skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday September 19th through Sunday September 25th.

The moon is at last quarter on Tuesday so we will have a waning crescent moon for most of this week.

Venus is setting just half an hour after the sun so it is still not visible in our evening skies. Saturn is now getting closer to Venus and is setting a little before 8:30 p.m. Jupiter rises at 9:20 p.m. at midweek and is visible for the rest of the night.

Mars is up a little before 3 a.m. Look for Mars and the crescent moon together in the morning hours of September 23rd. Mercury is still technically in our morning skies but is up just 20 minutes before the sun at midweek as it heads towards conjunction next week.

The autumnal equinox occurs at 4:05 a.m. Central Daylight Time on Friday the 23rd. This is the point where, for the northern hemisphere, the sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south and the day and night are roughly equal. From now until the winter solstice, the days will start to be shorter than the nights, while the opposite is true for the southern hemisphere.

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.