skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for January 22nd through the 27th.

The moon was at first quarter phase on the 21st and will be full on the 28th.

The moon will pass very close to the two largest planets in the solar system this week.

Looking east at about 7 p.m. on the 23rd, the moon will appear with several other interesting objects. Below and to the left of the moon you will see two bright star-like objects. The lower of the two is actually the star Aldebaran, but the other is the planet Saturn and not a star at all. The "V" shape formed by the stars to the right of Saturn and Aldebaran is the Hyades open star cluster of the constellation Taurus the Bull. Above and to the left of the moon you can see the Pleiades open star cluster, which is usually known by the name The Seven Sisters.

On Friday the 25th, the moon will be above and to the right of Jupiter, and on Saturday it will just below and to the left of the planet. Just to the right of the moon and Jupiter is the familiar form of what is probably the best known winter constellation - Orion the Hunter.

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. The building is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton (formerly 26th street) and Speedway. Take the elevator to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from 7 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.