skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 17th through Sunday August 23th.

The moon is at first quarter on Saturday night, so we'll have a waxing crescent moon for most of the week and a waxing gibbous moon on Sunday.

Jupiter is now just a few degrees from the Sun as it heads towards conjunction next week.

Mercury is setting about an hour after the sun this week so you might be able to see it if you have a good view of the western horizon.

Saturn is now in the south-southwest at sundown and is setting at 12:45 a.m. at midweek. Look for Saturn near the first quarter moon on Saturday night.

In the morning skies, Mars is rising at 5:30 a.m. this week, about an hour and a half before the sun.

Venus is emerging from conjunction with the sun and is rising only half an hour before the sun.

In space anniversaries this week, Monday August 17th marks the 45th anniversary of the launch of the Soviet Venera 7 probe to Venus. Venera 7 landed in December 1970 and became the first spacecraft to transmit data from another planet back to Earth. The spacecraft didn't operate for very long, but it was able to send a temperature reading of 887° F from Venus' surface.

Public viewing on UT campus telescopes has finished for the summer session. Fall semester viewing will start in early September. Please check back for details on starting dates and times.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.