Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday January 10 to Monday January 17th.
The moon is at first quarter on Wednesday the 12th, so we will have a waxing crescent moon for the first two days of this week and a waxing gibbous moon for the remainder of the week.
Photos of last week's partial solar eclipse can be seen at spaceweather.com.
Jupiter is high in the south-southwest at sunset and is setting at 11 p.m. this week. Look for Jupiter near the crescent moon on the evening of Monday the 10th. Uranus is still about a degree away from Jupiter, so this is a good time to try to find the seventh planet if you've never tried before. Look for a light turquoise blue object to Jupiter's lower right.
Saturn is rising at 12:15 a.m. at midweek and is visible until sunrise. Venus rises at 4 a.m., followed by Mercury a little before 6 a.m.
Astronomers working on data from the Kepler Mission announced Monday the discovery of the spacecraft's first rocky planet, measuring just 1.4 times the size of the Earth and with a mass 4.6 times greater than our planet's. This planet is too close to its parent star to be in a habitable zone, but is a good demonstration of the spacecraft's ability to detect small Earth-sized planets. You can read more about this and other discoveries from the Kepler mission at kepler.nasa.gov
Public viewing on UT telescopes will resume in late January. Stay tuned for information on the exact starting dates and times.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.