Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday October 9th through Sunday October 15th.
The moon is at third quarter on Thursday the 12th so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the first part of the week and finish the week with a waning crescent moon.
Jupiter is now just two weeks from conjunction with the sun and sets at 7:35 p.m. so it is now lost in the sun's glare.
Mercury is just starting to emerge from conjunction so it is also lost in the sun's glare. Mercury will continue to climb away from the sun and will eventually become easier to spot in early November.
Saturn is in the southwest at nightfall and is setting at 10:40 p.m. at midweek.
In the morning skies, Mars is rising at 5:30 a.m. as it begins its long path back to its closest approach to Earth next summer.
Venus is rising at 5:50 a.m. so you might be able to see it before the Sun rises at 7:30 a.m.
In space anniversaries, Sunday October 15th marks 20 years since the launch of the Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturnian system. The mission ended just one month shy of its 20th anniversary when it was deliberately de-orbited into Saturn on September 15, 2017.
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. Please note that there will be no Painter Telescope viewing on Saturday evenings when the UT football team has a night home game. Logon to TexasSports.com to check the football schedule.
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 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.