skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 24th through Sunday August 30th.

The full moon for the month of August is on Saturday the 29th, so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for most of this week. This full moon is known as the Grain Moon and the Green Corn Moon.

Jupiter is in conjunction with the sun on Wednesday and will slowly re-emerge into the morning skies for the next few weeks.

Mercury is still visible low in the west at sunset and is setting a little after 9 p.m., about an hour after sunset.

Saturn is in the south-southwest at sunset and is setting at 12:15 a.m. this week.

Over in the morning skies, Mars is rising at 5:20 a.m., nearly two hours before the sun. Venus is rising at 5:50 a.m., a little over an hour before sunrise.

In space exploration news, as the Cassini spacecraft winds down its long and successful mission at Saturn it is making its final passes of several of Saturn's moons. Last week the spacecraft made its final close approach to the icy moon Dione, getting another high-resolution look at its cratered surface. Cassini has made 5 close approaches of Dione in all, including a pass of just 60 miles over the surface in 2011. You can see the latest images from Cassini, as well as all the photos from its 18-year total mission time and 11 years at Saturn at saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

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

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.