before 9 p.m. at midweek and is visible below the full moon on Wednesday night and will be alongside the moon Thursday the 6th. Mars is rising at 2:30 a.m. and Venus is up at 4 a.m.

Although the Perseids meteor shower doesn’t peak until next week, reports are already coming in of early shower activity. The constellation of Perseus is above the horizon by 1 a.m. You can tell if a meteor is part of that shower if you can trace the path back to the top part of Perseus.

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.

Next week will be the final week of public viewing for the summer. Viewing will resume in September.

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.