skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday October 12th through Sunday the 18th.

The moon is new on Sunday the 18th and we’ll have a waning crescent moon all of this week.

Since the moon is visible in the morning hours this week, it will line up with the morning sky planets. On Monday morning the moon was visible below Mars and on the 15th it will be above Venus and Saturn and on the 16th, a very slim crescent moon will be alongside Venus and Saturn. Mercury can also be seen below Venus and Saturn this week. Venus and Saturn will be close to one another for several days this week and will be about half a degree apart on the morning of Tuesday the 13th. In the evening skies, Jupiter is still the only planet visible to the unaided eye.

Although the impact of the LCROSS spacecraft and Centaur rocket stage didn’t create the large visible plume that was anticipated, the preliminary data is already showing some interesting results. You can see the early results and imagery at www.nasa.gov/lcross

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.