Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 8th through Sunday August 21st.
The full moon for the month of August is on Saturday the 13th, so we will have a waxing gibbous moon for most of that week. This full moon is known as the Grain Moon and the Green Corn Moon. The moon will be at third quarter late on Sunday the 21st.
Saturn is now getting lower and lower in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting a little after 11 p.m. on the 8th, at 10:45 p.m. on the 14th and 10:20 p.m. on the 21st.
Venus is at superior conjunction with the sun on the 16th when it will move behind the sun from the earth's perspective and will move from the morning skies into the evening skies. Meanwhile, Mercury is at inferior conjunction with the sun on the night of the 16th, when it will pass between the earth and the sun and move into our morning skies.
Jupiter is rising at 12:15 a.m. on the 9th, is up a few minutes before midnight on the 14th and is up by 11:30 p.m. on the 21st. Look for Jupiter below the moon in the morning hours of August 20th.
The Perseid meteor shower peaks on the morning of Saturday the 13th, but this year's show will be hampered by the moon, which will reach full about 12 hours later. This meteor shower tends to produce over 100 meteors an hour and is produced by the earth passing through the debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. As with almost all meteors showers, the best time to look is after midnight until dawn. For this shower, prime viewing will be for around a week centered on the 13th.
Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday 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. August 10th, 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 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. August 12 and 13, will be the final Painter Hall public viewing nights of the 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.