Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday September 27th through Sunday October 3rd.
The moon is at third quarter on the night of Thursday the 30th, so we will have a waning gibbous for the first part of the week and a waning crescent for the remainder of the week.
Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun on October 1st, so it will pass behind the Sun from the Earth's point of view and reemerge in the morning skies in October. Venus and Mars are still visible low in the west-southwest shortly after sunset. Venus is setting at 8:30 and Mars is setting at 8:45 p.m. at midweek. if you look at Venus with a telescope you will see that it currently has a crescent phase. Over in the eastern skies, Jupiter and Uranus are still close together and are rising at 6:45, so they are visible almost all night long.
The International Space Station Expedition 24 crew, including two Russian cosmonauts and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson landed safely in their Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan last Saturday after 174 days in space. The three remaining inhabitants of the station will be joined by three new crewmates in a couple of weeks. You can learn more about the missions to the International Space Station on www.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. 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 complete 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.