skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for September 30th through October 6th.

Early risers can catch a very slim crescent moon and Jupiter side-by-side before dawn on the 2nd.

The new moon occurs on Sunday October 6th.

Preparations continue for the planned launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Wednesday the 2nd. The shuttle will be delivering the 45-foot-long S-1 truss to the International Space Station. To follow the mission on the web, logon to spaceflight.nasa.gov

Also on this mission, the shuttle will carry a video camera on the outside of the external tank during launch. The camera will be mounted above the orbiter and will be oriented downwards, so viewers will be able to see the earth recede as the shuttle climbs towards space. Similar cameras have been mounted on space probe and satellite launches, but this will be the first time one has been added to a shuttle mission. The video will be shown on NASA TV, which can be accessed through the web at www.nasa.gov

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. The building 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.

The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 8:00 to 10:00 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.

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