skywatchers report

Welcome to the University of Texas Skywatchers Report for Monday November 4th through Sunday November 10th.

The moon is at first quarter late on Saturday night so we'll have a waxing crescent moon in the early evening skies for most of this week.

Saturn is in conjunction with the sun on Wednesday the 6th when it will pass behind the sun from the Earth's point of view.

Venus is still visible bright and low in the southwest after nightfall and will set around 8:30 p.m. this week. Jupiter is rising at 9:50 p.m. at midweek as it works its way back into our early evening skies.

Mars is up at 2:00 a.m. and Mercury is emerging from conjunction and is up about an hour before the sun at midweek.

In recent space exploration anniversaries, Sunday November 3rd marked the 40th anniversary of the launch of Mariner 10, the first spacecraft to explore Mercury. The mission conducted three fly-bys of the innermost planet and mapped a little less than half of Mercury's surface. The rest of Mercury would finally be imaged over 30 years later when the MESSENGER spacecraft arrived and went into orbit, where it still operating today.

Public viewing at the 16-inch reflector on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall is on Wednesday nights now from 7 to 9 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 now from 7 to 9 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. Please note that there will be no Painter Telescope viewing on Saturday evenings when the UT football team has a night home game. To check the football schedule, logon to texassports.com.

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.