Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for April 7th through the 13th.
The moon is at first quarter on Wednesday the 9th. Saturn will be to the left of the moon in the evening hours of the 7th. The moon will be below Jupiter on the 10th and above it on the 11th. The Beehive star cluster is still near by and is easily visible with binoculars.
Mercury is low the week but rising slightly higher each evening. Look for it low in the west-northwest, not far above the horizon. The Pleiades star cluster is about 20 degrees above Mercury and can be used as a guide to finding the innermost planet.
This Saturday will be the 42nd anniversary of the first human spaceflight, made by Yuri Gagarin of the then Soviet Union. Twenty years later to the day, the first launch of the space shuttle successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Florida. Celebrations are planned across the globe honoring these events. The Austin Astronomical Society will be hosting an event at the Borders bookstore in south Austin from 4 to 9 p.m. Please the organization's website at www.austinastro.org for more details.
The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is now open to the public on Wednesday nights starting at 8:30 p.m. RLM is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton and Speedway. Take the elevators to the 17th floor and follow the signs to the telescope.
The telescope at Painter hall is open on Fridays for UT students, faculty and staff from and Saturdays are open to the general public. Please check the astronomy department website at www.as.utexas.edu for the new start times. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about half way between Speedway and Guadalupe.
All events are free and open to all ages and no reservations are required. Observing events are weather permitting.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.