skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 11th through Sunday the 17th.

The moon is at third quarter on Sunday the 17th so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for all of this week.

Mercury is still emerging from conjunction and is setting only 20 minutes after the sun and is lost in the sun's glare.

Mars and Saturn are still slowly moving closer to one another in the early evening in the southwestern sky. Mars is setting around midnight, followed by Saturn at 12:30 a.m.

Over in the morning skies, Venus and Jupiter will be gradually moving closer to one another all week, eventually ending up just .2 degrees apart on Sunday. The pair rises a little over an hour before the sun by the end of the week.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks early this week, but viewing will unfortunately be hampered by the moon which is just past full at the beginning of the week. The meteors appear to come from a point in the constellation Perseus and are the debris from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

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 public viewing on UT campus telescopes 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.