skywatchers report

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

The moon is new on the night of Friday October 4th so we will have a waning crescent moon for most of the week and a very thin waxing crescent moon to end the week.

Three planets are together low in the west and southwest shortly after sunset, but you'll need a good view of the horizon to catch them. Mercury is the lowest of the group and is setting at 8:15 p.m. Saturn is a little higher and is setting at 8:45 p.m. Venus is further to the south and is the brightest of the bunch and sets at 9:20 p.m. A very thin crescent moon will be between Mercury and Saturn on Sunday evening.

Jupiter is rising a little after 1 a.m. this week and is near the stars Castor and Pollux, the twins of the constellation Gemini. Mars is up a little later at 3:45 a.m. and is above the star Regulus of the constellation Leo the Lion. Look for the crescent moon to make a triangle with Mars and Regulus on Tuesday morning.

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 texassports.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 so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.