skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for Monday April 28th through Sunday May 4th.

The moon is at third quarter on Monday morning so we will have a waning crescent moon all week until we reach new moon next Monday.

Mercury is peeking over the horizon in the evening hours and is getting higher in the west each evening as the sky darkens. Look for it near the Pleaides open star cluster on Friday night, low in the west.

Mars is high in the west in the early evening hours and Saturn is high in the south at 8:30 p.m. Jupiter is rising at around 1:15 a.m. Venus is rising only about 20 minutes before the sun at mid-week as it heads towards conjunction with the sun in June.

Kip Thorne, well-known black hole physicist and author, is coming to The University of Texas this Friday. His lecture, "The Warped Side of the Universe: From the Big Bang to Black Holes," is free and open to the public. The lecture will be Friday, May 2, at 3 p.m. in Welch Hall, room 2.224. Reduced-rate parking of $4 will be available in the San Jacinto and Speedway campus parking garages.

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.

This 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.