Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday April 3rd through Sunday April 9th.
The moon is at first quarter on Monday afternoon and will reach full next week, so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for all of this week.
Mercury is now sinking back towards the sun after greatest elongation, but you should still be able to catch it after sunset if you have a good view of the western horizon. Mercury is setting at 9:15 p.m. at midweek.
Mars is also low in the west and is setting at 10:25 p.m. this week.
Jupiter is at opposition on Friday, so it will rise at sunset and set at sunrise and will be visible all night here on Earth. This is also the time that Jupiter is closest to the earth, so this is an optimal time to observe the giant planet.
Saturn is rising at 1:10 a.m. and is visible until dawn.
Venus is rising at 6:00 a.m. at midweek, about an hour and 15 minutes before sunrise, so you should be able to find it in the dawn twilight if you have a good view of the eastern horizon.
Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights currently from 8:30 to 10:30 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 8:30 to 10:30 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.