skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for July 11th through the 17th.

The moon is at first quarter on Thursday the 14th.

On the 12th, Jupiter will be above and to the left of the moon and on the 13th Jupiter will be to the right of the moon. Some observers in South America will see Jupiter pass behind the moon on the 13th.

Venus and Mercury are now drifting apart in the western skies. Venus will continue to climb higher each day, while Mercury begins sinking back towards the horizon on its way to inferior conjunction with the sun at the beginning of August.

Mars continues to rise earlier and get brighter each week. It’s now rising at about 1:15 am and is high in the southeast at morning twilight.

If you’ve received an email about Mars being close to the earth in August, you should know that it is incorrect. The events described in the email happened in 2003. Mars will be making its next closest approach to the Earth at the end of October this year, but it will be about 20% farther away than it was in 2003.

Public viewing at the Painter Hall Telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 11 p.m. this summer. Painter Hall is located on the corner of 24th and Inner Campus Drive, about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe, and just north of the UT Tower.

There will be no Wednesday night viewing at Robert Lee Moore Hall this summer due to roof construction.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.

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