skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for July 30th to August 5th.

The full moon for the month of August occurs early in the morning of Saturday the 4th. This full moon is known as the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon.

On Monday night, the moon and Mars will be close to one another in the south at sunset.

In the hour or so before dawn, you can watch Venus and Jupiter draw closer and closer all week. By August 5th, they will be little more than a degree apart. A couple of days later they will start to move farther apart as Venus sinks lower and lower each day.

This week, the Genesis mission is due to launch from Cape Canaveral Florida on a mission to sample the solar wind in an effort to learn more about the origin of the solar system. The mission will collect material for two years and then return to earth where the spacecraft will parachute into the atmosphere and be caught in mid-air by a recovery helicopter. You can learn more about the mission at its website: genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov

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.

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 10:00 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.