skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for July 18th through the 24th.

The full moon for the month of July is on Thursday the 21st. This full moon is called the Thunder Moon or the Hay Moon. This full moon will occur just a few hours before perigee, the moon’s closest point to the earth in its orbit. Because of this, this full moon will be the largest the year, and extra high tides are expected.

Venus is the lower bright object in the west in the evening hours. During this week it will be drawing closer to the star Regulus in Leo the Lion, until they are about a degree apart on Friday. After that, they will move farther apart.

Jupiter is the higher of the bright objects in the west and is now setting a little after midnight. Mars is rising a little before 1 a.m. this week.

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.