Skywatchers Report

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

The full moon for the month of August is on Thursday the 15th so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon to start the week and a waning gibbous moon to finish the week. This full moon is known as the Grain Moon and the Green Corn Moon.

Venus is in superior conjunction with the sun early on Wednesday morning. Venus will pass behind the sun from the Earth's point of view and will pass from our morning skies into our evening skies.

Mars continues to move towards conjunction and is now lost in the sun's glare.

Jupiter is up in the south at sunset and is setting at 2:00 a.m. at midweek. Look for the bright reddish-orange star Antares in the constellation Scorpius below and to the right of Jupiter.

Saturn is in the southeast at sunset and is setting at 4:10 a.m. at midweek.

Mercury is sinking back towards the sun after last week's greatest elongation and is rising at 5:35 a.m. at midweek, still nearly an hour and a half before sunrise.

The Perseids Meteor Shower peaks on the morning of Tuesday the 7th, but this year's shower will have a lot of interference from moonlight. The Perseids are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and get their name because they appear to come from a point in the constellation Perseus. This shower usually produces over 60 meteors an hour, but this year fainter meteors will be washed out by the nearly full moon.

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 Fridays and Saturdays 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. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and then take the stairs up to the 6th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

Please arrive at RLM or Painter Hall before 10 p.m. to ensure access to the buildings.

This week is the final week of telescope viewing for the summer session. Fall semester viewing will start in early 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 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.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.