Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday August 25th through Monday September 1st.
The moon is new on Saturday the 30th. This is the second new moon we’ve had in the month of August.
Four planets are still low in the west after sunset, although the lowest of the bunch, Saturn, is now very close to the sun and will be in conjunction next week. Of the other three planets, Venus is the brightest and easiest to spot. Mercury is about two degrees to the left of Venus and Mars is above the pair. On September 1st, if you have a good view of the western horizon, you may be able to catch a very thin crescent moon with Mercury, Venus and Mars.
Jupiter is still bright in the south after sunset and is setting a little before 3 a.m. Uranus and Neptune are also visible in the evening skies, but you will need a telescope and finder chart to find those outer planets.
At 10 p.m. this week, the stars of the summer triangle are high overhead. At that same time, Andromeda and Cassiopeia are above the horizon in the northeast. Some of the constellations of summer, such as Scorpius are now edging into the west as we head into September.
Public viewing on the university telescopes will resume next week. Please call back for details of the starting dates and times. Please note that during the fall semester there will be no public viewing on nights when the UT football team has a home evening football game. We will make a note on this recording and our website when a star party will be cancelled due to a football game.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report and have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.