Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 14th through Monday August 21st.
The moon is at third quarter on the night of Monday August 14 and will reach new on Monday August 21 so we'll have a waning crescent moon for almost all of this week. As most everyone knows by now, this new moon will line up with the Sun and Earth just right and a total or partial eclipse will be seen across the entire United States on the 21st. The partial eclipse will start here in Austin at 11:41 a.m. and reach maximum eclipse at 1:10 p.m. and will end at 2:39 p.m.
For those of you who are not traveling to the path of totality for the solar eclipse on Monday the 21st, there will be public viewing with various solar telescopes on the UT campus. Locations haven't been finalized, so please check our website at outreach.as.utexas.edu/eclipse for more information as it becomes available. You can also find instructions for safely viewing the eclipse for yourself at eclipse2017.nasa.gov
Mercury is sinking back towards the sun and is setting about 25 minutes after the sun at midweek.
Jupiter is in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting at 10:45 p.m.
Saturn is still high in the south at sunset and is setting at 2:20 a.m. this week.
Venus is rising at 4:15 a.m. and is shining brightly in the pre-dawn sky. A very thin crescent moon will be below Venus on Saturday morning.
Mars is still emerging from conjunction and is rising just half an hour before the sun.
In space anniversaries this week, Sunday August 20th marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager 2 spacecraft. It's twin, Voyager 1, launched a couple of weeks later. Voyager 2 would go on to be the only spacecraft (so far) to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and it continues to operate and transmit data from the edge of our solar system. You can learn more about the Voyager program at voyager.jpl.nasa.gov
Public viewing on UT campus telescopes has finished for the summer. Fall semester viewing will start in early September.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.