Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for August 9th through the 15th.
The new moon for the month of August is a little before midnight on Sunday the 15th. A very slim crescent moon will appear alongside a bright Venus on the mornings of the 11th and 12th. Saturn is below and to the left of Venus and rises about an hour later.
This week is the peak of one of the Perseid meteor shower, which should have favorable sky conditions this year, although weather could potentially still mar the viewing. The best time to see the Perseids will be from around 2 a.m. to dawn on Thursday the 12th. The shower gets its name because the meteors appear to come from a point in the constellation Perseus and has been recorded by observers for over 2000 years. The meteors are caused by the debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle entering the earth's atmosphere and burning up.
For more skywatching tips for the week, check out stardate.org
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open on Wednesdays from 9 to 11 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevators to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
The Painter Hall telescope is open to the public on Fridays from 9 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.
This 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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information about 30 minutes before the star party start time. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.