skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday January 25th through Sunday January 31st.

The moon will be at third quarter late on the night of Sunday January 31st into the morning hours of Monday February 1st, so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for all of this week.

Jupiter is still the only planet in our early evening skies and is rising at 9:20 p.m. at midweek. Look for Jupiter about one degree from the moon on Wednesday night.

Mars is rising at 1:20 a.m., followed by Saturn at 3:40 a.m. Venus is up at 5:20 a.m. and Mercury rounds out the bunch rising at 5:55 a.m., about an hour and a half before sunrise.

In space anniversaries this week, Thursday January 28th marks 30 years since the loss of the space shuttle Challenger shortly after launch due to the failure of an O-ring on a solid rocket booster. The space shuttle fleet was grounded during the investigation and resumed missions in September 1988 with the launch of the space shuttle Discovery.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently from 7 to 9 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevator to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.

Public viewing at the 9 inch refractor at Painter Hall is on Friday and Saturday nights currently from 7 to 9 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe and is northeast of the UT Tower. To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the staircase through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope.

All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Note that viewing times and availability change throughout the year so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.