skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday September 12th through Sunday September 18th.

The full moon for the month of September is on Friday the 16th so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for the first part of the week and a waning gibbous moon for the weekend. This is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox for the northern hemisphere so it is the one traditionally called the Harvest Moon. This full moon is also known as the Fruit Moon and the Corn Moon.

Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the sun on Tuesday the 13th when it will pass between the Earth and the Sun and move from our evening skies into our morning skies.

Jupiter is now setting at around 8:00 p.m., less than half an hour after the sun, as it moves towards conjunction later this month.

Venus is climbing higher in the western skies after sunset so you should be able to catch it with a good view of the western horizon. Venus is setting at 8:50 p.m. at midweek.

Saturn, Mars, and Antares continue to form a triangle in the south-southwest with Saturn and Antares on the right and Mars on the left. Saturn is setting at 11:40 p.m., followed by Mars at 12:15 a.m.

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 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.