skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday July 9th through Monday July 16th.

The moon is at third quarter on Tuesday night and we will have a waning crescent moon for the remainder of the week.

Mercury is now low in the west-northwest and is sinking back towards conjunction with the sun. Mercury sets at 9:40 p.m. at midweek. Mars is up in the west-southwest at nightfall and is setting at 12:25 a.m. at midweek. Saturn is still near the star Spica in the constellation Virgo and is high in the southwest at sun down. Saturn is setting at 1:25 a.m. at midweek.

Over in the morning skies, Venus, Jupiter and the bright orange star Aldebaran are still together making a nice grouping and will be joined by the crescent moon over the weekend. Jupiter is rising at 3:35 a.m. followed by Venus at 4:05 a.m. Aldebaran will be visible right next to Venus at the start of the week and will gradually move to Venus' upper right by the weekend. Look for a thin crescent moon above Jupiter on Saturday morning, near the Pleiades star cluster. On Sunday, the crescent moon will be between Jupiter and Venus and will be a great target for astrophotographers.

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.

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 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.