skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for August 18th through the 24th.

The Moon is at third quarter phase on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Mars continues to steal the show this month as it moves towards its close approach on the 27th. At mid-week the Red Planet will be rising at a little before 9 p.m. in the east-southeast in the constellation Aquarius. Mars starts out this week at about 35.25 million miles from Earth and will be about 34.78 million miles away by Sunday.

While you're waiting for Mars to rise, Mercury can be glimpsed low in the west shortly after sunset this week. Saturn will be joined by a waning crescent moon in the east a few hours before sunrise on the 23rd. Uranus is a opposition on Sunday the 24th and can be seen with binoculars or a small telescope about 8 degrees to the upper right of a much brighter Mars.

For more skywatching tips for the week check out stardate.org

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 9:00 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 telescope at RLM will be open on August 27th starting at 9 p.m. for Mars observations.

The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 9 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays for the general public from 9 to 11 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.

Please note that star party times change throughout the year. Please call this recording to check times before planning a visit to the telescopes.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.