Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday September 25th through Sunday October 1st.
The moon is at first quarter on the night of Wednesday the 27th so we'll start the week with a waxing crescent moon and finish the week with a waxing gibbous moon.
Jupiter is now quite low in the west after sunset and is setting about an hour after the sun.
Saturn is up in the south-southwest in the early evenings and is setting at 11:30 p.m. this week. Look for Saturn just a couple of degrees from the moon on Tuesday night.
In the morning skies, Venus is rising about two hours before the sun, so you should still be able to pick it out of the dawn twilight.
Mars is rising at 5:45 a.m., followed by Mercury at 6:45 a.m. as it heads back towards the sun for its next conjunction.
In space anniversaries, Wednesday September 27th marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Dawn mission to study the asteroids Vesta and Ceres. Dawn is the first NASA mission to use ion propulsion which is how it was able to enter and leave orbit of more than one object. Dawn continues to operate at Ceres and it has enough fuel to operate through the end of 2018. You can learn more about Dawn's mission at dawn.jpl.nasa.gov
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. Please note that there will be no Painter Telescope viewing on Saturday evenings when the UT football team has a night home game. Logon to TexasSports.com to check the football schedule.
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.