skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday October 26th through Sunday November 1st.

The moon was at first quarter on late Sunday the 25th and will reach full on Monday November 2nd, so we will have a waxing gibbous moon all of this week.

If you have good skies on Monday night, look for the first quarter moon and Jupiter together in a nice pairing. Mars is rising at 12:45 a.m. with Saturn following at 5 a.m. and Venus at 6:15 a.m. Mercury is rising half an hour before the sun at the beginning of the week and is gradually sinking back towards the sun.

Last week’s peak of the Orionid meteor shower did show the increased activity that has been noticed for the past few years. You can see a gallery of photos of the shower at spaceweather.com

This week NASA is planning to launch the Ares 1-X rocket, the first test flight of what is expected to be the next generation of spacecraft and launch vehicles. You can watch the launch and learn more about the rocket at nasa.gov

Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour this weekend as we return to standard time. The official hour to be repeated is 1 to 2 a.m. Sunday morning local time.

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. Next week the Wednesday night viewing times will change to 7 to 9 p.m.

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. Next week the Painter Hall viewing will move to 7 to 9 p.m.

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.