skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for July 2nd through the 8th.

The full moon for the month of July is late in the evening of July 4th. This full moon is called the Thunder moon or the Hay moon. When the moon was new two weeks ago, it eclipsed the sun, so we know that the sun and moon must still be close to the same plane. We would expect to see a lunar eclipse during this full moon, and that is indeed what will occur late on the 4th. However, like the solar eclipse, North America will miss out on the lunar eclipse. Hawaii will see the beginning of the eclipse and Australia will get a good view around midnight.

Mars is the dominant planet in the evening skies, shining brightly between the constellations Scorpius and Ophiuchus at magnitude -2. Observations with a telescope should reveal dark areas on the orange disk. The moon and Mars will pair up in the east on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

Venus is the bright morning object in the east before dawn. It is currently at magnitude -4.

Wednesday night public viewing is held at Robert Lee Moore Hall and will begin at 9:00 p.m. The building is located at the southeast corner of Dean Keeton (formerly 26th street) and Speedway. Take the elevators to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope. The telescope at RLM will be open this week on the 4th of July.

Viewing at the Painter Hall telescope for the general public is on Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. and Friday nights are open for UT students, faculty and staff from 9:00 to 10: p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.

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