skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Tuesday September 8 through Sunday September 13th.

The new moon for the month of September is early Sunday morning so we'll have a waning crescent moon for most of the week. This new moon will also eclipse the sun for observers in southern Africa, about half of Madagascar, and parts of Antarctica.

Mercury is starting to move back towards the sun after last week's greatest elongation and is setting about an hour after the sun this week.

Saturn is up in the southwest at sunset and is setting at 11:20 p.m. at midweek.

Over in the morning skies, Venus is now rising at 4:45 a.m., about two and a half hours before the sun. Mars follows at 5:10 a.m. Look for a very thin crescent moon between Venus and Mars on Thursday morning.

Jupiter is still low and close to the sun, rising about 50 minutes before sunrise.

In space anniversaries this week, 30 years ago Friday, the International Cometary Explorer became the first spacecraft to visit a comet when it flew within 5000 miles of Comet Giabobini-Zinner.

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. The game for Saturday September 12 is a home game scheduled to start at 7 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 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.