Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for April 21st through the 27th.
The moon is at last quarter on Wednesday the 23rd. Look for a rapidly brightening Mars just above the moon also on the 23rd. Venus can be seen very low on the eastern horizon just before sunrise
Mercury is still visible very low in the west at sunset and will be lost in the sun's glare by next week. Saturn is high in the west at sunset. Jupiter remains close to overhead at twilight.
The peak of the Lyrid meteor shower is on Tuesday evening. This shower is not among the more impressive, but will typically produce 10 to 20 meteors an hour. The Lyrids are remarkable in one respect though -- they are the oldest recorded meteor shower, with observations by Chinese skywatchers dating back over 2600 years. The meteors will appear to come from a point in the constellation Lyra, which rises around midnight and is well above the horizon by two or three in the morning.
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 8:30 to 9:30 and Saturdays are open to the general public from 8:30 to 10:30. 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.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.