Skywatchers Report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday October 29th through Sunday November 4th.

The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday October 31st so we'll start the week with a waning gibbous moon and finish with a waning crescent moon in the pre-dawn skies.

Mercury and Jupiter will be together low in the west-southwest this week, starting the week at three degrees apart. By Thursday they will be side-by-side and setting at 7:50 p.m., about an hour after the sun.

Saturn is up in the southwest at sunset and is setting at 10:15 p.m.

Mars is up in the south-southeast at sunset and is setting at 1:50 a.m.

Venus is emerging from conjunction and is now up in the morning skies, rising at 5:50 a.m., a little less than an hour before the sun.

Daylight saving time ends in the morning hours of Sunday November 4 and we will return to standard time until next March. The 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. is the hour that is officially repeated when the clocks fall back.

In space anniversaries this week, Saturday November 3rd marks 45 years since the launch of the Mariner 10 spacecraft. Mariner 10 was the first spacecraft to explore Mercury, which it flew past three times with the first flyby occurring in March 1974.

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 star parties will move to 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. starting next week through to the end of the semester.

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.