Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday September 14th through Sunday the 20th.
The new moon for the month of September is on Friday the 18th.
On the 17th, Saturn is in conjunction with the sun, so it will pass behind the sun from our point of view here on Earth. It will emerge in the morning skies in the next few weeks. Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the sun on the 20th, so it will pass between the Earth and the sun on that day. It will also emerge in the morning skies in the upcoming weeks.
Jupiter is shining brightly in the southeastern skies at nightfall, with Neptune just a few degrees away. The planet Uranus is also up early in the evening and is a good target for binoculars or a small telescope.
On the morning of the 16th shortly before dawn, the very slim crescent moon will be alongside Venus. Mars is now high in the east before sunrise.
The space shuttle Discovery made a picture perfect landing at Edwards Air Force Base on Friday after weather in Florida prevented a landing there. Discovery is now being prepped for mating to the modified 747 that will ferry it cross-country back to the Kennedy Space Center. The next shuttle mission is scheduled for November to the International Space Station.
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 game for Saturday the 19th is scheduled for 7 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.