Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday October 31st through Sunday November 6th.
The moon was new on Sunday October 30th and will reach first quarter on Monday November 7th, so we will have a waxing crescent moon in our early evening skies for the whole week.
Mercury is emerging from conjunction with the sun and is setting just 10 minutes after the sun at mid-week.
Saturn is low in the southwest this week, near the much brighter Venus. Look for Venus, Saturn, and a thin crescent moon to make a nice grouping on Wednesday night. A slightly larger crescent moon will be above Venus on Thursday night. Saturn is setting at 8:40 p.m. at midweek, followed by Venus about 15 minutes later.
Mars is up in the south-southwest at sundown and is setting at 11:35 p.m.
Jupiter is now the only naked-eye planet up in the early morning hours, rising at 5:30 a.m. this week, a little over two hours before sunrise.
US daylight saving time ends this weekend and we gain back the hour we skipped back in March. The official hour that is repeated will be 1 to 2 a.m. on the morning of Sunday the 6th.
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.
Next week, all star party viewing times will change to 7 p.m. 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 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.