skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report for May 1st through the 7th.

The moon is at first quarter just after midnight on Friday. The moon will be just below Mars on Monday the 1st and above it on the 2nd. Also look for the twin stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux, are just above the moon that night.  On Wednesday the moon will pull alongside Saturn, high in the west.

Jupiter is rising at around 8 p.m. at mid-week. It will be at opposition on the 4th, which means that it will rise at sunset and be visible all night long.

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks early on Saturday morning, a couple of hours before sunrise. The meteors appear to come from the constellation Aquarius and are the debris from one of the most famous celestial objects, Halley’s Comet. In a good year, this shower can produce an average of a meteor a minute. This year is favorable since the moon will not be up to wash out fainter meteors.

Public viewing at the Painter Hall telescope is on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 10 p.m. Painter Hall is located on 24th street about halfway between Speedway and Guadalupe.

The telescope at Robert Lee Moore Hall is open to the public on Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 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.

This is the final week of public 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 star party times and availability change throughout the year. Please call this recording before planning a visit to the telescopes. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 60 minutes before viewing start time only on nights when star parties are cancelled.

Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers' Report.