Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 5th through Sunday February 11th.
The moon is at third quarter on Wednesday the 7th so we'll have a waning gibbous moon for the first couple of days of this week and then have a waning crescent moon for the second half of the week.
Venus continues to slowly move away from the sun but is still setting only half an hour after sunset and is lost in the evening twilight. On the other side of the sun, Mercury is moving towards conjunction and is rising just 10 minutes before sunrise.
The three remaining planets visible to the unaided eye are up for a few hours before sunrise now and will be visited by the moon in the early morning skies this week.
Jupiter is rising at 1:20 a.m. this week and the third quarter moon will be above Jupiter on Wednesday and to the left of Jupiter on Thursday.
Mars is rising at 2:30 a.m. and the moon will be to the left of Mars on Friday morning.
Saturn rounds out the bunch rising at 4:20 a.m. and the thin crescent moon will be just a couple of degrees above the ringed planet on Sunday morning.
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. Take the elevator to the 5th floor then take the stairs up to the 6th floor 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.