skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 12th through Sunday August 18th.

The moon is at first quarter on Wednesday the 14th so we'll start the week with a waxing crescent moon and finish with a waxing gibbous moon.

Venus is still bright low in the west after sunset and is setting at 10 p.m. this week. Saturn is in the southwest and is setting at midnight. Look for Saturn near the crescent moon on Monday night.

All of the rest of the planets visible to the unaided eye are up in the morning hours. Jupiter is rising at 3:40 a.m., followed by Mars at 4:30 a.m. Mercury is sinking down towards the sun and is rising at 6:10 a.m. at midweek, just 50 minutes before the sun.

There is still time to try to catch some of the peak of the Perseid meteor shower on Monday night into Tuesday morning. The best viewing will be from somewhere dark away from city lights, after the moon has set, and after midnight. The Perseids are associated with the debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle and is one of the most reliable meteor showers of the year. Check out the real time meteor photo gallery at Spaceweather.com for images of this year's shower.

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.

This will be the final week of public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the summer. Fall viewing will resume in early September. Please check back for information on starting dates and times.

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 512-232-4265 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.