skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday April 18th through Sunday April 24th.

The full moon for the month of April is late Thursday night or early Friday morning, depending on your time zone, so we'll have a waxing gibbous moon for the first part of the week and a waning gibbous moon for the weekend. This full moon is known as the Egg Moon and the Grass Moon.

Mercury is at its greatest elongation east on Monday, so this week is still a good time to try to catch it shortly after sunset. Mercury will set around 9:35 p.m. this week.

Jupiter is now high in the southeast after the sun sets and the evening sky darkens. Jupiter will set at around 5 a.m. this week.

Mars rises at 10:45 p.m. at midweek as it continues to grow in angular size and brightness as it moves towards opposition and closest approach to Earth late next month.

Saturn follows Mars, rising at 11:15 p.m. Late on the night of Sunday the 24th, look for the Moon, Mars, Saturn, and the bright star Antares all in a tight grouping.

Venus is now rising less than half an hour before the sun and is mostly lost in the glow of dawn.

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.