skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 27th through Monday September 3rd.

The second full moon for the month of August occurs on Friday August 31st. By the now commonly-used definition of a second full moon in a calendar month, this is what we call a Blue Moon.

Saturn and Mars are still visible low in the west-southwest after sunset. Saturn is setting at 10:15 p.m. at midweek and Mars is setting about 15 minutes later.

In the morning skies, Jupiter is rising at 12:45 a.m. at midweek and will be visible for the rest of the night. Venus is up at 3:40 a.m. and is shining brightly in the east before dawn. Mercury is sinking back towards the sun and is now up less than an hour before sunrise.

Last week NASA announced that the area where the Mars Curiosity Rover touched down on the Red Planet would be known as Bradbury Landing, after the science fiction author Ray Bradbury. Also last week, the rover did its first test drives and will soon be setting off on its science mission. You can follow the mission and see the latest images from Curiosity at mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl

Public viewing on UT campus telescopes has finished for the summer. 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 and have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.