skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday April 21st through Sunday the 27th.

The full moon for April was on Sunday the 20th and the third quarter moon occurs next Monday on the 28th so we’ll have a waning gibbous moon all this week.

Saturn is now getting close to overhead in the evening skies and Mars is still high in the west at sunset. Look for Orion very low in the west-southwest below Mars in the evenings.

Jupiter is rising at 1:45 a.m. at mid-week. Look for the moon next to Jupiter in the early morning hours of Sunday the 27th. Venus is about 13 degrees from the sun in the morning hours and Mercury has moved into the evening skies and is moving a little farther from the sun each night. By the end of the week it will be almost 15 degrees from the sun.

As Orion sets in the western skies, Hercules is rising in east-northeast and is fully above the horizon by around 10:15 p.m. The famous globular cluster is rising at 8:15, so it is well placed to observe by 11 p.m.

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks early this week, but the bright moonlight makes it unfavorable this year.

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.

Next week will be the final week of public viewing for the spring semester. Summer viewing will resume in June.

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.