Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Tuesday September 3rd through Sunday September 8th.
The new moon for the month of September is on Thursday morning, so we'll have a waning crescent moon to start the week and a waxing crescent moon to finish the week.
Mercury is low in the west in the evening skies and is setting at 8:20 p.m., just 30 minutes after the sun. Venus is still visible low in the west-southwest, shining brightly at magnitude -4 and setting at 9:35 p.m. Look for the bright star Spica near Venus this week. Saturn is now lower in the southwest and is setting at 10:30 p.m. at midweek. Look for the thin crescent moon right next to Venus on Sunday night.
Over in the pre-dawn skies, Jupiter is rising at 2:35 a.m., followed by Mars at 4:10 a.m. Early risers can see Mars in the heart of the Beehive open star cluster on Sunday morning.
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 texassports.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 so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.