skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for April 15h through the 21st

The first quarter moon occurs on Saturday the 20th.

As the moon re-emerges in our western sky at sunset this week, it will pass by four planets. The moon paired with Venus on the evening of the 14th. On the 15th, it will appear to the left of a fading Mars and the brilliant Pleaides star cluster. On Tuesday the 16th, Saturn will pair up with the moon and two days later the moon will be side to side with Jupiter. The line in the sky traced out by the planets and moon this week is the plane of the solar system called the ecliptic, in which most of the planets lie.

Comet Ikeya-Zhang is still visible in our skies and can now be glimpsed in the northeast before dawn, near the constellation Cassiopeia. Finder charts are available at www.spaceweather.com and www.stardate.org.

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. The building is located on the southeast corner of Dean Keeton (formerly 26th street) and Speedway. Take the elevator 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 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. and Saturdays are open to the general public from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. 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.

Please note that star party times change throughout the year. Please call this recording to check times before planning a visit to the telescopes.