Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday April 7th through the 13th.
The moon is at first quarter on Saturday the 12th, so we will see a growing, or waxing, crescent moon this week.
Mars is high in the west at sundown and it setting at about 2:30 a.m. this week. Look for the moon and Mars to pair up on Friday night. Saturn is high in the southeast during evening twilight and is up most of the night, setting at 5 a.m.
Just as Mars is setting, Jupiter is rising in the southeast, leading the way for the rest of the early morning planets. Although you need telescopes to see them, Neptune and Uranus follow Jupiter, rising at 4:30 and 5:45 a.m., respectively. Venus and Mercury are now very close to the sun and difficult to observe.
After over a week of some large sunspots, the sun has returned to a blank disk. You can see the daily sunspot count and learn more about the sun-earth relationship at Spaceweather.com
Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights 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 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. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled start time when a viewing is cancelled.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.