skywatchers report

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

The moon is at third quarter in the early morning hours of Monday October 8th so we will see a waning gibbous moon all of this week.

Saturn, Mercury, and Spica are clustered together very low in the west and are mostly lost in the glare of the setting sun. Mercury will move a little farther from the sun over the next few weeks while Saturn moves towards conjunction at the end of the month.

Mars is a little higher in the southwest and continues to move towards Antares in the constellation Scorpius. Mars is setting at 9:30 p.m. at midweek.

Uranus is rising a little before 7 p.m. so it will be fairly high in the early evening. To find Uranus you'll need binoculars or a small telescope and a finder chart.

Jupiter is rising at 10:35 p.m. at midweek and is visible for the rest of the night. Jupiter will be below and to the left of the moon on Thursday night and above the moon on Friday night.

Venus is rising at 4:20 a.m. and this week it is very close to Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.

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 mackbrown-texasfootball.com. This weekend's game is in Austin and is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. so there will be no Painter Hall 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. 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 when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.