skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday August 11th through Sunday the 17th.

The moon is full on Saturday the 16th. This full moon is called the Grain Moon and the Green Corn Moon. Since everything was lined up to give us a total solar eclipse two weeks ago, we would expect a lunar eclipse now that we’re at full moon, which is indeed the case. However, like the solar eclipse, we’re not going to get to see it here in Central Texas. Viewers in Africa, Asia and Europe will get to see all or some of the eclipse.

Saturn, Venus and Mercury are clustered together low in the west this week. Mars is a little higher and to the left of the other three plantets. Jupiter and the moon will be next to one another in the southeast on Tuesday night.

The summer’s best meteor shower, the Perseids, peaks early this week. The best time look will be early Tuesday morning before dawn after the moon will has set, leaving dark skies. The particles that create this shower are from the Comet Swift-Tuttle and appear to come from the upper part of the constellation Perseus, hence their name.

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated 100,000 orbits last week bringing its total miles on orbit to 2.72 billion. You can explore the history of and amazing images from the telescope at hubblesite.org.

Public viewing at the RLM is finished for the summer session. Viewing will resume on Septmeber 3rd, time to be determined.

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.  This will be the final week of viewing at Painter Hall 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.