Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Thursday January 18th through Sunday January 21st.
The new moon for the month of January is late on the night of Thursday the 18th, or early on the morning of Friday the 19th if you go by Greenwich time.
Venus is visible in the west shortly after sunset and is shining brightly at magnatude -3.9. A very faint crescent moon will be above Venus on the 20th, just a day and a half past new.
Saturn is rising at about 7:45 this weekend and is now well placed for most of the evening. Jupiter is rising at about 4 a.m. and Mars is rising at 5:45, less than two hours before sunrise.
Although we weren’t able to see it because of clouds, observers reported being able to see Comet McNaught in broad daylight last week. The comet has gone around the sun and is now visible in the southern hemisphere. There are lots of pictures of the comet on Spaceweather.com McNaught photo gallery.
Public viewing on UT campus telescopes will resume soon. Please call back next week far starting dates and times.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.