Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday September 21st through Sunday the 27th.
The moon is at first quarter in the early morning hours of Saturday the 26th so we will have a waxing crescent moon for most of this week. Look for the moon in the heart of Scorpius near its bright star Antares on the night of the 23rd.
The autumnal equinox occurs at around 4:20 in the afternoon of Tuesday the 22nd here in Austin. At the equinox, the earth crosses the celestial equator from the northern celestial hemisphere into the southern and day and night are roughly equal.
Jupiter is bright in the evening skies, high in the southeast. Neptune is nearby but you will need a telescope to see it. Uranus is a little father back towards the east in the early evening and is work looking for with a telescope or good binoculars. Mars is rising at 1:30 a.m. this week and Venus is rising at 5:15 a.m. Mercury and Saturn were both in conjunction with the sun last week so they are rising just barely before the sun this week.
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.