Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 7th through Sunday August 13th.
The moon will be full on Monday August 7th and will reach last quarter next week so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for all of this week. The full moon for the month of August is known as the Grain Moon and the Green Corn Moon. The Earth, Moon, and Sun are coming into alignment for the solar eclipse later this month, so some parts of the earth will see a partial lunar eclipse with this Full Moon. The US will not see this week's lunar eclipse, but of course it will be the prime viewing spot for the August 21st solar eclipse.
Mercury is sinking back towards the sun and is setting at 9:10 p.m. at midweek.
Jupiter is in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting at 11:10 p.m.
Saturn is up in the south at sundown and is setting at 2:45 a.m.
Venus is up in the morning skies before dawn and is rising at 4:05 a.m., still almost three hours before sunrise.
Mars is still emerging from conjunction with the sun and is lost in the sun's glare.
The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Saturday August 12, although viewing will be hampered by the nearby waning gibbous moon this year. The Perseids meteor shower is associated with the debris of comet Swift-Tuttle and usually produces about 80 meteors an hour at the peak.
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.
This week will be the final week of public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the summer. Fall semester viewing will start in early September.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.