skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for September 29th through October 5.

The moon is at first quarter on Thursday October 2nd.

Mars is still bright in our evening skies and is high in the southeast by the end of twilight. In the past month the separation between Earth and Mars has increased from 34 and a half million miles to almost 42 million miles. Its angular size has dropped about 20% since closest approach, but it is still large enough to see detail in modestly sized telescopes.

Just a little above Mars is the planet Uranus, which will appear as a turquoise blue dot in binoculars and small telescopes. Saturn rises at about 1 a.m. this week and Jupiter is up a little after 5 a.m. The constellation Orion is visible to the right of Saturn giving us a preview of their arrangement in winter's evening skies.

For more skywatching tips for the week check out stardate.org

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 8:00 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevators to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff and Saturdays are open for the general public, both currently running from 9 to 11 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting. Call 232-4265 for up-to-date cancellation information.

Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording to check times before planning a visit to the telescopes.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.