Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday August 28th through Monday September 4th.
The moon is at first quarter on the morning of Tuesday the 29th and we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for the remainder of the week.
Jupiter is getting lower in the south-southwest as darkness falls and is setting just before 10 p.m. this week.
Saturn is still up in the south at nightfall and is setting at 1:20 a.m. Look for Saturn near the moon on Tuesday night and Wednesday night.
Venus is rising 4:35 a.m., about two and a half hours before sunrise.
Mars is slowly emerging from the sun's glare in the morning skies, but is still up less than an hour before sunrise.
Mercury is near Mars and is lost in the sun's glare after conjunction last week.
Tuesday September 5th marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager I, just a couple of weeks after the launch of its twin Voyager 2. Voyager 1 went on to fly past Jupiter in March of 1979 and Saturn in November 1980. On February 14, 1990, Voyager 1 turned its cameras back towards the sun and took a "family portrait" of the solar system, including capturing the pale blue dot of Earth. In 2012, Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to cross the heliopause, the point where the solar wind meets the interstellar medium.
NASA will be sending a message to both of the Voyager spacecraft on September 5th to mark the anniversary. You can vote until August 29 and see the winning message at voyager.jpl.nasa.gov You can also monitor the distance and light travel time to both of the Voyager spacecraft at the website.
Public viewing on UT campus telescopes has finished for the summer. Fall semester viewing will resume next week.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report and have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend.