skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday September 28th through Sunday October 4th.

The moon is at third quarter late on Sunday October 4th so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for all of this week. Check out spaceweather.com for a gallery of lunar eclipse photos from last Sunday night.

Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the sun on Wednesday the 30th when it will pass between the earth and the sun. It will re-emerge in the morning skies over the next week or two.

Saturn is now low in the south-southwest as the sky darkens in the evening and is setting at 10 p.m. at midweek.

The remaining planets visible to the unaided eye are still up in the early morning hours with Venus shining very brightly before dawn and rising just a few minutes after 4 a.m. Mars follows at 4:45 a.m. with Jupiter rounding out the morning planet line-up rising at 5:20 a.m.

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.

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.