Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday September 29th through Sunday October 5th.
The new moon for the month of September occurs on Monday the 29th. You might be able to catch a slim crescent moon a day after new above and to the left of Mercury, which is sinking back towards conjunction with the sun. On October 1st, you should be able to see a slightly larger crescent moon below Venus in the west shortly after sunset. A small and faint Mars is to the right of the crescent moon on Wednesday as well.
Jupiter is still the main planet for early evening observing, now shining in the south at 7:30 at magnitude -2.3 and setting about 12:45 a.m. Saturn is rising at 5:30 a.m. so you’ll have to get up about 2 hours before sunrise to see it.
On Monday the European Space Agency’s Jules Verne spaceship re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a spectacular fireball over the Pacific Ocean. The Jules Verne was an unmanned supply vehicle for the International Space Station, known formally as an Automated Transfer Vehicle. Early images of the re-entry have been posted at Spaceweather.com
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.