skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 3rd through Sunday August 9th.

The moon is at third quarter on Thursday night, so we'll start the week with a waning gibbous moon and finish with a waning crescent moon.

Venus has essentially disappeared from our western skies at sunset as it heads towards conjunction next week.

Jupiter and Mercury are a little higher than Venus, so you might be able to catch them shortly after sunset if you have a good view of the western horizon. Jupiter and Mercury are both setting at 9:10 p.m. at midweek, when they will also be separated by less than a degree. The bright star Regulus of the constellation Leo is also less than a degree away.

Saturn is still visible above the constellation Scorpius high in the south at sunset and is setting at 1:40 a.m. this week.

Mars is rising at 5:40 a.m., a little over an hour before the sun.

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.

Next week will be the final week of telescope viewing for the summer session. Fall semester viewing will start in early September.

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.