Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday October 22nd through Sunday October 28th.
The moon is full on Wednesday the 24th so we'll start the week at the end of the waxing gibbous phase and move into a waning gibbous phase for the latter half of the week. The full moon for October is known as the Hunter's Moon and the Dying Grass Moon.
Venus is in inferior conjunction with the sun on Friday the 26th so it will pass between the Earth and the Sun and move from our evening skies into our morning skies.
Mercury is low in the west-southwest after sunset with the much brighter Jupiter a little above it. The two planets will move closer to one another all week and will reach their closest point early next week. Mercury will be setting at 7:45 p.m. at midweek, followed by Jupiter at 8:10 p.m.
Saturn is up in the southwest at nightfall and is setting at 10:40 p.m.
Mars is still in the south-southeast at sundown and is setting at 2:00 a.m.
Uranus is at opposition on Tuesday night, so it will rise at sunset and set at sunrise and is at its closest point to Earth this year. Even at its brightest, Uranus is still only visible with binoculars or a small telescope.
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.