skywatchers report

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

The moon is at third quarter on Saturday the 8th so we will have a waning gibbous moon for most of the week.

Saturn and Mars are now low in the west and southwest after sunset. Saturn is above the bright star Spica and is setting at 9:50 p.m. at midweek. Mars is to the left of Saturn and is setting at 10:20 p.m.

Jupiter is rising at 12:20 a.m. and is visible the rest of the night. Venus is up at 3:45 a.m. Look for the bright stars Procyon and Sirius near by. Mercury is now lost in the sun's glare as it heads towards conjunction early next week.

If you want some planets to fill in the gap between Mars and Saturn setting and Jupiter rising, both Uranus and Neptune are up in the early evenings. Neptune rises at 7:00 p.m. so it is up fairly high in the east after sunset. Neptune is currently in the constellation Aquarius and is near the star iota Aquarii. Uranus rises at 8:45 p.m. and is in the constellation Cetus, near its border with the constellation Pisces. You will need finder charts to find Uranus and Neptune and you will need at least a small telescope to see them in the city. Out in darker skies you should be able to find Uranus in binoculars if you know where to look.

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 mackbrown-texasfootball.com. The game scheduled for Saturday September 8th is due to start at 8 p.m. so there will be no viewing that night.

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.