skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Tuesday September 4th through Sunday September 9th.

The moon is at third quarter late on the evening of Monday the 3rd.

Jupiter is still in the southwest as the sky darkens and is setting a little after midnight this week. Mars is rising about half an hour after Jupiter sets, so there are at least two planets to observe most of the night. Mercury is visible in the evening skies but is setting less than an hour after the sun. Venus is now in the morning skies and is rising at about 5:15 a.m. Saturn is sneaking in to the morning skies now, but is rising only about an hour before the sunrises.

After surviving the Martian dust storms, the rovers Spirit and Opportunity have resumed their activities exploring the surface of Mars. Opportunity is still perched on the edge of Victoria crater and Spirit is on its way to a formation known as Home Plate. You follow the missions online at marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov

Public viewing at the 16 inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights 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 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. The first scheduled cancellation will be this Saturday, September 8th. To check the football schedule, logon to mackbrown-texasfootball.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. 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.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.