Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday August 30th through Monday September 6th.
The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday the 1st, so we will have a waning gibbous moon for the first part of the week and a waning crescent for the remainder.
Mercury will be at inferior conjunction with the sun on Friday the 3rd, so it will pass between the earth and the sun and move from the evening into the morning skies.
Even with Mercury disappearing from the western skies, three planets are still visible in the early evening. Saturn is low in the west and sets around 9 p.m. Mars and Venus are in the west-southwest and both set around 9:45 p.m. at midweek. Jupiter is rising at 8:45 p.m. this week and is visible for the rest of the night.
Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently from 8 to 10 p.m. RLM 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.
Public viewing at the 9 inch refractor at Painter Hall is on Friday and Saturday nights from currently 8 to 10 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe and is northeast of the UT Tower. To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the staircase through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope. Please note that there will be no Painter Telescope viewing on Saturday evenings when the UT football team has a night home game. To check the football schedule, logon to mackbrown-texasfootball.com.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report and have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.