skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday April 22nd through Sunday April 28th.

The full moon for the month of April is on Thursday night. This full moon is known as the Egg Moon and the Grass Moon. There will also be a lunar eclipse with this full moon, but before you get excited, the eclipse won't be visible in North America and those who do see it will only get a penumbral eclipse. In a penumbral eclipse, the moon moves through the outermost part of the Earth's shadow and is hard to detect.

Venus continues to slide away from the sun but is still setting just half an hour after sunset so it won't be visible. Jupiter is high in the west at nightfall and is setting at 11:15 p.m. at midweek.

Over in the east-southeast, Saturn is rising at 8:05 p.m. Saturn is at opposition on Sunday morning so it will rise at sunset and set at sunrise. Look for Saturn and the moon close together on Thursday night.

In the morning skies, Mercury is up about 40 minutes before the sun so it will be hard to see. Mars is just emerging from conjunction and is lost in the sun's glare.

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. Next week, May 1st, will be the final Wednesday night viewing for the spring semester. Summer viewing will resume in June.

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. Next Friday and Saturday, May 3rd and 4th, will be the final Painter Hall viewing for the spring semester. Summer viewing will start 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 viewing start time when a viewing is cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.