skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday October 21st through Sunday October 27th.

The moon is at third quarter late on Saturday night, so we will have a waning gibbous moon for most of the week.

Mercury and Saturn continue sinking towards the sun as they head towards conjunction in early November and are now mostly lost in the evening twilight shortly after sunset. Both planets are setting at 7:30 p.m. at midweek.

Venus is still shining brightly low in the southwest and is setting at 9:20 p.m.

Jupiter has finally started to rise before midnight, although just barely. This week the gas giant will be rising at 11:40 p.m. Look for the waning gibbous moon near Jupiter in the early hours of Friday the 25th.

Mars is rising at 3:20 a.m. as it continues to lurk in the pre-dawn sky.

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.