skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Tuesday September 6 to Sunday September 11th.

The moon was at first quarter on Sunday the 4th and reaches full on Monday September 12th, so we will have a waxing gibbous moon all of this week.

Venus is still emerging from the sun's glare and is not yet visible in the early evening skies. Saturn is now very low in the west shortly after sundown and is setting at 9:15 p.m. at midweek.

Jupiter is rising at 10:15 p.m. as it moves closer to opposition in late October when it will be rising at sunset and visible all night. Mars is rising a little after 3 a.m. and is to the right of Castor and Pollux, the twin stars of the constellation Gemini. Mercury is rising about an hour before the sun at midweek as it starts moving back down towards its next conjunction with the sun at the end of the month.

NASA's next mission to study the moon is set to launch on Thursday September 8th. The GRAIL mission is a pair of spacecraft that will create a high-resolution map of the Moon's gravitational field. You can learn more about the mission and watch live launch coverage at NASA website - www.nasa.gov.

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. The football game for September 10th is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. so there will be no Painter Hall viewing that evening.

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.