skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for September 10th through the 16th

The moon will be at last quarter on Monday the 10th.

The moon skirted past Saturn Monday morning as it makes a tour of the pre-dawn planets. On Wednesday morning it will move close to Jupiter and depending on your location, you may actually see the moon occult, or move in front of, Jupiter. A very slim crescent of the moon will move past Venus in the early morning hours of Saturday.

Mars is getting a little fainter each week, but it is still one of the brightest objects in the evening sky.

In space news, NASA is giving the public the opportunity to name the new Space Infrared Telescope Facility spacecraft. The project is currently referred to by its acronym, SIRTIF, and it is part of the Great Observatories Program, which includes the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray observatory and the Compton Gamma Ray observatory. If your name is chosen, the prize will be a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to view the launch. For more information, including guidelines for acceptable names, please see the NASA website at www.nasa.gov

Wednesday night star parties at Robert Lee Moore Hall start at 8 p.m. The building is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton (formerly 26th street) and Speedway. Take the elevator to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

Painter Hall public viewing is on Saturday evening and starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday nights are open to UT students, faculty and staff at 8:30 p.m. The building is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.

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