skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday October 1st to Sunday October 7th.

The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday morning, so the evening skies will be moon free this week.

Jupiter is still visible in the southwest as the sky darkens after sunset and is now setting at about 10:45 p.m. at midweek. About an hour after Jupiter sets, Mars will be rising in the east-northeast.

If you’re up in the morning hours before sunrise, look to the east for the still-bright Venus. If you continue to look down, you will next see the bright star Regulus in the constellation Leo and then Saturn below that. The moon will join the group on Saturday and Sunday mornings. On Saturday the moon will be above Venus and on Sunday the moon will slip between Venus and Saturn.

The 50th anniversary of the first artificial satellite is this Thursday. On October 4th, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first of a series of satellites to be named Sputnik. Sputnik 1 was about 2 feet in diameter and emitted a beep. It re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere around the New Year of 1958, after its batteries ran out. Just 12 years after the first artificial satellite, the resulting space race had man setting foot on the moon in July 1969.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights 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 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

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.

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