Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday May 2nd through Monday May 9th.
The new moon for the month of May is on Friday night so we'll start the week with a waning crescent moon and finish with a waxing crescent moon. This new moon occurs close to perigee so expect extra high tides on Friday.
Mercury is setting about 25 minutes after the sun on Monday the 2rd as it heads towards inferior conjunction on Monday the 9th. This inferior conjunction will be aligned just right for us to be able to see Mercury cross the disk of the sun in what is known as a transit. We will hold public viewing of this event at Robert Lee Moore Hall on the UT campus Monday the 9th from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. More information is on our website at outreach.as.utexas.edu
Jupiter is high in the south by 9:30 p.m. at midweek and is setting by 4:00 a.m. this week.
Mars, Saturn, and the orange star Antares are grouped close with Mars rising at 9:45 p.m., followed by Saturn at 10:15 p.m.
Venus is rising just 20 minutes before the sun 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.
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.
This week will be the final week of public viewing on UT Campus telescopes for the spring semester. Summer viewing will start the second week 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 so please check the schedule before planning a visit. Observing events are weather permitting. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information, which is updated 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled viewing start time.
Thank you for calling the University of Texas Skywatchers Report.