skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday October 7th through Sunday October 13th.

The moon is at first quarter on Friday the 11th so we'll have a waxing crescent moon for the work week and a waxing gibbous moon for the weekend.

Mercury is low in the west-southwest after sunset and is at greatest elongation from the Sun on Wednesday the 9th. Mercury is setting a little after 8 p.m. this week. Saturn is just a few degrees above and to the right of Mercury and is setting at 8:20 p.m.

Venus is still shining brightly low in the southwest and is setting at 9:20 p.m. Look for the bright orange star Antares in the constellation Scorpius nearby.

Uranus was at opposition last week so right now it is at the biggest and brightest you'll see it from Earth, although you'll still need at least binoculars and a finder chart to see it. Uranus is rising a little before sunset so it is will placed for early evening observing.

Jupiter is rising at 12:35 a.m. at midweek. Some observers will have a chance to see a rare triple shadow transit on Jupiter early on Saturday when the shadows of Io, Europa, and Callisto can all be see on Jupiter's clouds. Unfortunately Jupiter will be below the horizon in Texas during the event but photographs are certain to be posted online.

Mars is rising at 3:35 a.m. as it slowly makes its way back towards the evening skies.

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.