Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday October 16th through Sunday October 22nd.
The new moon for the month of October is on Thursday the 19th so we'll start the week with a waning crescent moon and finish the week with a waxing crescent moon low in the west after sunset.
Jupiter is lost in the in the sun's glare as it heads towards conjunction next week.
Mercury is still emerging from the sun's glare after its latest conjunction so it isn't quite visible after sunset this week.
Saturn is still up in the southwest after sunset and is setting at 10:15 p.m. at midweek.
Uranus is at opposition on Thursday the 19th so this is a good time to spot the 7th planet. Uranus is right at the edge of what is visible to the naked eye, but you'll still need at least a pair of binoculars to spot it.
In the morning skies, Mars is rising at 5:25 a.m., now a little over two hours before sunrise.
Venus is up at 6:00 a.m., about 90 minutes before sunrise.
In space anniversaries, Wednesday the 18th marks the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Soviet Venera 4 spacecraft on Venus. The mission was the first probe to successfully perform in-situ analysis of another planet.
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. Please note that there will be no Painter Telescope viewing on Saturday evenings when the UT football team has a night home game. Logon to TexasSports.com to check the football schedule.
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.