skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday February 7th through Sunday February 13th.

The moon is at first quarter in the morning hours of Friday the 11th so we will have a waxing crescent moon for most of the week and a waxing gibbous moon for the weekend. Look for the moon next to the Pleiades open star cluster on the night of the 11th.

Jupiter is still visible in the west-southwest at sunset and it setting at 9:30 p.m. at midweek. About 50 minutes later, Saturn is rising in the east and is visible for the rest of the night. Venus is up at 4:30 a.m. and is in the southeast shortly before sunrise. Mercury is up about 30 minutes before this sun at midweek and is lost in the sun's glare. Mars is just emerging from conjunction with the sun and is also lost in the sun's glare.

This Saturday the annual Board of Visitors Great Lecture in Astronomy will be presented by Professor Dan Jaffe in the Avaya Auditorium (2.302) in the ACES building on the University of Texas Campus at 1 p.m. The talk is titled: "Exploring Newly Discovered Worlds with the Giant Magellan Telescope" and is free and open to the public. Maps and parking information are available on the UT website at www.utexas.edu

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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.