skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for January 23rd through the 29th.

The moon is new on the morning hours of Sunday the 29th.

Saturn is at opposition on Friday, so it will rise at sunset and remain visible all night long. Mars is still visible in the evening skies and currently sets a little after 2:00 a.m. Jupiter is rising at around 1:45 a.m. this week.

Early risers can see the moon visit the summer constellation of Scorpius on the 25th. Viewers in Central America will actually see the moon occult the star Antares, the brightest in Scorpius.

If you have a good view of the southern horizon, this is a good time to see the second brightest star in the night sky, second only to Sirius. If you look to the south at around 10 p.m. right now, you should see the flickering white light of the star Canopus in the constellation Carina. The star is only about 5 degrees from the horizon in Central Texas. Both the constellation and star name are associated with sailing and Canopus was a useful star for navigation. Carina means the keel of a ship and is one third of the ancient constellation Argo Navis, named after the ship of the legendary sailor Jason. The other two modern constellations that make up the rest of the ship are Vela, meaning sail, and Puppis, meaning stern. Canopus was the name of Menelaus’ helmsman in Greek mythology. It is also the name of an ancient Egyptian seaport.

Public viewing at the Painter Hall telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.

Wednesday night viewing on the telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall will resume on February 8th at 7:00 p.m.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.