skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Tuesday September 8th through Sunday the 13th.

The moon is at third quarter on the night of Friday the 11th. Look for the moon and Mars to pair up in the hours before dawn on Sunday the 13th. Mars will be below the moon in the east and the constellation Orion will be visible to the right of the moon.

Venus is rising a little before 5 a.m. and is very bright at nearly magnitude -4.

In the evening skies, Saturn and Mercury are still very close to the sun and will both be in conjunction with the sun next week. Jupiter is fairly high in the southeast as the sky darkens in the evening this week.

The space shuttle Discovery will be undocking from the International Space Station on Tuesday the 8th and is due to land on Thursday. You can watch the undocking and follow the shuttle’s return to earth on NASA TV streaming at nasa.gov/multimedia

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday of this week to announce the first science results from the recently upgraded Hubble Space Telescope. The new images should be on www.hubblesite.org sometime after the announcement.

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.