Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for August 26th to September 2nd.
The moon is at last quarter on the night of Friday the 30th.
On the evening of the 31st, Venus will be less than a degree from Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. The two will appear close to one another all week, reaching their smallest separation on Saturday. Look for them in the western skies shortly after sunset.
On the 1st, Mercury is at its greatest elongation east, so it can be glimpsed very low in the west after sunset. Look for it below and to the right of the pairing of Venus and Spica.
For a preview of the late fall and winter skies, look to the east shortly before sunrise. On the morning of the first, Saturn will be near the waning crescent moon, above and to the left of the familiar winter constellation of Orion the Hunter. Jupiter is down and to the left in the constellation Cancer.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. starting September 4th. The building 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.
The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe. Painter Hall star parties start August 30th.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.
Please note that star party times change throughout the year. Please call this recording to check times before planning a visit to the telescopes.