Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday July 15th through Sunday July 22nd.
The moon is full on Tuesday the 16th and we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the remainder of the week. This full moon is known as the Hay Moon and the Thunder Moon.
Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the sun on the 21st and will move from our evening skies into our morning skies.
Mars is low in the west this week and setting about an hour after the sun.
Jupiter is up in the south-southeast at sunset and is setting at 3:45 a.m. by the weekend.
Saturn is rising a little before 8 p.m. this week and is setting around 6:00 a.m. so it is visible for most of the night. Look for Saturn to the lower left of the moon on Monday night.
This week marks at least one major anniversary that most people are probably already aware of! Saturday July 20th marks 50 years since Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. Crewmate Buzz Aldrin joined him on the surface while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins remained in orbit around the moon. The crew returned to Earth on July 24th, fulfilling the goal set by President Kennedy of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth by the end of the decade. Log on to nasa.gov for more information on the mission and how the 50th anniversary is being marked around the world.
25 years ago, staring on July 16th, the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter. Because the comet's nucleus had broken up into many fragments, the impacts lasted from the 16th through the 22nd.
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 Fridays and Saturdays 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. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and then take the stairs up to the 6th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
Please arrive at RLM or Painter Hall before 10 p.m. to ensure access to the buildings.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.