skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday October 8th through Sunday the 14th.

The moon is new just after midnight on Thursday morning going by the US central time zone.

Mercury is still visible very low in the west-southwest after sunset. You will need a clear sky and a good view of the western horizon to spot it. Jupiter is still visible in the southwest as the sky darkens but is getting lower and lower each day. Jupiter will be setting at 10:15 p.m. at midweek. Mars is rising about an hour later at 11:30 p.m.

With the sun rising later and later these days, you have a better chance of seeing the bright morning planets. Venus is dominating the morning skies, still around magnitude -4.5. Saturn is below Venus and the pair is slowly moving closer together as Saturn gets higher each day and Venus moves slightly to the south.

The public lecture by the recipient of this year’s Antoinette de Vaucouleurs memorial medal will be this Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Avaya Auditorium of the ACES building on the University campus. Dr. John C. Mather, co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics will be giving a talk entitled “From the Farm to the Nobel Prize: Deciphering the Big Bang”. The lecture is free and open to the public. The ACES building is located on the southeast corner of 24th and Speedway. Parking is available in several of the university public parking garages.

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.