skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday September 26th through Sunday October 2nd.

The new moon for the month of September is on Tuesday so we will have a waxing crescent moon in the early evening skies this week.

Mercury is in superior conjunction with the sun on Wednesday, so it will be passing behind the sun from the Earth's point of view.

Venus and Saturn are close together low in the west shortly after sunset this week. The pair sets at about 8 p.m. at midweek so you'll need to catch them quickly after the sun goes down. Look for a very thin crescent moon next to Saturn and Venus on the 28th.

Uranus reached opposition early on Monday the 26th so it will be rising close to sunset and will be visible all night long. At slightly brighter than 6th magnitude Uranus is pretty easy to find in binoculars or a small telescope if you have a star chart to reference.

Jupiter is rising a little before 9 p.m. at midweek and is visible for the remainder of the night. Mars is up at 2:45 a.m. Look for Mars in the heart of the Beehive open star cluster on the morning of October 1st.

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.