Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday January 9th through Monday January 16th.
The full moon for the month of January is on Thursday the 12th, so we'll start the week with a waxing gibbous moon and finish with a waning gibbous moon. This full moon is known as the Old Moon, the Moon After Yule, and the Wolf Moon.
Venus continues to dominate the west-southwestern skies at sunset and reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun on Thursday the 12th. Venus is setting at 9:30 p.m. this week, over three and a half hours after the sun. Also that evening, Neptune will be less than half a degree from Venus, although the outermost planet will be about 12 and a half orders of magnitude dimmer.
Mars is above and slightly to the left of Venus and looks like a moderately bright orange star. Mars is setting at 10:10 p.m. this week.
Jupiter is making its way closer to the evening skies, where it will put on a good show in the spring and early summer. Right now however, you will still have to look for Jupiter before dawn as it rises at 12:40 a.m.
Saturn is rising at 5:20 a.m. at midweek, now about two hours before the sun. Mercury rises half an hour later as it continues to move away from the sun in the morning skies until it reaches greatest elongation next week.
Public viewing on UT campus telescopes for the spring semester will start in late January. Please check back for details on starting dates and times.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.