Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday November 1st through Sunday the 7th.
The moon is new on the night of Friday the 5th, so we will have a waning gibbous moon for most of this week.
Jupiter is high in the southeast during evening twilight while Mars is low in the southwest and setting at around 8 p.m. Look for a very thin crescent moon alongside Mars on the night of Sunday the 7th. Mercury is still climbing in the western skies just after sunset, but is still difficult to see.
In the morning skies, Saturn is now rising at 5:30 a.m. Look for the crescent moon above Saturn on the morning of the 3rd. Venus is slowly emerging from the Sun's glare and is rising at 7 a.m. at midweek.
On Wednesday the 3rd, NASA's EPOXI spacecraft (formerly called Deep Impact) will be making its closest approach to Comet Hartley 2. The spacecraft will get within about 700 kilometers of the comet. You can follow the mission at epoxi.umd.edu
The Space Shuttle Discovery is now expected to launch mid-week after a few delays over this past weekend. The shuttle will deliver a module to the International Space Station as well as the first human-like robot in space - Robonaut 2. You can follow the mission and watch the launch online at www.nasa.gov.
As a reminder, Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend for most of the US. The hour that is officially repeated is 1 to 2 a.m. local time Sunday morning.
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. Starting next week viewing will be from 7 to 9 p.m. for the remainder of the semester.
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 complete football schedule, logon to mackbrown-texasfootball.com. Starting next week viewing will be from 7 to 9 p.m. for the remainder of the semester.
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.