skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 10th through Sunday August 16th.

The new moon for the month of August is on Friday August 14th, so we'll have a waning crescent moon for most of the week and a waxing crescent moon for the weekend.

Venus is in inferior conjunction with the sun on the 15th and will pass between the Earth and Sun from our point of view. Venus will re-emerge in the morning skies before dawn over the next few weeks.

Jupiter is new very low in the west at sunset and is setting just 30 minutes after the sun as it heads towards conjunction later in the month.

Mercury is little higher than Jupiter in the west and is setting about an hour after the sun, so you might be able to catch it in the evening twilight later in the week.

Saturn is high in the south at sundown and is setting at 1:10 a.m. this week.

Mars is rising at 5:30 a.m., about an hour and a half before the sun.

The peak of the Perseids meteor shower falls on the nights of the 12th and 13th this week. This shower occurs as the earth passes through the debris of comet Swift-Tuttle and appears to come from a point in the constellation Perseus. Since there will be no interference from moonlight this year, the hourly rate at peak from a site away from city lights may see up to 100 meteors an hour.

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.

This week will be the final week of telescope viewing for the summer session. Fall semester viewing will start in early September. Please check back for details on starting dates and times.

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.