Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday September 24th through Sunday September 30th.
The moon is full late on Monday the 24th and will reach third quarter early next week, so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the rest of the week. This full moon is known as the Fruit Moon and the Corn Moon and, since this is the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, it is also called the Harvest Moon.
Mercury is emerging from conjunction and will be setting less than 20 minutes after the sun this week.
Venus is low in the west-southwest at sunset and is setting at 8:35 p.m. Jupiter is above and slightly to the left of Venus and is setting at 9:40 p.m.
Saturn is now in the south-southwest at nightfall and is setting at 12:25 a.m., so there are still several evening hours to observe the ringed planet.
Mars is up in the south-southeast at sundown and is setting at 2:45 a.m. Mars is still shining quite brightly at magnitude -1.4 although it will continue to fade and shrink in angular size as our two planets move farther away from one another.
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.